An excellent way to launch into social media, as most anything, is to just begin. You will not be an immediate expert, and you will not have all the time in the world to perfect your presence… But, by just beginning, you will find yourself quickly on the path to better understanding the platform, messaging, as well as be motivated by the outcomes of your efforts.
So, let’s jump right in…
1. Identify your target market
This is where it helps to know your clients. What is your target client’s age, gender, interests, and needs? I’ve simplified here, but as you begin to think of these points, you will see the key demographics at play that set your group apart. Take the time to write this out and give yourself a good summary with which to work.
Don’t get caught up in thoughts that identifying your target market excludes some people. Rather realize that this is simply helping you focus on the ideal people. Your ideal client will need what you offer, understand your messaging (because you tailor it to them), and be able to afford your service or product as well. They will be the people happiest to learn of and receive your offerings, and as such will be closest to becoming your next client!
2. Select the appropriate platform
Now you are going to select the social media platform that best suits your clients and your business. Taking the traits of your ideal clients into mind, do some research to see what platform suits them best. Use the 2014 Pew Research Center Social Media Update to help you identify where your clients are likely to be hanging out.
While doing so, also consider your personal preferences. If you are between two potential platforms, but find that you wildly dislike one… by all means choose the other option! After all, you will need to be spending time on your selected channel and enjoying that time is going to be crucial to the tone of your messaging and your consistency.
So, what did you learn? Does this all come together to make a clear social media channel selection? You will want to take your time to ensure you pick something that well suits all these criteria, as well as your business’s tone as a whole.
3. So, what is your message?
In this step you will again pull from the information you developed surrounding your ideal client. All of your messaging should be tailored to their needs, interests, and pain points as they relate to your business. What will your clients want to hear? What won’t they? As long as first and foremost you strive to be genuinely helpful in this messaging, you will likely see engagement grow over time.
Start writing and get all your ideas down on paper. You can pair them down later, but this development of ideas is fun and will become an indispensible list of topics for you later! To begin parsing your messaging, it is helpful to follow the 80/20 rule: 80% helpful content and 20% promotion.
4. Develop a goal and track your progress
Yes, this includes goals… I know, I know. It will be worth it, promise.
By establishing an accomplishable goal, you can then break down smaller pieces to divide and conquer. To begin, an accomplishable goal may simply be a small number of followers, likes, pins or retweets. Overtime your goals will grow and change, however by tracking your progress you will see your consistency is paying off, as well as get a better sense of what messaging is working and what needs to be adjusted in the future.
5. Create a posting calendar
Your posting frequency will depend on your platform and your goals. A few helpful hints as you begin: Focus on quality not quantity. Make it doable. Be consistent.
With that in mind, what do you need to be successful in your chosen channel in terms of your outlined goal? Do a little bit of browsing of other similar businesses (similar in both size and product/service) using your social media channel. Follow this up with a little research on articles written by experts. What do they recommend for posting frequency?
Now, you’ve selected your frequency; let’s make it repeatable. Choose a certain day or time that you will post, for example, shared content; another day or time that you will post original content; a day/time that you will share a personal business insight, and another day or time that you will promote your offerings. By setting your topics and pairing them to a calendar, you will see you can quickly develop a social media posting calendar that is reliable and wildly helpful in keeping you on track and consistent.
You did it!
Social media overwhelms many people. There are so many options and possibilities that folks can shut down before we even begin. Yet, this doesn’t have to be your story.
Social media is an excellent avenue to spread the word of your offerings while building relationships with your clients. With time and consistency you will begin to see the results of your hard work on your chosen platform. Just remember to attempt to offer genuine value and never miss an opportunity to connect with someone who has reached out to you!
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