Social media seems easy – you create a free profile, share out some content, and watch the followers flock to you.
But typically, it’s not this simple.
For entrepreneurs and business professionals, creating and nurturing a high-quality social media presence is crucial. When social media first entered the scene, it was dismissed by many as a passing fad. But as of 2014, 92 percent of marketers said that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80 percent saying that it increased traffic to their websites.
Several other studies have also been done showing the value of social media, and the role that it plays in successful businesses. According to Convince and Convert, 53 percent of Americans who follow brands on social media are more loyal to those brands. And many tout the power of social media for humanizing brands, providing rich customer insights, and empowering social listening.
It’s clear that social media can be valuable – but creating a truly enriching, successful presence can require extra staff, tools, and resources, and keeping up with it consistently can be expensive. Luckily, there are several ways to hack your social media presence on your own!
Read on for tips on how to reap the same benefits for a fraction of the cost by DIY-ing your social media marketing.
Steps to getting started
First, identify the goals and objectives you want to accomplish through your social media presence. Do you want to build a personal following? Do you want to attract more attention or customers to your business? Do you want to build your professional network? Identifying what your social media presence will
Based on the objectives you identify, zero in on the audience you want to speak to. Then, think about what this audience really needs from you. What unique perspective can you bring that potential customers, connections, or clients will value? Think about their motivators and the barriers that exist to helping them get what they want. Also, identify what it is that’s currently stopping them from buying into your product or service? These are the types of conversations that you should build your content around.
When DIY-ing your social media presence, it’s important to focus your efforts on the most impactful channels. You have limited resources, and it’s better to establish your presence thoroughly on one medium than putting bare-bones effort on several channels at one time.
So, think about the audience, and where they spend their time online. Are you trying to reach a more B2B audience of high-level decision makers at companies? If so, LinkedIn may be a great option. If you’re trying to reach more consumers, Facebook or Twitter could be possibilities. Those trying to reach the younger generation of millennials may have the best luck on Instagram.
Hubspot has several great resources for starting and nurturing your presence on these channels:
- An Introduction to Twitter for Business
- An Introduction to Facebook for Business
- An Introduction to LinkedIn for Business
- An Introduction to Instagram for Business
- An Introduction to Pinterest for Business
Keeping it consistent
After you’ve followed these tips to get your social media marketing off on the right foot, shift your focus to building your audience and providing them value. Some people think that they should expect a return on their efforts immediately after staring; but the truth is, social media is a long-term effort. It could be several months before you actually see the fruits of your labor, and often this impact comes in incremental, but important, ways.
So in the meantime, make sure that you’re sharing and curating high-quality content that people care about. If you have a blog or a website, social media is a great place to promote this content – however, remember to follow the social media rule of thirds. Hootsuite defines this as one third of your social content promoting your business, one third of your content surfacing and sharing ideas and stories from thought leaders in your industry, and one third should be based on building your personal brand. This ensures your social presence is balanced and keeps your readership engaged.
Next, promote your social media profiles everywhere – your website, your business card, your blog, etc. Many different sites have HTML buttons that you can install in your code to allow people to seamlessly follow you on social media with a simple button click.
While you’re building your following, make sure you’re paying attention to the performance of your posts. Also, ensure that you’re reading and responding to comments or replies. There are many easy, free tools that enable you to do this at scale, including Hootsuite, Zoho, and Brandwatch.
Finally, make sure your voice shines through. Social media should be just that – social. Don’t be afraid to express your own unique personality – in a professional and courteous way, of course. Doing this, along with all the tips above, will ensure you’re putting your best foot forward on social in a way that authentically engages people, and ultimately brings in business.