Social media is here to stay. As an entrepreneur or small business owner if you’re not using it to grow your business you are missing out. I am sure you have seen the statistics by now. In 2015, 73 percent of U.S. Americans had a social network profile, representing a six percent growth compared to the previous year according to Statista. The numbers do not lie. Social media is a way of life all over the globe.
As an entrepreneur or small business owner if you’re not using social presence on-line to grow your business you are missing out. By 2017, the global social network audience will total 2.55 billion, – according to Emarketer.
Below I’ve listed my easy 5 step process for developing a strategy for social media marketing.
1. Identify your goals.
For every company there should be a mission. Your company mission should have a mission statement. For every mission there must be a goal. What is the positive outcome or end goal that you want to achieve? You may want to become internet famous, you may want to get speaking gigs, you may want to promote a book or training program or you may just want more customers. Whatever it is you must write down your goals and the logic behind them. Understanding where you want to go and how you’re going to get there will help you devise the best plan and route you should take.
2. Get Brand Clarity.
Get clear on your brand before you put it out there. Answer these 3 important questions. What do you do? Who do you help? what do you want to be known for? Once you are able to clearly articulate the answers to these questions, you can communicate this on social media or in front of anyone. You must be able to clearly and succinctly say in one sentence what you’re all about and describe your business model in a way that makes sense.
3. Master the art of Pull Marketing.
Pull marketing is about client attraction. When you create core messages with strong call to action statements, you are setting the stage to have people in your target audience self qualify and respond with, “me too” or “I need that” or “where can I learn more?” Your goal is to have ideal prospects able to clearly see themselves in your business model. They need to be able to see that your company offers exactly what they have been looking for.
Social platforms are a great tool for utilizing pull marketing tactics. Whether you run ads or create a poll, survey, or contest you can get targeted leads using social media advertising and messaging. The key is crafting messages that your target market will respond to.
4. Connect and build relationships.
In order to sell anything to anyone you need to have a trusted relationship. This concept holds true on-line as well. You must truly connect, converse and engage with people on social media before they begin trusting you. One of the best ways to engage with people is by using groups inside of social media platforms like Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. In these group you can converse and have electronic conversations with people and demonstrate your expertise. On social sites like Instagram and Pinterest, you have to use hashtags. On Twitter you use hashtags and lists to engage with others.
Whatever platform you’re on, make certain to showcase what is unique about you. You must be able to clearly articulate your unique sales proposition. When people do not understand what is different about you, they reduce your product or services to price.
Another great way to build relationships with people on social media is to follow, comment and share their content. On every social media platform, there is an opportunity to provide feedback by sharing, commenting or clicking a button to like the message. When you show up on that person’s social media page, they are sure to notice you, sooner or later.
5. Create an action plan and content marketing calendar.
Using social media can be overwhelming. That’s precisely why you need a social media action plan and a content marketing calendar. How are you going to mix social media in with your overall marketing strategy? You must understand that marketing works best when you have a few strategies complimenting each other and working together.
The number one reason why you need to put together an action plan is because, your ideal customers are searching for you on-line. For example: You’re a health & wellness life coach specializing in nutrition and teaching people how to lose weight without dieting and have a better relationship with food. Your prospect is on-line searching for key words like weight loss, healthy foods, life coach, diet and wellness. As an entrepreneur in that space, you must show up in the search when the prospects go looking for a solution to their problems.
For every industry, there are people looking for answers to specific problems. You must create messages for every problem that the people in your target market has. Social media gives you a unique opportunity to communicate frequently with your target market on a wide variety of topics.
As you can see, using social media as a method to grow your business requires you to go back to the basics and understand marketing 101. Once you complete each of the steps above, you will have a better handle on how to incorporate social media to grow your business.