There is a lot of talk in the business world about using social media to promote and grow a business. To do so successfully takes certain skills and strategies. There are many different platforms from which to choose, including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Each of the strategies I am about to discuss work on all of these platforms. I will reference Facebook in this article because it is the largest platform and is available to more businesses than the others. Take what you learn here and use it on other platforms if you feel they suit your business better.
First, you must decide which platform to use. I have seen many companies opt for social media, but instead of picking one platform to use, they jump into three, four, or more—and they don’t use any of them well. Focus on one and master that one platform before adding another.
Second, know your perfect customer. Knowing your customer means more than learning his or her age, gender, and place of work. While you do need to know this information, you really need to also learn that customer’s interests, desires, and worries—as well as what keeps her up at night or gets him excited. This is much deeper and more effective than knowing surface statistics about them.
Third, you need to be able to reach many of your customers affordably on whichever platform you choose. Not only do you need to be active on the platform, but you also need a way to draw them toward you. Generally, Facebook lets you do this faster than other platforms do.
Fourth, you need to develop the content your ideal clients desire. The more you’re content is desirable to your prospects, the faster your clients will connect with you and share your content with their friends. You want them to be attracted to you like a moth to a candle.
Fifth, give away good information. This is a great way to develop your credibility and authority. When you first start your page, you will have people who know you and know about you as your first followers. Then, as you put out great content, others will come to you. They won’t know you and what you’ve done, so you need to be sure that, as they find you, they are seeing a reason to continue following you and taking what you say seriously.
Sixth, have fun. As you develop your content, don’t be so serious that your followers can’t have fun. As your page grows and people see your content, it needs to be entertaining. If your audience isn’t given what they want in a way they find enjoyable, they will stop sharing your content and, over time, fall away themselves.
Seventh, know your budget. Yes, most of the software is free. Costs come from the amount of time you spend maintaining the platform you choose—both yours and your staff’s—as well as the cost of creating the content. The content can be articles as well as audio or video segments. The more variety you use, the better. The other cost is paid ads to enhance the reach of your posts. This doesn’t have to be a large sum, but it should be something. Consider starting with thirty dollars per month.
Eighth, know what you want your perfect prospects to do next. You can do all of the above and still not generate sales. As your audience becomes involved with you and your company, you need to have a plan in place for what you want them to do next and how you are going to convert their interest and attention into sales. The more success you have had in implementing the above suggestions, the easier it will be to convert your audience into customers and clients.
This is a short description of what it takes to be successful using social media to grow your business. Over the next few weeks, I will go into more depth about each of these items.