Today, everyone from the independent artist to the small business owner needs to establish a strong and positive social media presence. However, understanding the importance of it and being able to do it are two entirely different things. I often run into clients who state that they need a social media strategy, but rarely do they ever stop to ask themselves why, or what they hope to accomplish. Building your voice through these channels can be fickle, so here are some suggestions to help you build your online brand and position yourself as savvy professional in your field.
Set Your Goals Using the S.M.A.R.T. Acronym
The first thing you need to do in the way of building a strong social media presence is to set your goals. Following the suggested acronym, they should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This means specifying which platform you’ll use to focus your efforts, using analytics reports to measure your progress, setting realistically achievable goals, making your content relevant to your business, and setting a time limit for when you expect to meet your objectives.
Identify Your Target Demographics
If you look at promoted posts on Facebook, they’re no longer as targeted as they once were, and that’s costing those advertisers money. By focusing on the specific audience you want to reach, you’ll get much more interaction than you might by casting a wider net and hoping to snag something.
Social media users of every age group look for authenticity, especially from the businesses and entrepreneurs vying for their attention. If you expect to establish and maintain a strong positive presence, you have to interact personally (automated responses will not do) and be as honest and forthright as possible. Speak in a way that is genuine, forthright, and caring.
Invest in Relationships
This goes hand in hand with the previous point, because, if you’re just online to make sales, users will know it and they won’t like it. On the other hand, if you’re genuine, respond personally, and work to build lasting relationships, you’ll get much more interaction with your followers. The best methods are to tag users, when responding to them, answer every question, reply to comments, and thank users for sharing your content. The more you engage, the more others will engage with you.
Help, Don’t Sell
If you have a social media presence, it goes without saying that you should also have a website. Your website should have a blog, one which you can use to write informative posts that will educate your readers. This is especially helpful when a social media follower asks you a question. Instead of using the opportunity to push a product, write a blog post on the topic. When you share it on the social media platform, tag that user, so they can learn the answer to their question.
But most importantly, remember that most social platforms aren’t conducive to selling products, they are best used for establishing your brand.
Primarily, the best way to gain a positive following on social media is by being genuine and offering something of value. If users feel like you’re just trying to give them a hard sell, they’ll turn away in droves. However, if they feel you’re trying to be helpful and build lasting relationships, they’ll be more apt to engage with you and share your content.