We share the 5 fundamental components you need to start promoting your business PROPERLY, without all the fancy and confusing bells and whistles.
In last week's Content Creators Club, one businesswoman shared that she wanted to simply learn how to 'run her social media pages properly.
Everyone nodded in agreement but when asked 'what does that mean, to run your social media page properly' it was hard for her to answer.
Often, the biggest problem we can have on social media is feeling overwhelmed and inadequate, which leads us to feel like we're not 'doing it right'. But actually, promoting your business on social media doesn't have to be this big, all-consuming thing.
In fact, you can start with just 5 fundamental components to your social media marketing, which we take a look at in more detail here:
1) Have a simple message that appeals to your target audience
A successful, attention-grabbing brand will be targeted to a specific group of people and have an underlying message that speaks to their emotions. For this reason, it's SO ESSENTIAL to identify your target audience and understand what their problems might be. If you can deliver a product that addresses their needs, then you are on to a winner. Not being specific enough is a widespread mistake small businesses make on social media.
Try to focus on reaching one particular niche audience and do it well. If you try to be all things to all people, you will be 'nothing to no one,' your brand message will be unclear, and you won't have a significant impact online. The smaller your business is, the more you need to specialise.
2) Make sure your brand is looking good!
Before you do anything else, you want to ensure your business profiles are looking their best. Your page should look professional and visually attractive, and your target audience should be able to see what your business does the second they look at your profile.
Make sure your images are all the right size, make sure your social media handles (the names of your profiles) are all the same across different platforms, and delete any old content that looks unappealing or confusing. Test the links to your website are all in good working order, and make sure your best, most popular content is pinned to the top of your pages too.
3) Follow a strategic, consistent content schedule.
We hate to play the same old record, but consistency really is key in social media for many reasons:
a) When you post consistently, your followers learn to show up for your content. (A bit like a puppy waiting at their food bowl at the same time every day because they learn to anticipate dinner time.) It helps to build a sense of trust and reliability. By showing up when you're expected to show up, you're letting your audience know that you are fully committed to your relationship with them.
b) Sticking to a consistent schedule will help you to increase your organic reach, as the algorithms on social media platforms reward consistency.
c) Sticking to a social media schedule makes it a part of your routine and requires far less brainpower. When it's a part of your daily routine, you do it without thinking, just like brushing your teeth or going for a walk at lunch. One photographer we spoke with recently said that she goes for an early swim in the mornings, comes back home to have breakfast with her son, and she settles down to share her content for the day once he leaves for school. She's incorporated it into her routine, so it stops feeling like a chore and starts feeling second nature.
4) Use ALL the features available on each platform.
Social media platforms are constantly releasing new features. Instagram, for example, has released a gazillion updates in the last couple of years as it continues to compete with other emerging platforms. Long gone are the days where you could share a single image to your profile; now there are carousels, live videos, IGTV, reels, stories, story stickers, guides, direct messages, shop features... the list goes on. It might seem like a lot of work, but the good news is, the more of these features you use, the more the algorithm will reward you with a healthy organic reach.
5) Always include your hashtags and call-to-action captions.
You must include good call-to-actions and hashtags in every post you share. To save time, have your standard call-to-action phrases and hashtags saved somewhere, so you can easily copy and paste them into your posts before publishing.
Call-to-actions are typically instructions that get your followers to do something, e.g., direct visitors to your website, Etsy store, landing page, or bookings page to generate sales. Good examples could be "sign up for my free workshop, download my checklist, book your free consultation, shop our latest designs here..."
Hashtags can be pretty tedious, but they can be the ultimate game-changer. They can help you to expand your reach and grow your audience. Choose your hashtags wisely, and your posts will reach lots of new people for free who are interested in what your business has to offer. Choose your hashtags poorly, and your content could disappear into obscurity or, worse, attract fake spambots. Take a look at our article, what hashtags should I be using on Instagram if you need more guidance.
6) Adopt a consistent engagement routine
Again, a routine helps to maintain consistency and ensures that no comment or DM goes unanswered. Set time aside each day (preferably around the time you post) to respond to comments and messages. Check-in with everyone that you have good relationships with on social media and engage with their most recent content, and search through relevant hashtags, too.
Remember, try to respond to messages and comments with open questions to encourage further conversations. Simply commenting with a standard 'I love this post' won't help the sparks to fly. Try 'I love this, what was your inspiration?' instead.
So there you have it. As you can see, promoting your business and running campaigns on social media correctly is no simple task. But making sure that your social media profiles look good and your message is clear and well-targeted is a great place to start. Then, focus your time on sharing content consistently, using all the features available, including hashtags and call-to-actions in every post, and adopting a regular, consistent engagement routine. You'll feel like you're nailing it in no time!
Stop feeling like you're wasting your time on social media and start growing your business online with our personalised Social Media Strategies! Take a look at the options available to help you finally get to grips with your digital marketing and make your business the bee's knees.