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How to launch a targeted business social media presence for newbies

Are you trying to launch or build your own main or side business? And you are curious whether social media can help you take it to the next level? Many solopreneurs are trying to understand how to best go about using social media to spread the word about their businesses.  

Are you curious whether your personal business could benefit a social media marketing approach?

But you don’t know how you would go about it? Or how much of an investment it would require – both in your time and money? You are not alone. A lot of solopreneurs, who are exploring social media, feel both confused and overwhelmed with the prospect.

Social media is one of the best ways to spread the word about what you offer to the world.

The truth it, social media marketing has turned how solopreneurs reach their clients/customers on its head. You no longer need a team of people (website designer, accountant, photographer, videographer) and a large budget to spread the word about what you offer the world. If your business offers something a person can buy (online or in a brick and mortar store), it is worth exploring whether social media marketing can help you spread the word of your amazing offer.

Are you considering going on the social media marketing journey and want enough information to decide if it may be worth pursuing further?

My niche is not in social media, but I am writing about this topic because a lot of my clients are asking themselves these same questions.  I spent the past 1.5 years learning from experts on the subject, then taught myself the rest. And although I would still consider myself a notice, I have learned a lot on the subject and am happy to share in service of you reaching your goals. So, in this blog, I’ll share some of the basics to help you find out whether social media marketing is for you. The topic is vast, but the starting point is deciding whether it fits with your goals. I’m going to cover the basics for you here so that you can make an informed decision. Sounds good?

Social media can help you connect your gift with the people who will most benefit from it.

Question #1: Can your business benefit from a targeted social media presence?

Let’s start at the beginning. The first steps are to get really clear on what your offer is and who you are targeting – your ideal client. Only once you identify that, should you think about how you could share it on social media and whether it would add value to help you grow your business.  It does not matter whether your business offers a service or a product. Both can benefit from having a targeted social media presence. To make it easier to decide whether your business could benefit, consider these examples to see how wide the spectrum really is: orthodontists and dentists, physiotherapists, yoga teachers, life and wellness coaches, photographers, chiropractors, videographers, homeopaths, osteopaths, acupuncturists, personal trainers, Pilates instructors, real estate agents, mechanics, designers, home renovators, hair stylists, business and lifestyle consultants. This is not an exhaustive list, by all means, but you can see that it can be useful for many different types of businesses.

One thing is for sure, social media marketing is not just for fancy businesses with large teams and big budgets.

Alternatively, here some examples for products which I’ve seen shared very successfully: Jewelry, skin care products, books, natural cleaning products, clothing, art and innovative product ideas you can’t buy in stores. Of course, there are some exceptions where social media may be inappropriate too (i.e. it’s not for morticians), but ultimately, the decision can only be made by you.

Basically, if you offer something which you want to share with others, social media can help you reach a wide audience quickly and relatively easily.

There is too much to share to cover the whole subject in one blog post, but let’s start by differentiating between the most commonly used types of social media.

Question #2: What is the difference between social media tools?

You don’t want to run yourself ragged covering too much ground in social media, because it would become too time consuming.  It’s important to pick which social media platform you will most likely find your ideal customers. Here is a rundown of some of the most popular social media sites:

LinkedIn is the preferred choice for people who offer professional business services or products. It is frequented by people in the business community, so products and services related to business are best for this tool.

Pinterest is ideal for people with creative businesses to showcase their products and services using captivating images coupled with detailed text, usually through links to websites or blog posts.

Facebook is great for many solopreneurs showcasing products and services, as you can post related images, written content and videos, as well as links to your website or online store. Facebook has additional features such as Facebook live, business pages and groups. The goal is to connect with people in a personal way and be able to share content from other related topics as well. The age demographic is around 35 and upwards. It’s many capabilities make it popular. Facebook has made it more difficult to achieve organic reach, however.  They want people to pay to promote their products instead, which you can do by boosting a post or creating a Facebook add.

Instagram is similar to Facebook, but it focuses primarily on sharinh images and short videos (60 seconds on your feed and multiple 15 sec video increments on something called Instagram Stories). Each post allows for written content, but it is not the focus. The main focus is on images. Videos from Instagram Stories are short lived, promoting people to check them regularly to avoid missing something. Generally, Instagram it is preferred by younger generations leading up to the age of 35 years.

