Before I began to develop a surefire social media strategy, I found myself posting anything and everything to “test the waters” of the #abyss that is social media. When I would find that one great quote or make that killer infographic, I would await the viral response of my creative genius…
…(still waiting). Clearly my expectations of all that is #socialmedia were way too high. There is more to marketing on social media than just posting and waiting for new clients to contact you.
Gaining new clients starts with being social on social media. Hashtags encourage conversation and delivering information in an approachable way builds loyalty amongst your followers. This loyalty then gets you shares and reposts, which, of course, helps you get more followers.
Think of social media like a digital party you are hosting. As the host, your mission is to keep the conversation flowing, to keep things fun and lighthearted, and to create an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome and comfortable.
If you were going to host a party, you would need a plan, a guest list of people to invite that share similar interests or connections, and an open mind. Social media success relies on much of the same. Instead of planning party games and menus, you can plan your content, timing, voice, and conversation.
Find Your Voice
Your voice is how you convey your brand’s personality to your audience. It includes uniformity in words, attitudes, and values. In order to shape your brand voice, you need to get to know your audience.
What are their interests? Where do they live? What places (or other websites or social media sites) do they visit? What do they like to do?
Remember this: If you know your audience, you will find your voice and if you find your voice, you will reach your audience.
Think of your content like you would the décor of your office. This décor represents your taste, has a consistent style, and makes people feel comfortable (hopefully). For example, if you want to convey a sense of calmness, you may choose to purchase an essential oil diffuser and use soft color patterns throughout your space. You may even play classical music in the waiting room to foster this sense of calm.
Your social media content should also represent your taste, generate conversation, and have a consistent style. It should make people feel comfortable. When you develop your content, you want to encourage communication with your audience. You want them to engage with you and feel good in your presence.
Post photos, how-to guides, and share news and events. You can even ask people for their opinions and acknowledge holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions. All of these strategies can build customer loyalty.
Remember this: Social media is not just a place to sell your brand. It is a platform to connect with your audience, tell a story, and portray a feeling.
Time it Right
I don’t know about you, but I would not post several different items on my personal social media accounts at one time. Occasionally, I will post that one hilarious meme followed by a delicious recipe, though I do not want to overload my family and friends.
This rule applies to your business accounts as well. You don’t want to overload your audience with content. You also want to be careful not to go silent.
A good rule of thumb is to post 1-2 posts per platform per day during the times that your audience is more active. You can use what you know about your audience to determine this time or you can look at post insights on a platform like Instagram to determine which times of the day your audience tends to view your content the most.
Remember this: There is a fine line between engaging and bombarding your audience with content. Keep a steady content delivery schedule for success.
Let’s revisit our party example for a moment. If you were hosting a party, you wouldn’t talk entirely about yourself, right? (#ihopeyousaidno) You would want to get to know your guests. In order to have a good conversation at a party, you would ask questions and start discussions with your guests.
Think of your audience as the guests at a party. Post content that is conversational. Give your audience an opportunity to respond to you and to connect with you—and don’t forget to respond back to them.
You can use a call to action to get your audience to engage more if need be. A call to action is a way of getting your audience to do something. You can ask that people submit photos or stories, respond to polls, or visit your website to read your latest blog post or to sign up for a special.
Remember this: You can use social media for sales as long as you keep things entertaining as well—like one of those Tupperware parties your mother or grandmother used to host.
Mastering social media takes time, planning, effort, and grit. Follow the above tips to lay the foundation for social media marketing success.
Rose Skeeters, MA, LPC, PN2, NCC
Rose Skeeters is the creator of Thrive: Mind/Body, LLC, an innovative online counseling & coaching group practice aimed at providing accessible, affordable, specialized and convenient services to anyone, anywhere. Skeeters also provides consulting and clinical supervision to like-minded and driven clinicians. Are you interested in learning more tips to grow your online practice or to level up? Contact her today at firstname.lastname@example.org.