social media

Social Media 101: Making It Work For You

Below is a 5-part overview of effective Social Media Marketing. If you’d be interested in a deep -dive into these concepts, send me a message through the Contact Page.

Build Trust by Being Consistent 

Consistency is a key element in any business’ success.

Of course, there are other important factors, but consistency is what will create name recognition. Consistency is what will build your tribe so you can develop a trusting relationship. Consistency is what will showcase your expertise to new followers.

Here’s an example: You go out to dinner at your favorite restaurant and you fall in love with your entrée. A few weeks later you take a friend to the same restaurant, order the same meal, but it tastes different and you send it back to the kitchen. Their lack of consistency in how your meal was prepared will now leave doubt in your head about that particular dish and possibly about the whole restaurant in general. You may or may not ever go back. Due to inconsistency, they’ve lost a potential repeat customer.

When a customer has doubt i their mind about your business, that typically means you’ll have to rebuild that trust again, to show that they should continue doing business with you. It’s not impossible to earn their trust again, but you’re basically starting from square one.

Just like when your weight loss efforts are halted during the holiday season and you have to lose those same 5 pounds multiple times. Working your business consistently and focusing on superb content and excellent customer service will help to keep your clients happy and trusting in you.

Have you ever had this occur: You opt-in to an email list that has great potential. You receive a few weekly emails and then nothing. Crickets. Then a month or two later you receive an email from that person again, making an offer to purchase their product.

How does that lack of consistency make you feel? I’m guessing your first reaction would be, “Who the heck is this person?” Lack of consistency will cause you to forget who they are and why you signed up for their list in the first place. Lack of name recognition generally leads to, “I don’t know who you are so why would I give you my money?” Again, this business owner just made themselves a much harder task to win you over again.

Consistency with Your Brand Image

Have you noticed how many gurus there are, each proclaiming to have the answers to earning 6- or 7-figure incomes? If you tried implementing all of their different strategies, you’d be exhausted from keeping up with it all, and your audience would be very confused about your overall message. 

When it comes to branding, consistency and repetition will help develop name recognition. If you always wear clothes that match your website colors, people will make the connection. If your trademark is a purple stripe in your hair, don’t go changing it to fire engine red; your followers won’t recognize you! Be consistent with your brand image, colors, and message, both online and offline so you’re always recognized.

Social Media Planning

Social media has quickly become everybody’s favorite way to interact with others around the world, and to market their products and services. Some people reach the elevated status of Social Media Darling while others are posting day in and day out without any nibbles whatsoever.

What’s the difference between the Darling and the Wannabe?

Most importantly, the differences are in their social media planning and their ability to develop relationships. Even if we’re talking about selling the exact same product, how the Wannabe approaches the opportunity is often quite different than how the Darling approaches it.

Let’s break it down more:

The Social Media Darling cares about other people, and it shows. She interacts with people every single day on social media by answering questions and replying to comments both on her own posts but also on other posts in her feed. She shares snippets of her life instead of bombarding her followers with product pitches. The Darling also knows, through trial and error, which platforms give her the most engaged audiences, and this is where she spends a significant portion or her social media time.

The Wannabe also cares about people, but she’s posting product photos on every single social media platform available, desperate to make a sale. She figures that most people don’t buy the first time they hear about her product, so she continues to post about the product. She doesn’t notice when people leave comments or doesn’t know how to respond back. She comments on only a select few posts and is spread too thin across all the different platforms.

How to Revise Your Social Media Plan

The beauty of owning your own business is the ability to do what you want.

There aren’t any hard and fast rules about which social media platforms you should use, so approach this methodically. If you’re posting random photos on Instagram and get a few likes here and there, is it really worth your time? If you post an article once a month on LinkedIn but have an inbox filled with unanswered invitations to network, should you continue to use this platform?

First, determine where your target market hangs out, and learn how to use that platform efficiently and effectively. If you’re aiming to attract professional clients, then LinkedIn might be your ticket. If you’re looking for other solopreneurs or small business owners, check out Facebook. Want to market yourself locally? Alignable is a new platform to try. Can’t fit your thoughts into 144 characters? Then drop Twitter instead of stressing about it. 

Second, remember to be social. You’re much more than your business, so show that to your followers. Yes, share about your business, because that’s your passion and a part of your life, but share about your other passions, too. Trips and travels; favorite hobbies; favorite sports teams; favorite movies or television shows. Let people get to know the whole you, not just the business you. Pro Tip: When sharing, stay away from social media arguments!

Show Off Your Personality

Social media platforms were created primarily as a way to connect with people – as a way to be social online without being in the same vicinity. However, with the increased popularity of social media and the ways you can promote your business with these platforms, some business owners forget about the ‘social’ part of social media, and use it as nothing more than a free advertising platform.