Twitter is used to share in the moment ideas and make statements you wish to share with others. You can embed videos as well, but it is not really used for marketing or advertising purposes as much as the other social media avenues are.

Regardless of what business you are in, social media may kick start your visibility to potential customers.

Question #3: What steps do I need to follow to build a social media presence?

First, become clear on what audience you want to reach. The first step, is to get clear on who your ideal customer is. To do this, answer these questions: Who are they?  What is important to them?  What are their needs/pain points? What value does your product/service offer them? In other words, how will their life be better if they engage with what you offer?

Essentially, by answering these questions, you are creating an avatar of your ideal customer. You can even give your avatar a name and imagine what they look like to simplify knowing how to best reach them. This makes it easier to know who they are and which social media type they frequent. Based on this, choose the social media tool which is most likely to reach this person. I would recommend not picking more than two. Mainly, because of the time commitment of maintaining regular feeds.

Let’s look at my social media presence, as an example. My ideal clients are freedom seekers and live re-inventors who want to learn how to proactively create the life of their dreams.  I chose to spread the word using Facebook and Instagram. (click each to see examples posts). My audience spans a wide age group and I wish to share inspiring images, video and written content with them.

Second, design a crisp profile. The profile on your account it the equivalent to your business card. It is therefor important to be concise and to the point. And to be aware of the brand (look and feel) you are trying to represent to attract your ideal clients or customers. You can link your website (if you have one) to your profile. If you do not have a website, you can also use a Facebook page in its place. Again, feel free to check out mine, by clicking here.

Third, decide how often you want to post. Overall, experts recommend daily posts across the different social media tools. But what is more important is that you post consistently. You want to build a loyal following, so they engage with your regularly over time, building their trust in you all the while. Whether you do post once a day or once a week, above all, be consistent.  The best way to do that is by drawing up a social media publishing schedule to help you create a posting routine. Then stick to it. It is estimated that it takes at least 6 months of regular posts to get the momentum going. There are a lot of resources online which can help you with what content to offer when. Overall, you want to balance sharing useful, valuable content with information about what you offer. Above all, keep the content meaningful and of service to your audience.

Third, pick the best time to post. What time of day you publish is almost as important as how often. To avoid your post getting lost in the continuous stream of new content, it is important to post when your audience is looking at their social media account. The best time of day depends on the social media method you use. One of the easiest ways to know what the best times are is to use a scheduling tool. Some are free, like Crowdfire, and some charge a monthly fee, like Hootsuite. They help you pre-schedule posts in advance and also recommend the best time for them to be shared.  Alternatively, you can research the best posting times online and incorporate it in your publishing calendar.

Fourth, be social. It is not called social media for nothing! The more “social” you are, the more likely others will see your posts and learn about your great offer. Be sure that each of your posts is valuable to your target audience. Write clear and concise messages and include links to share more details. If you are comfortable, share personal information to add meaning to your offer and connect with your potential clients/customers authentically. Examples are sharing a great idea or inspiring image. You can create great visuals either with your own images or stock pictures. For example, by using tools like Canva (it’s free). Also, Instagram allows you to personalize your pictures using the Instagram Stories feature.

Video is one of the best ways to engage your audience. Whether you do a live video or share a recording, video instantly moves your post up in its visibility, as the social media platform logarithms favour video over any other content. Also, people are simply more interest in watching videos than reading text. Use videos to share behind the scene content or to update your target audience about what you offer and how it can benefit them. For example, I used video to spread the word about the Find Your Why Challenge I did in the New Year. CLICK HERE to check it out on my Facebook page.

If you want your business to benefit from social media, I recommend building on you knowledge to do it well. Otherwise, it is just becomes a humongous “make work project” with little reward.

You don’t need thousands of followers to leverage social media.  You just need to go about it smartly. And with integrity. I hope you find these tips and ticks helpful. If you want to find out more about whether social media is for you, feel free to leave a comment and I am happy to share what has worked for me.

Until next week,

Simone

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Simone Alberts is a success coach, psychologist, mom to a 5-year-old and founder of The Self Coach Approach. She empowers freedom seekers to know exactly how to coach themselves, so they can create the life they really want – and not settle for the default version.

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