Is Your Social Media Working for You?
Social media. Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay.
I'm going to admit right up front that it's not my favorite place to be, simply because I'd rather be writing. I love people - I miss teaching fitness classes largely because they were filled with people I genuinely loved, but thanks to COVID-19 I've gone back to my first love, writing. However, if I ignore social media and just write, I severely limit the number of people I can help. If social media isn't your favorite hangout, either, take heart! It isn't so bad after all.
Regardless of how you feel about it, the reality is that social media is most people's favorite way to interact with others around the world and to market their products and services. Some people seem to reach the elevated status of Social Media Expert while others seem to post constantly without any nibbles whatsoever. We'll call her the Fledgling.
And please keep in mind that the "Expert" is just someone who's figured out where she needs to be on social media and is comfortable there. There's no judgment either way - the Fledgling just hasn't figured out her place there yet.
The Expert and the Fledgling
So, what’s the difference between the Expert and the Fledgling? The most important differences are in their social media planning and in their ability to develop friendships. Even if they’re both selling the same thing, they approach it quite differently.
Let's break it down some more.
The Social Media Expert cares about other people. She’s engaged in several groups, offering suggestions when appropriate out of a sincere desire to help. She interacts with people just about every single day on social media without necessarily selling. She answers questions and replies to comments not only on her own posts, but also on other posts in her feed.
She shares snippets of her life instead of bombarding her followers with product pitches. The Expert knows, through trial and error, which platforms give her the most engaged audiences, and this is where she spends a dedicated portion of her valuable time.
The Fledgling also cares about people but she’s always posting about her services on every social media platform around, because she thinks she must. She also concludes that because people don’t typically buy the first time they hear about a product or service, she needs to continually remind them.
She doesn’t notice when people leave comments on her posts or doesn’t respond back in a timely manner. She comments on only a very few posts and is generally spread too thin across too many platforms.
How to Revise Your Social Media Plan
The beauty of owning your own business is the ability to do what you want. There aren’t any hard and fast rules about which social media platform(s) you should use, so it’s best to approach this thoughtfully and methodically. If you’re posting random photos on Instagram and get a few likes here and there, is it worth your time and effort? If you post an article once a month on LinkedIn but have an inbox filled with unanswered invitations to network, should you continue to use this platform?
First, determine where your target market hangs out and learn how to use that platform to the best effect. If you’re aiming to attract professional clients, then LinkedIn could well be your best bet. If you’re looking for other solopreneurs or small business owners, explore Facebook. Want to market yourself locally? Alignable is just one of the newer platforms to try. Can’t fit your thoughts into 144 characters? Then drop Twitter instead of stressing about it.
Second, remember to be social. You’re much more than your business so show that to your followers. Sharing your other passions like travels, hobbies, movies, whatever, helps build connections and relationships. Don’t overdo it because, well, you do have a business to run, and it goes without saying to be sincere.
The point is to be yourself – that’s the best way to build any relationship. Right? So, figure out where you need to be, socially speaking, and go from there. Every business owner needs to continue examining and revising course when necessary, so just expect it and don't stress. Also, nobody ever truly "arrives" anywhere, so enjoy the journey.
I'm planning on writing a more detailed article on Content Marketing Strategy in the near future, so stay tuned.
If you need help writing content for your website or developing a detailed Content Marketing Strategy for your business, give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit me at www.phyllisamaral.com.
Thanks for reading, and have a great week!