Any small business owner knows that engaging people over social media is both a means and an end to getting your product or service out into the world. However, it’s not quite as simple as setting up your Facebook page and waiting for the orders to start rolling in. Developing a social media strategy is as important as a business plan, and it requires the same kind of planning and thought. The following three tips will help you to narrow your focus to make sure that you’re getting the best information to the right audience.
- Know Your Product. Of course, you think you know your product better than anyone else– after all, it’s your product! But people are inundated with information and buzz about ‘the next big thing’, and nowhere is that more true than on social media platforms. If you can’t explain your business in a few sentences, you can’t expect people to know or care about what it is that you do. Don’t forget the ‘elevator pitch’: give any prospective clients a concise explanation of what you do or what you sell, and why it matters to them. Our attention span can be as short as 8 seconds, so if you want to grab people, you need to be quick about it.
- Know Your Target. We all believe that our idea could or should appeal to everyone, but reality isn’t quite the same thing as unveiling your great new idea to your family and friends. Social media platforms are calibrated to target their advertising and output to search terms and preferences, most of which are stored in people’s browsers or search history. Get a clear idea of the age group, background, and gender of your ideal client and do as much research as you can on where those people go to shop and search. The complex algorithms of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest exist for a reason, and if you know what you’re doing, they’ll offer you a ton of prospective clients. However….
- Know your limits. Look, not everyone is good at everything. In fact, most of us are lucky if we’re very good at one thing. If you’ve been trying to grow your social media presence for two years and the whole thing still mystifies you, maybe it’s just not your strong suit. And that’s okay. Social media management is a bona fide industry and there are communications professionals who have studied the market and know exactly how to get you the results you want. Perhaps you’re a small business owner and you don’t have much in the way of a marketing budget to hire someone on? We’ve all been there, and there’s no doubt that spending money on social media marketing is a long term investment, so the results of it might not be immediately felt. However, think about all the hours that you’ve devoted to trying to maintain your pages, come up with fresh content, and target the right kind of audience. If you used that time developing that product that you know and care so much about, you might find that the time you save is worth the money you have to spend. There are plenty of social media marketing companies that are specifically targeted to small business owners, and it might make all the difference!