Social Media: Work Out What Works For You*

(*hint: it won’t be the same as what works for your friends)

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest; the list of social media platforms is almost endless and when you’re in business you sometimes feel you should be on all of them. Well I’m here to tell you not to fall into that trap.

Who is your target audience?

You should have thought about your ideal client when you were planning your business. If you’re further along in your business you should have an idea of the clients you’re looking for or that you enjoy working with. If you’re not sure, STOP and get your ideal client identified before you go any further.

What social media platforms do your ideal clients use?

Knowing the kind of client you’re looking for will give you a good idea of the platforms they use. If you already have clients ask them what platforms they use and connect with them.

Choose 2 of those platforms and concentrate on them…

The trouble with being on every possible social media platform is that you won’t do any of them well. If you pick a couple to focus on you can make a really good job.

It’s not a quick fix

Social media isn’t all ‘sell, sell, sell’, your aim is to build relationships with your audience. Obviously you’re going to want to do some selling, but aim for one sales-related post to three content rich, useful posts for your readers.

Review regularly

If you feel like a particular platform isn’t right for you (someone described it to me as feeling like you’re “talking to yourself”), don’t be afraid to stop it and try something else, there really is nothing worse than putting in a lot of time and feeling like you’re getting nothing in return.

When to post

Keep an eye on when your ideal clients are active on the platforms you’ve chosen. Posting important stuff about your business at a time when your key audience isn’t engaging will mean that your messages could get lost in the fog.

Don’t forget online forums

The standard social media platforms aren’t the only places potential clients could be spending time online, don’t forget to search out and be active on specialist forums catering for your niche markets.

Connect with colleagues too

Building relationships with colleagues in your industry is a worthwhile use of some of your social media time too. Seeing other businesses as colleagues rather than competition can be useful both as a support mechanism and as a way of finding partners for projects.

Putting in some work

To identify the places where your ideal clients ‘hang out’ online and then making useful contributions to the discussions happening will help you to grow your reputations as a ‘go-to’ person when your ideal clients are ready to buy.

If it works for your friend it doesn’t mean it’ll work for you

I have friends who sell make up and beauty products and cookware, both really visual products, so they have very successful Facebook pages. There are only so many pictures of notebooks and pens I can use to illustrate my work, so it wasn’t nearly as successful for me. Just because something works really well for your friend’s business don’t assume it will give you the same returns.

And if you need any help

Planning or executing your social media strategy help is just a click away.

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