Marketing has changed so much over the last decade. There is still a place for print, radio, and tv, however, social media is critical to growing your business. Luckily, it can also be the most effective and affordable option. However, there are many options and if you are not part of the youngest generations, it can be overwhelming and baffling to know where to start or what to do.
I’ve gathered a few tips that I have found helpful and have learned over the last few years.
IF YOUR BUSINESS IS NOT ON SOCIAL MEDIA, YOU SHOULD BE
The other day I came out of my house to find a Yellow Pages directory in front of my garage. My teenage son looked at it and asked what it was. When I told him, he looked at me and his face said it all. It was like, huh?
I, too, am baffled that it is still in print. Is anyone using it for anything other than a doorstop?
The point is, NO ONE – and I mean n.o. o.n.e. is going to look for your business outside of the internet. That is where social media comes in. Creating a presence in social media not only brings awareness to your brand, when done right it provides better search results for your website and builds relationships within the community.
Instead of pulling out a giant phone book to find a hair stylist or car mechanic, we all search online. Even so, ultimately, FACEBOOK has become the new Yellow Pages.
You must have a Facebook business page if nothing else!
According to Pew Research, 69% of all adults (18-65) are on Facebook. Granted, Facebook may not be your primary focus for social media marketing, but if you are not listed on Facebook – you are less likely to be found – or considered reputable or viable.
In my experience, most folks start with Facebook to look up information for a business. Not having a Facebook business page is the equivalent of not having a phone number back in the day of phone books.
Word of mouth or organic traffic to your website may be great for you, but at the VERY LEAST, have a Facebook page for your business. Think of it as a digital business card.
WHICH SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS SHOULD I HAVE A PRESENCE IN?
This is the biggest question I receive from solopreneurs (those working from home and are a one-person business). As I mentioned before, Facebook is a must. Even though there are numerous channels to choose from, start with one or two and focus on those to start with.
The top six social media channels are:
- G+ (Google plus)
Outside of these, you really don’t need anything else. (Unless your research says that your target market spends their time on a different channel.) At the same time, you don’t need to be on all six of these either! Pick only a couple to start with.
If Facebook is the new Yellow Pages, then Instagram is the new billboard or mini-magazine. Pinterest is like the Home Shopping Network, Food Channel, and DIY channel all rolled into one. Twitter is a giant soapbox (think of the days when folks stood in the parks on a soapbox to shout out their message). LinkedIn is a white-collar cigar room or newspaper – where folks sit around and share their accomplishments, skills, and make connections for the purpose of promoting their industry.
Which one you choose to promote your business, depends entirely on your message and audience. For example, if you have a product-based business you NEED to be on Instagram or Pinterest. Are you part of a cause or social-focused industry – get involved with the discussions and opinions on Twitter.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I POST?
There are varying opinions on this topic, but COSCHEDULE.COM recommends the following:
- Facebook 1-2x/day
- Twitter 15x/day
- LinkedIn 1x every other day
- Instagram 1-2x/day
- G+ 2-3x/day
This is very subjective because they did not identify the TYPES of posts they were referring to. If we are strictly speaking of posts that promote your product, service, or brand, then I would agree with these recommendations.
Aside from promotion posts, it is imperative to build engagement and relationships through non-promotion posts. These would be quotes, sharing posts from others, possibly including something personal (be selective) – but definitely relatable- to your optimal client base, etc. Think something fun, sweet, engaging, and also anything related to your field. Folks don’t want to always be sold to, they want to connect with you.
We are just hitting the very tip of the proverbial iceberg. Stay engaged as I create a social media series. But don’t wait to start your own research! At the very least, set up your Facebook business page and share it with us below. If you already have a Facebook business page, make sure it is updated with current content and share it!
MICROBUSINESS TRIBE: I've created a Facebook GROUP for small business and micro business owners. Click here to join and share a link to your Facebook page there!