Everyone who is anyone is on Facebook, but social media is more than just Facebook and it continues to change and evolve all the time. A new platform or app is brought out to try and tempt users away from existing ones, usually with a new treat or something, like Snapchat with its clever face swap. And you might feel that’s what Instagram did with its filters but look how successful Insta is now! In fact, some people have left Facebook for Instagram as they just want to see photos and don’t want to get into debates like you get with Facebook. So, how do you make the most of social media?
Develop a Strategy
To get the most from your social media, I recommend you have a strategy in place, especially if you’re a business or advertising your services otherwise you’re in danger of your social media becoming a weapon of mass distraction. I’ve developed a template to help you form the basis of your Social Media Strategy which is available from my resources page.
- Identify your customer/client.
- Think about the social media platforms available.
- Identify what your customer is doing on these platforms.
- Design your posts to meet the needs of the customer/client and decide how best to reach them.
- Make sure this aligns with your business goals.
A lot of businesses swear by LinkedIn as a route to getting clients. When I started my virtual assistant business, I wanted to work with a tradesman as I thought I could help them with their admin whilst they went and managed the technical side… Needless to say, I did not find them on LinkedIn! They typically didn’t have time for social media or to be searching for something they didn’t know they wanted on the computer! So that’s why you need a strategy in place otherwise I could have wasted lots of hours posting trying to attract a tradesman.
I eventually found a gardener who wanted to work with me (early morning networking is great for trades!) He had a social media marketing manager already and had a question about the posts on FaceBook. He was concerned that his speciality was landscaping and taking on a whole gardening project targetting busy people who didn’t have time to complete the work, but his SM was posting pictures of flowers etc. I asked who his customers were on the platform, the one in question was FaceBook and he admitted it was mostly women. So I helped him to see that the posts of flowers were targeting the market on the platform and that was leading them to become aware of his other services in the landscaping business.
Posts should be specific to the social media platform as well as the customer
You do need to know your social media platforms to understand what posts will get the best engagements. For example, Instagram is a photo platform where people put up great photos and engage with people all over the world. If you don’t have photos or a graphic of your services, you will not engage with people here!
I put up a photo of a rock climber advertising my virtual assistant business… I got comments on the brightness of the photo! I use this example to demonstrate you need to put the right graphic for the audience on that platform.
Facebook is primarily a place to socialise with your friends and family. Business pages have allowed this dynamic to change slightly but if you approach your customer base with hard-sell tactics, they will just hide you and disengage because that is not the reason they are on Facebook.
Facebook groups can be a good avenue for engaging with new customers, especially if you provide a service. There are often local groups where people ask for a recommendation which allows you the opportunity to make them aware of your services, even better if you can get a customer to recommend you on.
When should I publish my post?
So you’ve developed your strategy and crafted the perfect post to engage your target audience, so now you want to know if there an optimal time to publish your post for each platform. It’s a good question and the answer will change on the type of post you are putting out.
If you think of what your customer is doing on the platform, you will get an idea of when is good for your posts. If your customers travel to work by train, then 7am-8am when they are stuck with nothing but to do but scroll on social media might be a good time. But if your customer is a busy mum, that might not be a good time to post!
I have completed some research to give an indication of when might be a good time to post but the best method is to use your analytics on the platform to understand what is successful for your posts.
This might all sound fantastic, but you’ve absolutely no interest in social media so don’t want to spend hours on so many platforms to raise awareness of your brand. Well, that’s the beauty of a virtual assistant that specialises in social media – you can get them to do it for you! I am happy to work with you to define your social media strategy and think about the posts you want to put out there to attract your customers. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a chat.