Social media is a powerful marketing tool. It can extend your reach in a way radio, newspaper, and TV may not. As I rush through my day there are times I am too busy to sit down and read traditional news media. I will however check my social media platforms, because it is a fast way to find the information I need. If it scrolls through my social media feeds, I’m likely to see it.
The purpose of social media is to connect with real people, doing real life. Using it as a networking tool. As I take the time to like and comment I am connecting to a persons life and/or business. I am learning about their interests, passions, and goals. A great place to start in connecting to those on social media is starting with what you know and the demographic of your business.
Are you a bakery? Connect with other bakers. Do you sell western wear? Connect with horse lovers and professionals, 4-H clubs, and pony clubs. Is quilting your hobby and passion? Then connect with quilt shops, quilter groups, and all things quilting.
When tackling social media seriously as a business it can seem overwhelming. At first glance it can seem like you want to reach everyone. The question arises, how in the world do you do that? Well, the answer is, you don’t. The reality is authentic and organic is the best way to go. Organic and authentic takes time. Any new relationship whether online or offline takes time. Every once in a while a community, person, or business will go big right away, but generally that’s not the case.
As you are starting out, some of the best ways to attract attention to your site is to have photo contests or giveaways. What product or services do your customers or clients connect with the most? What are they interested in? What kind of promotion can you do that will engage your followers? I have seen a local restaurant have a Friday breakfast giveaway. To participate you have to like, comment, and occasionally share the post. What does your business have that can be given away on a small scale to encourage a large authentic, organic relationship with those you are trying to connect to.
The bottom line is social media takes time. It takes time to build relationships, it takes more than you posting one thing a day to attract attention. It takes interaction on your part to like and comment with other business owners, clients, and people in general. This is a big reason many businesses will hire someone to do this. Your time and money are important and it is important to know where to put your effort. Hiring a social media consultant helps you understand where your market is hanging out. Are they on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or Parascope? Do you have a specific generation you are marketing to or is it a wider demographic than that?
How much time do you need to commit to socializing throughout social media? If you are new to the concept of social media, start with one platform and start with the one you feel the most comfortable navigating. Connect with your current friends, businesses, and grow your followers from there. Post photos of you interacting with your clients and customers (make sure you get their permission). Show your followers what you do on a day to day basis, you want to create an emotional connection to your followers. You do not need to jump into the deep end of what you are uncomfortable with. Start small and as you get familiar and efficient with one platform grow to another platform. You may find you catch on quicker than you think you will.
Hiring a social media manager can help answer these questions and more. Social media platforms change rapidly and new ones are popping up all the time. Social media managers are constantly staying up to date on the latest and greatest in the social media world. Whether it is a new social media platform or the best way to post on Facebook, they are on top of it. You can hire them to teach you how to do it or simply run your platforms for you. Working with you and your business goals to broaden your customer or client reach. The new relationships and reach you will experience is worth your time, money, and effort!
If you are a business what are you doing to grow your reach throughout social media?