It is essential to market yourself online, whether you’re a brick and mortar shop reaching out to locals or an online business. Over 90% of businesses say social media is essential to their marketing strategies. For smaller businesses, their ability to reach their target audience and compel them to buy is even more essential. For the solopreneur, there is a risk of spending too much of the company’s small capital on marketing strategies that don’t work.
Luckily, if you’re willing to put in the effort, you can gain a lot of followers, interest, and sales by putting yourself out there on social media. It’s pretty much free, and whatever you do pay for isn’t going to blow the marketing budget. You’re going to learn why social media is so important for your business and the best methods to market yourself.
The Importance of Social Media for Your Business
You know that social media matters. When marketers were asked if social media is essential for the success of a business, 97% of them said yes. This data came from the Social Media Examiner Report 2014. Out of a total of 2.800 marketers of all sizes, 92% said that social media is an important part of their business.
Facebook sits on top of the social media chain, with 94% of the marketers in the report stating that they recommended using it. Following was Twitter at 83%, LinkedIn at 71%, and YouTube at 57%. Marketers went on to say that original content is the most important kind of content.
Why Social Media is a Time Sucker
If you haven’t started delving into the world of social media engagement, your number one reason is because you don’t know what’s effective. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can cause you to spend hours on social media without getting anything done.
Best case scenario, you may start your marketing campaign, only to spend hours analyzing your marketing Return on Investment (ROI) without really knowing if it works. It’s important to understand how to use the platforms you want to market on. Keeping it simple, with the focus that you’re simply looking to spread the word about your business is the best rule of thumb. If you get to know social media and your target audience, you can do what many solopreneurs have done. Grow your business and bottom line without spending a cent.
To not spin your tires, this checklist will help you pinpoint what your social media strategy will be, and how you can spend time wisely on the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
1. Decide on Your Primary Channel of Social Media
You will want to decide on a main social media channel to focus on. You can focus on Facebook and Instagram, as they kind of intermingle anyway. Just try not to get too involved with painstaking communication on all of the social media outlets. Making dynamic content for one site and building a solid group of followers is more effective than branching out everywhere with half-hearted content.
With that said, Facebook is most entrepreneurs and solopreneurs bread and butter. This is because it’s likely that potential clients and customers are already connected to the platform. The average Facebook user will be on Facebook for 50 minutes a day. This means that your average customer is more likely to view your marketing content than anywhere else.
If you have a niche business, Instagram is your go-to. This is especially true for those in business to customer marketing. An example of this is the beauty or fashion industry. Getting a following on Instagram and monetizing those followers gets easier and easier. Instagram has shown to have one of the highest average order values via ecommerce. The average order is $65. Maybe it’s evoking emotion through photography primarily that makes people buy more. Whatever the reason, Instagram is working for those who have tangible objects of beauty to sell.
If Facebook and Instagram don’t sound appealing to you, you may want to ask yourself where your main target audience is hanging out most. If you’re in business to business (B2B), affiliate sales, online courses, etc, your go-to might be LinkedIn for example. Maybe it’s somewhere else. Think about where your potential clients are looking for your products/services, and make it your primary spot of communication.
2. Keep Your Networking Always Going
The opportunities online to connect with clients and get more customers is never ending. Even if you believe you’ve found the perfect recipe, keep on growing your marketing endeavors. Share your growth with your customers. The bigger your business grows, the more stories you’ll be able to tell your customers. This makes you more relatable. Your customers are bright individuals who will value the fact that you still care and share even though you’ve “made it.”
As you get more and more recognized, you’ll find that other people in your industry begin to notice you. Who knows, you might be in line for a Ted Talk which you can then market, proving yourself as an authority in your field.
3. Become the Influencer
To really be seen on social media requires you to play the role of a big shot. When you put yourself in the position of being the influencer, you can grow your authority in your industry. Your business becomes more attractive because it’s connected to you, the one who knows what he’s talking about. So how do you go about this?
- Respond to questions and comments on Facebook or LinkedIn groups that are related to your niche or industry.
- Comment on updates of the well-known people in your industry. If you’re selling motivational courses, you will want it to seem like you’re in alignment with Tony Robbins.
- Republish your content to social channels. For example, LinkedIn has their own publishing platform, so use it.
4. Toot Your Own Horn
Consider that the world doesn’t really know who you are. It’s up to you to feed them information that coincides with how you want them to see you. A powerful way to entice new clients is to use good feedback you’ve received. It’s along the lines of testimonials and positive feedback. Maybe you’ve left a comment that got a lot of great feedback or made a piece of content that went viral.
A public thank you, like, or thumbs up should be highlighted. Let your future clients and customers see your positive social experiences on your site or through marketing materials. This breaks down any walls of trust that skeptics might have. It lets them know you’re the real deal.
A few more things. Include engaging footage and have beautiful, professional looking pictures. What you say is really important and how you go about communicating with people on social media. To attract people, images are equally as important. It’s important to be consistent and make yourself seen nearly every day in some small way.
Marketing campaigns will be far more effective if you’ve kept your audience with content that isn’t always selling them something. Give them valuable information for free, and when you do have something big to sell them, it will be easy to convince them to buy.