I love helping small business owners and often I am assisting clients with their social media efforts. The challenge is their expectations. Social media is not a quick fix for slow sales. Social media is one more tool to put in your marketing tool belt, not a magic pill. So we both become frustrated: they because they want results immediately and I because I want them to understand that it takes time.
You don’t ask the girl to marry you on the first date! You get to know her and romance her, first. Then, if all goes well, you ask her to marry you. Social media is the same way: You have to romance your audience, get engaged and actually be social. Then they fall in love, and when they need your product or service they will buy from you.
Here’s how you get started with social media: First, you have to understand who it is you want to date. Then you can identify where they hang out (which social platform they spend their time on). Now you know where you should hang out as well.
Create your accounts and make certain that your banners match your brand and express the feelings you want your followers to have about your business.
Then you have to determine how often you will be posting. Once you make that decision, you must stay with it. The worst thing you can do is start and decide two months later that it’s not working, abandon the efforts for three months and then come back to it. That’s like not calling after the first date and then months down the road call her up and act like no time has passed. Bad, really bad!
Remember when determining how often you post that not all of your followers are going to see all of your posts at any given time. Be consistent, and if you are worried that you are posting too much, watch to see if your followers stop following. Then you know you should slow down. Want to have a guide to how often to post on the different platforms? Check out this cheat sheet.
Don’t be afraid to take a risk and share things you find funny or thought-provoking. Keep the dating theme in mind: Make her laugh and let her know you are also smart. Those are the kind of posts that can go viral.
What not to do is have an argument with a follower. A negative comment can most often simply be ignored rather than adding fuel to the fire. Also, never respond in a negative way to a review a follower might share on social media. Most of the time, they just want to know they were heard. You can express your understanding of their concerns and then take the matter offline. Ask them to call you or email you for resolution. If you respond quickly and kindly often, they will reverse their review by expressing how well you handled their concern.
Remember, images are important on almost all of the platforms! Human beings are visual creatures, and images speak to us. I am always impressed with Oreo’s Facebook page. They find a way to place Oreos in every situation with their images.
Social media can be a great way to expand your business’ reach on a relatively small budget of time and money. Be careful to only open accounts on the social media platforms you are willing to spend the time on. Be consistent and patient, and most importantly, have fun.