One of the biggest challenges I see in my daily walk with Social Media and where the most questions come from is “Where do I start?”. People are often challenged on what to post, when to post and just in general, where to start.
We will look at daily, practical steps to increase and enhance your online visibility, which in turn, will increase your brand visibility – the more people see you posting, your participation and your feedback, the more people will know about your business! One of the biggest things we have seen in this industry, is that people would want to know that you care. By simply posting or sharing other content is not going to make you a thought leader, it will take some elbow grease and yes, it will take time.
Based on these challenges, we decided to write a blog series over the next 10 weeks to assist in crossing the social media bridge. Join us, comment, like and participate – that is after all the first step in social media success!
By taking action, you will also increase your confidence as a small business owner, build relationships with others and my favorite, empower yourself.
Let’s dive right in!
So, if we start at the beginning, we need to understand that there needs to be a Social Media Strategy in place. Less than 35% of small business owners have an actual marketing strategy in place when using social media strategy. My comment to all the business I coach, manage and train, if you don’t know what you want from social media, how can you expect returns? It might sound harsh, but the reality is that if you want to make money, you need to know where to know where the money is going to come from and how to ensure that you get the most leverage out of the money you will be spending on marketing.
This does not need to be an intricate, 100-page strategy document. My advice to small business is always – start with a piece of paper and a pen. Write the following questions and answer them as honestly as you can:
1 Take stock of your existing social media presence. How many followers do you have on Facebook and Twitter (and others)? Are you happy with this? What is a realistic figure that you will be happy with to grow your presence? 10% a month? Don’t think about the steps of how to get there yet, just write it down.
2 Are you active on these platforms? Rule number one in my social media book – Commitent. Don’t get onto a platform if you don’t intend committing to this platform. Commitent means posting on a regular basis. Participating on this platform. Be present on this platform. I suggest start with one or two platforms, the ones you are most comfortable with. Rock those and then add the rest. Some advice, if you need to know which platforms to be on, go look on which ones your clients are on – you would want to be where they are.
3 Are you spending money on marketing right now? Any marketing whatsoever? Pamphlets, flyers, banners, online advertising etc. If you are, have a look at the returns that your marketing is yieling – take stock and think about it. If it is not really bringing any money, stop doing it. As the saying goes “If you don’t like where you are, move – you are not a tree”. Social media is an easy platform to create visibility and building your brand without spending huge amounts of money.
4 Have the basics right – before you spend any money anywhere. You need to create awareness of your business, build your brand so that people can start recognising your business wherever they see your logo. Ensure that your logo is of high quality, your business cards done, your email has a signature on. Bottom line here, if your brand image looks good, your business will look professional.
5 Your website. Here is one of the most important factors of social media, one which in my opinion, many people might not really understand. Social Media platforms will come and go, they will trend and will again lose their coolness. Your website is your piece of property, which no one can take away from you. When you invest all your time, effort and money into posting only to one platform, once that platform fades, you have spent everything you had on that platform. So, what exactly am I saying?
Build your property on your website and use social media to market this – the aim is to get traffic to your website, build your brand there and ensure that whatever you do will result in a call-to-action. If your social media links back to your website, this will ensure that your website gets the necessary traffic. Another great benefit of this is that you an re-use and repurpose the content, getting the most out of your efforts.
These are small steps, which will help you in understanding of where you are now, how to ensure that the effort you are putting into social media is yielding results and to know what steps to take next.