From simply looking at the social media pages of the Alabama Crimson Tide, the New York Yankees, or the Los Angeles Lakers, one might think, “Oh, social media is easy!” And for the people running those social media handles, it might be because they have a product that everybody is naturally aware of, and is interested in.
Such is not the case for small businesses, especially newer ones. The journey through the marketing funnel is generally more difficult for small startup companies, and it can get frustrating at times. The key is to remember that social media isn’t a tool that’s calculated to make you rich overnight but to help situate you for the long run.
Here are three tips on how to do that:
Choose the right social media networks
If you’re a law firm that specializes in prosecuting dangerous criminals, it doesn’t make much sense to have a Snapchat account. Conversely, if you run a beauty salon, a LinkedIn page probably isn’t going to help your business too much. It’s all about knowing who your target audience is, and using the social media platforms that that target audience uses the most to try to gain a following. It takes time and effort to run social media properly and efficiently, and spending time on a platform that isn’t going to help your company grow is the definition of being counterproductive.
Choose the right voice for your audience, and stick with it
It might be tempting for a healthcare provider to follow all the trends that the “cool kids” are participating in, join in, and potentially get those “cool kids” to say something to the effect of, “Whoa, awesome! This company gets us!” But the reality is, that’s not the demographic that healthcare providers cater their content to, and thus it won’t help your business even if you’re successful in reaching that younger audience. On the day you launch your social media accounts, you need to have a very distinct idea of the voice that you want to use online that will best help you win more business among the demographics you’re targeting- and then stick with it. Even if your follower count doesn’t skyrocket overnight because you’re not making waves with a single viral post, it’s the better bet in the long run.
Install a consistent branding guide
Different social media platforms have different size requirements for your cover or header photo, and some platforms give room for more text than others, but apart from that, your social media accounts should all look virtually identical. That includes setting your logo as your profile picture, that includes choosing and using the right hashtags on a consistent basis, that includes the same description of your company in the bio section, and that includes maintaining that aforementioned voice across all platforms. Customers and clients like consistency, even if they don’t demonstrate it in the form of flocking to follow or like your page, and providing them that over a long period of time will pay dividends down the road.