Learn how to maximize your social media time and dollars. In April, I am launching a series of free online social media classes for artists and other small business owners. Go to my contact page to sign up for my newsletter to receive the announcement of the first class in your email box. For more watch this short (under 3 min) video.
Many business owners are slammed with trying to do it all, including their social media. Thinking of you, today I thought a roundup of thoughtful posts on the subject of how to grow your business using social media might prove useful.
Entrepreneur Magazine : Number one is to be consistent with your posting. The number one thing I notice when taking over accounts is a half hearted attempt to get started and then after a week, posts peter out to nonexistent. No one knows you are there if you don't post consistently. I disagree with Number 2. You don't have to be on every channel. Target your market. Post where you know your customers are. Instagram works best for businesess that are highly visual, such as clothing shops or landscape firms, but the legal business isn't that visual, so you are reduced to creating a series of memes. Twitter is best for business to business, rather than business to consumer. Facebook is a must for everyone, especially non-profits. If you use Linked-In, then really use it. Network on it, share blog posts, but posting your resume and then forgetting about it won't make the site do much for you and don't forget to add photos and videos to your Linked-In account to give folks a better sense of what your services are.
INC Magazine: published a good collect of tips the 11 absolute truths of social media. Check out number 11. I can't stress a social calendar enough. Every industry has a cycle of some sort to it. Create a content calendar that follows that cycle. My old yarn store saw business slow down after Mother's Day and start to pick up around July 4th. Special promotions were held in June to keep folks coming into the store. Fall was a hectic time and Christmas always came quick, so be prepared for it all with a content calendar.
Click on the title of each magazine to be taken to the articles. Contact me if you have any questions regarding the content.
Social media is just that it's social. It isn't called marketing media for a reason. Your social media feed can't be filled with just sales pitches. Your readers, what is left of them, will tune you out completely. They want to engage with you and your company. Social media is about being social.
Think of it this way. When you get home you open your mailbox and sort through your mail. Most folks auto toss out the junk mail. Set aside the bills and hope for a letter, a real honest to goodness letter. Well, social media works the same way. Folks will open their feed, ignore the ads without a thought, bookmark the news stories they want to read and then search for that tidbit of connection, a virtual letter.
As a business owner, you spend your time on social media to drive up sales. It is an integral part of your marketing plan. Yes, I know. I get it. Yet I ask you to put yourselves in the shoes of your customer and other followers.
Let them know who you are? Who are the other people behind the scenes. And what do they do? Celebrate your work life. Share your work story in pictures, anniversary posts and other related events. Does someone always bring donuts for the office to share? Then honor that morning moment with a photo and brief quote on gratitude. If you own a brick and mortar business, take your customers on a tour of the shop or restaurant using Facebook Live. Use videos on Twitter and Facebook to announce sales and weekly specials. Follow up with a print version reminder.
Another way to let your customers know who you are as a company is to share quotes that inspire you. They highlight your values and the values of the company. Did a news story strike you as especially relevant, then share the article and add a sentence of reflection. Keep politics to a minimum a you may offend a potentially valuable customer. But if there is going to be a heat wave, you could add a few words as to how your business could help folks prepare. You could also commiserate on how much you dislike the heat.
Artists may also use social media to connect with collectors. Show a new body of work being created in Sneak Peeks. I made a large work in a very short period of time. It took approximately 224 hours to create which translated to 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. I posted updates regularly on Instagram. Folks started to cheer me on. Giving me confidence that I could do it. I also had the largest opening as a result as my followers wanted to see the work in person. See what the hype was all about. I made it social, by talking about the work load, my coffee consumption, my audiobook selections and posting daily about the progress. Looking back at the quote with which I strarted this post, I'd say my service to community was to openly share what it means to be an artist and the real labor involved. Some folks wrote that they now had a greater appreciation for why artist charge the prices they do for their art.