If no one’s told you yet, your brand will find so much value in creating a social media presence! With rare exceptions, businesses not only reach more customers by going online, but they can also build deeper connections with their current customer base.
Today I will go over five ways to create an authentic online presence, with one caveat. The effort to build social media is not worthwhile unless a business commits to being fully present online. That means a commitment to post meaningful content and engage with people!
Let’s dive into the five ways you can build an effective social media presence for your business, regardless of the type of business you operate.
- Choose Platforms That Are Valuable To Your Customers
Go where your customers will most easily find you. That may be Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, Club House, Parler, or elsewhere. Choose platforms you know your customers are using or will use eventually, and if you’re not sure what they are I recommend the following: Think of the type of content you will make that will most resonate with your audience, and choose platforms that best support that content. A second method is trying out various platforms to test different ideas, and using each one to post different content. You can then narrow back down to the most effective platforms. There really is no wrong way of trying different ideas, and you may surprise yourself with the results.
- Post Content That Give People Real Value
We are all inundated with information online. It takes a great deal more effort to stand out of all that noise and reach the right people. You can do this by providing meaningful content that is authentic to the work you do, and provides real value to viewers. This is where the fun starts! What information can you share with your audience that they’ll enjoy or that will add value to their day? Maybe it’s a beautiful picture, maybe it’s a silly quote, maybe it’s a how-to video, whatever it is, don’t just slap things on your profile for the sake of posting.
- Show The Human Being Behind The Business
This goes back to being authentic. You can let go of the idea of perfectionism (my daily struggle), and put content into the world that is imperfect. People don’t mind your human side! I promise. Not everything has to be perfectly scripted or well timed. Instagram and Facebook stories, Snapchat and TikTok are places you can show quick videos that give a glimpse into your life unscripted. People love getting a peak behind the curtain, and it shows the human side of what you are doing, so don’t leave it out!
- Share Why You Do What You Do
If you are in business for yourself, there is something driving you to get up each day and commit yourself to building your business. Give your audience an idea of what drives you. That doesn’t mean you need to show your family online or give everyone a full frontal of your deepest fears and regrets. Rather, authenticity is like that sprinkle of salt that seasons everything perfectly. One way to share your “why” with customers is perhaps sharing your mission statement with them, creating an occasional post talking about what inspires you, or inviting them to join you on a live chat to ask questions and gain inspiration from your journey.
- Engage Your Audience, Always
I am still quite surprised that brands don’t understand that it is pure gold to engage customers online. But it is also a clear advantage for the brands that do. From my experience in social media management, engagement equates to the glue that holds all your efforts together. Respond to comments, messages, friend requests, EVERYTHING. When I see brands missing this step I wonder why they are online at all – it is that important. On an even deeper level, choose to engage meaningfully. Comment back rather than just liking a comment or a DM. I’ve managed a lot of social media for many clients, and of all the pages I’ve managed, very few of the other brands I engaged with as those businesses engaged back. Shocking. On a business to business level this behavior comes off as stuck up; on a business to customer level it comes off as cold and ungrateful. Perhaps it seems like a lot of work when I say “engage with everyone who speaks to you online,” but I can tell you you will not regret any time spent on this. You wouldn’t ignore someone at your front counter, why would you ignore someone who leaves a comment on your page? You absolutely do not know what amazing things can come from simply writing back to someone’s comment.
There you have it! Five guidelines to get you started on the right foot on social media. Interested in learning more? Visit my social media or email me with any questions, I’m happy to help!