Does social media marketing make you want to pull your hair out? There are so many options available to get the word out and build credibility. It can be easy to throw your hands in the air in defeat. We’ve all been there, heck, I still find myself getting tangled in the array of new social media platforms. But, it doesn’t need to be so insufferable; there is a shining light at the end of the tunnel. Zero in on your target. Don’t waste your time trying to use Twitter, Facebook, Snap Chat, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, (I could go on) all at the same time. If you are working on a Startup or growing a small business you will be pulling your hair out after one week of trying to do it all and do it right.
Who is your target market?:
Determine if you are a B2B (business to business), or B2C (business to consumer) business. Are you targeting both B2B and B2C and struggling to market your business effectively? I would recommend adjusting your business plan to focus on one market. Effective social media is all about knowing who your target market is.
Consider the following:
- Is your business B2B or B2C?
- The age of your target market.
- Are they predominately male or female?
- What size of company do you work with?
- Where does your target market live?
- Do they have a family? Religious beliefs, hobbies, etc?
Write A Business Plan
Knowing your customer is essential to marketing your business. Have you written a business plan? Consider asking a local professional or checking out these two books. For those creative folks who cringe at the thought of writing a business plan, check out The Right-Brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success by Jennifer Lee, otherwise Business Plan: QuickStart Guide by ClydeBank Business will get you on track. Remember, you can’t target everyone, find your niche and stick to it.
Why is writing a business plan an important step in navigating the social media landscape? It helps you define your business landscape, target market, and provides you a roadmap to navigate the day-to-day chaos of running a business. Your customers need a reason to care about you and what you’re offering. That means connecting with their needs, wants and interests. Start doing research; troll online forums like Quora, and Reddit to find out what your potential customers are talking about; what questions they are asking, and what help they need. Finding answers to these questions will help you understand what your target market cares about. Don’t be afraid to make changes as you learn more about your customers. Changes are inevitable! The longer you run your business the more your business plan will change with it.
Choosing a Social Platform:
So now that you have built the profile of your potential customer, what social media platforms are they most likely to use? As I stated before, trying to do it all will most likely lead to failure and collapse of your social media campaign. Start small and expand over time. Stick with one or two platforms you feel comfortable managing or can commit some money too. By narrowing in you’ll ensure the best return on your investment.
If you are targeting a business, LinkedIn has been proven to generate more leads than Facebook or Twitter. LinkedIn is a business oriented social media platform where respondents are most active Monday through Friday, 9-5. It also offers a place to publish articles, update your status, advertise a promotion to a targeted group, and be active in a community of like-minded professionals. This is a great place to provide expert advice to businesses you work with and develop credibility as an expert in your field.
If you are targeting a consumer, Twitter and Facebook are great platforms to start building your tribe. Don’t assume that posting regular updates and promotions will build your following. Engage in the community; spend more time commenting on other people’s updates than generating your own content. The last thing people want is to talk to an impersonal company that just toots its own horn. Most people use Twitter and Facebook during lunchtime, after work and on weekends. Consider scheduling your posts ahead of time on Hootsuite so you can catch
Study after study show the impact of visual marketing on individuals. Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram are powerful mediums for building brand awareness, marketing a product and getting people excited about what you do. For example, subscription boxes like FabFitFun have generated massive interest through consistent advertising on Pinterest. They know who their customers are; young women who are interested in beauty and health products, who get excited about trying new things. Do your clients are more visually inclined; watch YouTube videos daily, and like to share interesting content with their friends? This may be the area you should invest most of your time and money marketing.
Now that you have a clearer path to marketing your business, you can take a deep breath, stop pulling out your hair and start focusing on what’s going to grow your business. Remember that social media marketing is a long game. Don’t expect results overnight, or immediate success in the first several months. This is about building credibility, growing your ‘tribe’, and driving leads consistently over time.
Written by Kim Thomas,
Owner of Frey Creative Graphic Design Studio