Social media has taken the marketing world by the reins! These days, every business has a social media platform they run to generate more business and also for client retention. How consistent are you with social media? Branding goes hand in hand with how consistent you are with your social media. How do you know which platform will work best for you and which ones to spend more time on? In any business you run and in the branding yourself process, it is very important to work hand in hand with social media to get the maximum benefit.
Here are a five of my top questions to assist in getting you started with creating your social media strategy:
Which social media networks will you use to brand yourself and your business? There are so many different platforms and options for using social media these days - it's hard to keep up! Pick three platforms to start off with and build your network list from there. I use Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook Pages - in that specific order. You have to be comfortable with what platform you choose and know how it works. Don't pick one that is too complicated where you will find yourself spending more time trying to navigate through it that to use it as a tool in your business.
A lot goes into creating and managing a successful social media marketing plan. It's more than posting; it's researching, engaging with your followers, maintaining your page(s) and a lot of scheduling. I'd encourage you to realistically think about how much time you can give to each platform of social media before you move through this post.
Be consistent with ALL of your social media profiles. I cannot stress this enough! Consistent marketing is truly important to any business. Have one logo and use it throughout all of your marketing strategies. All of your profile photos should be in sync with other profiles and keep the contact and description consistent as well. The last thing you need is someone asking if you are the same person on Twitter, etc. with the same name. And keep updated these profiles as you grow. Find what works for you and get comfortable with it.
Express and market your business and your brand professionally. Because you are now on social media, anyone doing business with you will be able to go online and see your online presence. Post items that are of relevance to your business. Keep your content positive. The way you carry online sends a HUGE message to those offline as to the type of person you are. If you come across as an arrogant a$$hole, trust me, nobody is going to want to do business with you or support you. Treat yourself and your business with respect and in turn people will reach out to you in that manner.
Decide on who your target audience is and make a plan as to where you will find their presence online. Which social media platform are they mostly on and what catches their attention? Spend some time focusing on your audience's age, gender, occupation, social media usage, hobbies and interests as it will be really beneficial for you. Doing this now will save you time later when trying to connect with an audience that isn't the right fit for your brand.
What will you share? Will you combine personal and professional? So far we've only talked about finding the right platform for you and your audience. Now we've got to think past the stage of signing up and stepping it up from a personal account to an accurate representation of your brand. It's important to think about how much personal content you want to continue sharing, and how much of it will be solely things that will benefit your audience but which will also be an accurate representation of the brand you are trying to build.
Personally, I only share a little about my personal life. With internet being so open in this day and age, I like to have that one part of lifestyle that is not broadcasted on the internet. I find that this works well for me as I like to use social media as a professional platform and as an extension of my blog.
Decide on how often you want to post on social media and stick to a schedule. Now that you have set up your platforms and you've gathered your content to share, you need to consider how much you are going to share and when. This is where your researching comes in as you need to spend some time looking into optimizing the platform(s) you're using. I find that posting on Instagram first thing in the morning works really well. People are on their way to work or just waking up and looking to see what is new online. Seeing your post is one of the first thing they see and this is done with fresh eyes and with a fresh mindset. The timing only works depending on your business. Timing is different with everyone as we all have a different demographic for our business. I often post late in the evenings as well after dinner time and not too late as everyone is winding down and in their relaxing mood. This works for me and I have researched it and kept track of this over the last few years. You will learn by trial and error what works and what doesn't. But don't give up!
How often are you going to maintain your social media profiles? Any serious social media marketing plan won't just have a publishing plan, they'll have a maintenance plan too. Analyzing your strategies is such an important part of any plan as there will always be room for improvement and changes in circumstances. Reflecting on what is working well, what could be improved and what simply doesn't need to be continued can help you greatly when establishing yourself on social media.
The most important part of all of this is having a simplified strategy that you'll stick to. For it to be successful, you want to make sure you're on the right platforms, connecting with the right people and sharing the right content. It's really not as scary as it sounds.
What tools have you found useful in building your social media strategy?
With Love, Nikki