Who here has spent what felt like 10 minutes scrolling through their phone…and then looked at the clock and realized an hour has actually just passed by? Who here has ever felt just a little bit attacked by their Apple weekly screen time report?
Almost everyone has a general awareness of the bad sides of social media. In fact, I could write an entire novel on that topic alone. However, that’s not going to help anyone grow their business. As irksome as social media can be, I know that its positives far outweigh the negatives. After all, I run a social media agency, how could I not?
Using social media effectively begins with a change in mindset to approach it as a worthwhile time investment instead of a time suck, as so many understand it to be.
The reality is, if you run a business, it needs to have a social media presence. Even if your social media strategy is simple and basic, it is essential for the following reasons:
- Legitimacy – You may not like it, but if your business does not exist on social media, potential customers will question whether you’re even operating. A Facebook Business page solidifies that you are an active business with the information you can commonly find on Google Business, like hours open, contact information, and even a list of your services. Consider a Facebook Business page as a way to optimize your visibility and reach more customers, as they often show up high in search results.
For those wanting to heighten their brand, a LinkedIn Company Page will help legitimize your business and get you closer to your target audience. Many solopreneurs think their personal LinkedIn page is enough and that a Company Page is unnecessary or even overkill. No matter the size of your business, a LinkedIn Company Page is important to expand your personal brand and we recommend it more often than not.
- Keeping up with the times – Any good business owner knows that if they don’t adjust to keep up with current demands, they will not survive. The same goes for your marketing strategy. We live in a digital world and there are 4.9 billion social media users across the globe. Based on that information alone, not being on social media could equal a lot of opportunities to miss out on.
How your social media presence can help your customers
Prioritizing social media not only benefits your business greatly, but it actually is a huge perk for your customers (and we all know happy customers are good for business!). Here are the many ways in which social media can create a positive impact on your customers.
I often recommend business owners think about their most frequently asked questions from customers and create content out of that. This ensures you are speaking to your target audience and showing that you can help solve their problems. Education is one major content pillar that is like the gift that keeps on giving.
- Providing value
Aside from education, a great social media account can also be known for providing entertainment, inspiration, and so much more. As a business owner, you know what value you have to offer. So, why not showcase that value to a wider audience and greatly multiply its reach through social media?
- Solving problems
Simple how-to videos can go a long way, especially if it saves you time from having to show customers how to do things over and over again. A YouTube channel or a Story highlights bar on Instagram, for example, can be a resourceful place to direct customers to, while at the same time branding you as an expert on your subject.
- An outlet for your customers to reach you
Remember that social media can be a customer support tool. If you plan to use it as a customer support outlet, however, just ensure you (or your social media team) can respond in a timely manner and set expectations through auto-replies as to when customers can expect to hear back from you.
Everyone likes free things. If you’re willing to offer a free perk on a consistent basis, giveaways are a great way to not only expand your followers, generate engagement on your page, and reach new customers, but retain your customers as well. It is the most loyal fans, after all, who make great impacts on your social media growth.
Focusing on these benefits will make social media a win-win investment for your business, your customers, and your potential customers.
How to make your time on social media worthwhile
Now, we know that even while working on these positives, social media has its drawbacks. Here is how you can avoid those setbacks and best maximize your time.
- Unfollow unproductive accounts – Commit to a monthly cleanse of accounts you follow. The next time you scroll through your feed, too, pick out any content that does not serve your business or that gives you negative feelings. Consider whether that account is one that you really need to follow. Channel your Marie Kondo and eliminate! Additionally, you can even tell Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to essentially show you less content like that with selections like “I don’t like this post.”
- Commit to a time limit – If you’re going to perform 15 minutes of Instagram engagement every night, then set a timer for 15 minutes and actually cut it off after that. It would be easy to continue going for another hour, but then you won’t be maximizing your time. It goes without saying, but you have so many other parts of your business to be managing. If social media is an aspect that you handle, then time-block it and set intentional goals to make sure it is effective. Otherwise, you will be allowing it to pull you away from what you do best and that defeats its purpose.
- Have an action plan for your time – What social media actions will drive you closer to your goals? If posting five times per week is going to effectively help you make multiple touchpoints with prospective customers, then set time aside to make those posts in a bulk and schedule them ahead of time. I might be the world’s biggest fan of scheduling social media posts ahead of time because being distracted from your business to post every day is exactly that, a distraction. Dedicate time to think about your content all working together as a strategy, not working one post at a time. Then, you can set it and forget it. Scheduling tools allow you to do this and only focus on the engagement part.
As for social media engagement, consider how much time you really think you can spend maintaining your feed and engaging with your audience. Those who receive a lot of notifications, comments, messages, and inquiries should prioritize spending at least 30 minutes per day responding to this (or hiring someone else to). Those who are still working to grow their audience can often focus on this aspect for roughly 15 minutes per day.
Finally, be intentional about your engagement. Make a list of keywords or hashtags to search for and engage with the trending content surrounding it to expand your visibility. Consider the topics your target audience cares about and share those posts as Instagram Stories. While you’re at it, check out your competitors and see how you can do better than what they’re doing. Perhaps even engage with their followers, who have a need for what you offer.
Still don’t want to do social media? Trust me, I completely understand that. And the team at Backcourt Marketing is here to take it on with excitement and purpose.
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