Building your brand’s social media presence and standing out in an environment of sameness requires some dedicated work. And that’s even harder when you are a smaller organization with limited manpower or a start-up. While many Social Media Optimization (SMO) techniques will provide for visibility and ultimately “optimizing” your brand’s presence, for many it’s getting started that seems to be the most difficult stage.
Being consistent with your logo, colors, fonts, and even images across the various social channels is essential. Additionally, one of the most common mistakes you’ll see with social media is a lack of consistency in the posting schedule. This not only affects post visibility, but it can also make it hard to gain traction with search engines. Creating a social media editorial calendar not only helps you keep posts consistent and timely, but it also gives you a chance to develop an overarching and integrated content strategy. You can map out your posting schedule, fill in business-related promotions and events, and brainstorm for industry-adjacent content ideas that will provide value to your readers.
So, now that we’ve discussed the importance of a consistent, structured social media initiative, let’s discuss how to build your social media presence from scratch.One step alone doesn’t really get the job done or do much for your presence. You will need all three of the following working together to encapsulate who you are on social and drive the conversions you’re really hoping to see.
Creating My Audience
While this may seem obvious, social media requires you first to create an audience. If you don’t have an audience then there’s really no point in posting content as no one will see or read it. So, when you are first starting out, regardless of how great your product or service may be, you need to consider adjusting your goals in the early stages of your social media marketing. Equate it like this – you may be the best singer in the theater, but if no one is there to hear you, who (besides yourself) will ever enjoy that beautiful music?
Which leads me to this. When you first launch your social media presence, don’t jump directly into sales pitch after sales pitch. Instead, focus on tactics to build your target audience first. And, the easiest and most cost-effective place to start is with friends, family, colleagues, and early customers. Remember – you’re not adding these contacts because you necessarily expect to make a sale. Nor are you adding them just to boost your numbers. You are expanding your reach (organically) and providing top-of-mind awareness to as many people (hopefully prospects) as possible.
But why should you care about expanding your audience? Because 85% of small and medium businesses report their best source of new customers is word-of-mouth! Recommendations from family and friends are trusted significantly more than any other form of advertising by over 90% of customers! And, word-of-mouth referrals and social media go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. Even if your friends only like your social media page, they’ve effectively endorsed your business. Just that simple ask from you and their even simpler liking of your page helps expand your reach exponentially.
Engaging My Audience with a Social Media Presence
First and foremost, you must engage your audience with the right and relevant content, at the right frequency (timing), to maintain and improve the attention of your target audience. We understand – It’s only natural that you should want to present yourself as an expert in your industry, however the content you create and share can’t always revolve directly around your business. If all you do is spout thinly veiled advertisements, you’re going to lose followers.
Social media is like attending a class reunion. No one wants to get stuck listening to that one classmate who can’t stop talking about herself. But on social media, escaping from this torture is easy. No one hesitates because there’s no chance of hurt feelings. All your audience has to do is click “unfollow” and that’s it. The damage is done. So, don’t drive your audience away by being a self-promoting salesman. Instead, consider what you can provide to pique their interests, solve a problem, or fulfill their needs. Valuable, industry-adjacent content can be a great way to earn and maintain your audience without wearing out your welcome.
Converting My Audience
Finally, we get to the stage we all tend to focus on – the conversion. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not realistic (or typical) to expect conversions when you’re just starting out with social media and you do not have an audience. Nor is it realistic to expect conversions if you are not yet engaging your audience with relevant content. As you can see, the order of these stages matters greatly.
When you go fishing – it is best to fish where there are fish. Right? That’s building your audience. Then, you need to identify the lure that the fish you are targeting are biting on. That’s engaging your followers. And, of course, the final stage is to reel in that catch. That’s the conversion stage, and, perhaps when fishing, where many “fishermen” have the most fun! After all, everything up until that point was basically hard work and trial and error to find the best lure.
Without the metaphor – focus on finding the right types of content (educational, informational, inspirational, even entertaining) for your social media, and then converting your audience will get a whole lot easier and enjoyable!
Building your social media presence is a great way to utilize free tools available to you. It’s also a helpful when it comes to implementing an inbound marketing strategy. Growing your social media presence (and web presence for that matter) isn’t an impossible task. It can however take a lot of effort and time.
If you find yourself in a tight spot, or need some help with your Digital Marketing ideas, reach out today. We at GreenStar Marketing would love to help.