Social Media 101
We know social media is the way forward in terms of building relationships and connecting with others. But how does it really work? You set up your social media account and now what? In this article, Christina McMasters gives us the low down on Social Media 101.
When you’re just starting out on social media you may be overwhelmed with questions like what to post, where, how often, and so on. I’m going to give you some general social media tips so that you can get started instantly on building your presence online - the way a social media marketer would.
STEP 1 | Know your audience
What platform is your ideal client using? Many people are too worried about posting on as many social platforms as possible, but it’s better to focus on putting out amazing content for 1 or 2 platforms instead of mediocre or repeated content on all of them. The first step to social media is knowing where your audience is, where is it worth your time to post? Instagram is great for businesses revolving around a visual aspect. Facebook is the market leader for social networking sites and is pretty much a go-to for any business. LinkedIn is where business professionals connect for B2B (business to business) opportunities. Twitter is great for the influencers and thought leaders of the world.
The next factor we look at is competitors. Search for social media accounts that offer what you offer and do what you do. This allows you to see successful accounts that you can get ideas from. Pay close attention to the certain hashtags they’re using, if they’re posting specifically on certain dates or times, or what type of content their followers like most. You want to take ideas from those that are successful in your field and incorporate your brand to it.
STEP 2 | Content
I often get asked, “Christina, what should I post on my social media?” It really just depends on your business and what platform you’re on. Generally, Facebook or LinkedIn has a mix of photos, videos, shared content, articles or blog posts. Instagram is more of an aesthetically pleasing social platform. Accounts that have a certain feed or theme where followers know what they can expect to see, do exceptionally well and grow much faster. A tool I often use for creating social media content is Canva. They have stock images and templates, making social media less of a hassle than it needs to be for the busy entrepreneur. Also, when posting, the key to growing your brand online is by providing immense value. If every single post is you selling your service, you will not grow your fanbase. Gary Vaynerchuk’s book title sums it all up: “Jab, jab, jab, right hook”, refers to constantly giving an overload of value - over and over again - and going for the sale thereafter. If you’re an all-natural skincare line, some examples would be giving your online audience tips on great skin care, an all-natural homemade face mask, the benefits of healthy eating on the skin… the options are endless.
STEP 3 | Consistency
Once you begin building your presence online, note that the only thing worse than not being on social media is being on social media inconsistently. A potential client that’s searching for a local restaurant in the area and seeing you haven’t posted anything in over a year, isn’t exactly going to get a great first impression from you. When it comes to posting, there really is no magic number. Just don’t post to the point of annoying your followers with content overload. For Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn once a day keeps you in the back of your client’s mind without being all over their feed. It is common to post multiple times per day on Twitter and Pinterest. Speaking of posting, a way to stay organized and not let social media get in the way is by scheduling your posts ahead of time. For Facebook you can schedule posts right on the social platform. A tool I often use for my clients’ Instagram accounts is Onlypult. This tool allows you to schedule and automatically post based on set times so you can spend less time posting daily. Once you become consistent, you’ll start to form an online fanbase of current and prospective clients.
Messages, reviews and comments will start to pour in and it is crucial to not let potential or current clients go unnoticed. This tip I call communication, engaging with followers and other users on social media will grow your page much faster than those who don’t. Posting consistently is one thing, reaching out and joining discussions and meeting people is another. Having a Facebook or Instagram page for your business is really more than just simply posting, it’s you utilizing a free tool that your clients are already on to further increase brand trust, awareness, loyalty and connections.
Social media and growing an online presence, when done correctly, can be an endless lead generator. A few things to remember - find where your audience is, figure out what they like, consistently give value and communicate with current and potential clients. Anything you post on social media contributes either positively or negatively to your brand, so choose wisely what you post for the world to see. Most importantly, remember that social media is meant to be a fun way to connect with people, spread the word about your mission and can grow your business immensely!
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Written By: Christina McMasters