We all use social media to some degree or other, either personally or if you have a business you may also us it to promote your business. But most people use social media for business in a haphazard finger crossed kind of way, with no clear strategy to their actions or even what they use.
However social media is a brilliant free marketing tool if used correctly and with a strategy in place, but how?
First off decide what social media you want to use. You think easy I want to use all of them- why not? Wrong approach guys, you want to go where your people hang out where you will be seen, and you want to make that social media of choice a fantastic advert for your services. Trying a scatter gun approach using Facebook, twitter, Instagram, TikTok, etc will take up a huge amount of your time meaning that you’re more likely to get bogged down and give a little to each giving you lacklustre returns.
Research shows that for business it’s best to pick one social media forum and concentrate heavily on the one of choice. Post frequent and communicate heavily with others, but make sure there is some justification to your social media channel of choice.
So how do you choose how to select your social media channel? First up you need to know where your ideal client hangs out. That means you need to know who your ideal client is…. do you? I know that you think every paying client on the planet who needs what you provide is your ideal client BUT they are not. Your ideal client is the client who uses your services frequently, is loyal to your brand, refers you, advertises how great you are on their social media, turns up on time and generally makes working with them a breeze. Trick is everyone’s ideal client is different. Depending on what service you offer them maybe an ideal age bracket for your client (if you pierce belly buttons its unlikely that you get much traffic from the over 50s for instance). Ideally sit down and draw up an outline of your ideal client this will help you better understand where to find her or him.
Once you know who your ideal client is you will be able to ascertain what social media she/he uses, have a look at your current social media efforts and see where you seem to get most traction. For instance, The Beauty App gets most traction from Instagram so that’s the platform that I use most heavily. Then take a look at who interacts with you on your preferred platform, chances are you may have found your ideal client and social media platform.
Depending on the platform of choice your next step is to get your branding right, do you have a brand? Does it represent you and your business and will clients recognise it. Your branding needs to be something that your ideal client can relate to and enjoy seeing.
What is your posting strategy? What you post needs to appeal to your ideal client, what are they likely to be attracted to? Ensure that your images would appeal to them.
Clients like to see the face behind the brand, this adds personality to your brand but also gives clients an idea of how you might style them. Make sure you look the part, you are after all a walking advert for your brand (as are your staff if you have any). This means ensuring that if its hair services you provide, then your hair looks fabulous. If you are a young and funky hairdresser’s then make sure you can demonstrate the latest styles and colors. Similarly if you cater to the more serious grown up professional market then ensure that your style, your make up and how you dress reflects that.
People love authenticity and there is a huge drive through social media to be authentic. A way to help your brand achieve this on social media is through the use of existing client images. Not only does this showcase your work, it shows that you have a relationship with your clients and it keeps your brand authentic in a way that using proper paid for models never could. One word of caution though, always ask your client if you can use their image and let them know where you will post it and how it will be used.
One last point which seems obvious but isn’t. Please make sure you can be found. I follow literally thousands of great businesses on Instagram. But unbelievably a big proportion of those businesses don’t detail anywhere on their page where they actually are or even in some cases what country they are in. They might have a pile of info on their bio including a website but nothing at a glance that tells me their location. This means that if I like the look of that business or what services they offer I have to go searching to check if they are in my location. Most times people won’t bother and that could be a client lost because they didn’t realise that your located in their hometown. Sounds simple and it is so make sure its prominent on whatever social media platform that you choose to you use.
So, your strategy is …….
1. Create your ideal client
2. Choose one social media platform and hit it hard
3. Make sure the platform that you choose is where your ideal client hangs out
4. Have a brand that reflects your business, your ideal client and your services
5. Be authentic
6. Be fabulous – you are your brand so look the part!!
7. Be easy to find