Sure, social media is a booming trend right now. But that’s not good enough a reason to invest time into building your online presence when your To-Do list is already the size of Mount Fuji.
One of my all-time favourite mantras is this: word-of-mouth is your greatest marketing ally. Especially as a startup or small business. Wondering what that has to do with social media? Everything, because social media is word-of-mouth marketing. It’s just an online playing field rather than a physical one.
Think of the possibility! Millions upon millions of people are active on social media, and with the right marketing habits, you have the potential to reach a portion of that audience— if you’ve set the foundation to do so. Let’s get started:
Create content in advance
It’s far more beneficial to draft a bulk of posts in one sitting than take the time out of each day to string something together on a need-to basis. Dedicate several hours a week to creating a week or two worth of posts. If your content’s already created, that’s one less task on your plate.
Use a social media scheduling tool
You know you should be on social media. You know marketing yourself on Twitter or Facebook is the right thing to be doing for your business. But damn it, social can be a real hassle. Say goodbye to that everyday dread when you realize you haven’t sent out a post yet. The key is to use a program that does the work for you. I recommend using a tool like Hootsuite (psst- this one has a free option!) to schedule your posts, rather than sending them out manually. As a social media strategist, this is the bread and butter of making my operation work.
Figure out the best time to post
The answer to this can vary, depending on who your target audience is, and what hour of the day they’re scrolling through their social feeds. For one of my clients, who targets female entrepreneurs, her lady bosses tend to be most active from 7-8 a.m. when they’re drinking their morning cup of joe. Another one of my client’s followers are most active from 12-1 p.m.— during their scheduled lunch breaks.
You can do some research for a general idea of where to start, but I encourage you to experiment with different times of day for a week or two. Analyze the data, such as your likes and shares, to pinpoint when it’s best for you to be posting for your audience.
Repurpose your content
Just because you’ve sent out a post once, doesn’t mean you should throw it in the content graveyard. No, no, my friend. Have you ever researched how many people are on social media? How many posts go out per second on platforms like Twitter? At any given second, thousands are going out. Thousands! Odds are, most of your followers will miss your post or tweet the first time around. For that reason, if you have a great piece of content, you’ll want to give them multiple chances to see it. Consider rewording your caption, and sharing your content over and over again, within reason.
Keep it consistent
When it comes to online content, consistency is key. Maintain the flow of content, as it will increase your searchability online and keep you top-of-mind. Social media is great for bringing you to the forefront of your audience’s awareness— the businesses rocking in social media are the ones who have ingrained themselves in the subconscious of their readers. This increases the likelihood that when people think of your particular industry or niche, you’ll be the first expert to come to mind.
Although there are plenty of life hacks to simplify the social media marketing process, don’t forget that it still takes time. Remember that social media is an investment, like any other form of advertising used to build your brand or product awareness. What sets social apart is not only that it’s free, but just about everyone and your next door neighbour have an account on at least one platform. By building your presence on social media, you’re expanding your audience reach exponentially.
Gillian Sisley is a social media-savvy strategist hell-bent on engaging with people on a real, human level.
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