It’s been proven by experts that people will spend their money with those they know, like, and trust. But if all you’re doing is posting photos of your product, or hyping your service or your signature program, you’re not allowing anyone to know you. If your followers don’t know who you are, it’s impossible for them to genuinely like you and you’re simultaneously hindering the trust factor.

So, show off your personality with your social media posts. Let the real you shine through and you will naturally attract your tribe of followers.

Here are 3 ways to spice up your social media posts with some personality:

  • Act like you’re the host and your followers are at your party. When hosting a party, you want everyone to be happy and have a good time, right? The same is true on social media platforms. Don’t just hang out on your page; visit other pages and leave comments. Ask your followers questions. Really listen to their answers. Respond to questions or comments that are asked of you. Be compassionate and friendly. Offer friendly advice, when asked. 
  • Share your sense of humor and be entertaining. Search YouTube for the videos that strike your funny bone. Better yet, get on Facebook Live and showcase your personality. This doesn’t mean acting fake because you want people to be entertained; rather, be yourself and tell the funny thing your kid said or relay something comical that happened at work. Everybody can use a laugh and posting videos or funny photos is a way to lighten the online atmosphere.
  • Provide value and inspiration. Talk about your business, and let your passion shine but let it be more than, “Buy my services!” Your audience wants to know what’s in it for them; how your services will benefit or help them. Do you have the solution to their problem?  It’s not about making sales; it’s about helping them find solutions. Share your favorite inspirational quotes, especially around the holidays, which can be a tough time of year for some folks.

Put The Social Back In Social Media Plans

Do you want to save time during your work day? Do you wish you had an extra 18 hours to accomplish everything on your to do list? Most people would answer, “Heck yeah!” to those questions because a business owner’s to-do list is never really finished, especially if you don’t have any support staff. Automating certain tasks, like social media, is one way to gain some time back in your day but that task still requires you to interact with your followers.

Social media schedulers, such as HootSuite and Buffer, are convenient and budget-friendly. Simply log in, schedule which posts should publish on which platform, and hit the save button. Voila. Done.

Some platforms, like Meet Edgar, are more powerful because they continue to share your evergreen social media posts into the future, thus saving you even more time from creating and scheduling. This all sounds wonderful and who doesn’t want to have more free time, but do these platforms eliminate the ‘social’ from social media?

The answer to that is: only if you allow it.

Using schedulers is a wonderful thing, and is a task that a savvy virtual assistant can take over. But you still need to be aware of what’s happening in your social media world. If followers are asking for your opinion, you need to be there in a timely fashion giving your opinion. If customers are asking specific questions about a product or course, you need to be on the ball answering those questions. Otherwise, you’ll be getting refund requests because your customers feel neglected.

Also, be active in your social media world in terms of connecting with others online. Yes, it’s wonderful when people in your tribe find you, but you should put in equal effort to connect with your ideal customer. Passive marketing (or hope marketing, as I’ve heard it called) puts too much power into the hands of your ideal audience. Don’t wait and hope that they find you; make them want to choose you. Show them how you can help solve their problems. To do this successfully, you need to have a personal presence online instead of allowing a social media manager or third-party scheduler to be in charge.

3 Social Media Myths Busted

Social media is a powerful technology, but it’s also misunderstood.

In its simplest form, social media is a way to connect with old friends from childhood or college and a way to share snippets of your daily life. In its more complex form, social media is a unique way to market your business and products to the entire world in a short amount of time.

While you can take months or years to study the intricacies of social media and craft business strategies, there are three common myths about social media that business owners can dispel today.

Myth #1: You must use every single social media platform.

Expanding your reach is certainly a goal for business owners and coaches, as that yields more sales and personal clients, which equals increased income. However, the real question to ask before signing up for every platform is: Where is my ideal client? Using Facebook just because it has over 1 billion users doesn’t mean those 1 billion users will find you and start purchasing. Identify your ideal client and find out where they hang out. Those are the platforms you should use. 

Myth #2: Aim for every post to go viral.

It’s always fun to see a post go viral as they are usually entertaining or thought provoking but of the viral campaigns you’ve noticed recently, could you say what company sponsored them? I can’t either. Aim to provide value in your posts mixed in with some of your personality as opposed to aiming for shock or entertainment value. Your ideal client wants to learn from you so your valuable lesson will be heard and remembered long after the latest viral video fades away.

Myth #3: Having a large number of followers equals increased profits.

It sure is an ego boost to see a large number of social media followers, but are these followers interacting with you? Are they liking or sharing your posts? Are they leaving comments? If not, then chances are they are not your ideal client and chances are they will never purchase one of your packages.

Evaluate your own posts – it’s quite possible they’re boring and that’s the reason for no response. Be more creative with your posts and watch for audience interaction. This directs back to the need for niching down to your ideal customer. You’re not appealing to everyone (nor should that be a goal) – you’re appealing to a small fraction of the world’s population. Pay attention to finding that demographic and the number of engaged audience members will follow, as will the profits.

Photo by William Iven

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