Using social media to promote your business can be great.
It can also result in a terrible combination of exhaustion, disillusionment and disappointment.
You invest so much time, effort and thought into your social media posts, images and wording, and then nothing happens.
Where is the flurry of likes and the influx of followers? What about the forwards, reposts and retweets? How does another business with three dismal posts have 3000 followers? Read the answer to that last question here!
Even if you liked using social media before going into business, this lack of response can suck the joy right out of it.
Then again, if you weren’t a fan of social media before, this just confirms any negative thoughts and assumptions you had.
Thankfully it isn’t all viral doom and gloom!
There are some simple steps you can take to streamline so you can use social media to promote your business, while connecting with your audience via online platforms.
Let’s use a real life example.
The owner of a fledgling dog walking business recently lamented the slow growth of her Instagram followers. She had a great visual feed, which consisted of a never-ending supply of adorable dog pictures (we should all be so lucky!). Her business was like the Holy Grail for social media content – regular and unique photos, dogs looking lovable/playful/active/tired/dopey, action shots, beautiful scenery and a fervent audience of dog lovers.
We spoke about techniques she could apply to boost her follower numbers, however, this was secondary to the real priority. Her focus needed to be on connecting with her very specific audience, that is, ‘followers’ made up of truly potential clients. These were the people she needed to attract and engage with. These ‘followers’ should consist of dog lovers in the location and demographic who were interested in her services and would be willing to pay for them. These were the people she was solving a problem for.
As a very niched and local business, having a large number of followers wasn’t of any immediate benefit to her sales. Why have thousands of international followers when you are walking dogs within the surrounding suburbs of your business?
It is one of the biggest pitfalls of business owners, losing sight of the objective. We should be using social media to promote our business. Instead, we become enthralled by the fluctuations in our follower numbers and likes.
Also, comparing your business profile/account to competitors, strangers and random companies, has no positive outcome.
Resist the social media hype, manipulations and propaganda!
Instead of focusing on the unproductive and uninformative follower number, the owner of the dog walking business and I discussed switching her focus to local and engaged. She needed to let viewers, users and followers know her services were available and how they could benefit from them. Her business use of social media needed to go beyond sharing gorgeous dog photos and videos – no matter how addictive they are to watch!
Having 1000+ followers who like your pretty pictures is fine, as long as you aren’t using social media to grow your client base. Having a hundred eager potential customers who talk, share, refer and convert is infinitely more beneficial to your bottom line and your sanity.
Many business owners think that, to reach a larger crowd, they need to post more frequently and across all the social media platforms. This is what you actually need to do:
- stop looking at followers and likes
- start looking at your sales
- use social media to get people to your website and/or shop (online or in the physical store)
Social media for business must be treated like any other marketing strategy you use. Just because it is “free” doesn’t mean it isn’t costing you.
Track it. Test it. Analysis it. Improve it.
You need a return on your investment of time, energy and focus.
Owner of Snowed Under SolutionsIf you like it, please share it