Social networks are here to stay. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, if you are not using it to grow your business, you are missing out. I’m sure you’ve seen the statistics by now. In 2015, 73 percent of Americans had a social media profile, representing a six percent growth compared to the previous year, according to Statista. The numbers don’t lie. Social media is a way of life around the world.
As an entrepreneur or small business owner, if you don’t use online social presence to grow your business, you are missing out. By 2017, the global audience of the social network will total 2.55 billion, according to Emarketer.
Here’s my easy 5-step process for developing a social media marketing strategy.
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 you want to achieve? You might want to get famous on the internet, you might want to get gigs, you might want to promote a book or training program, or you might just want more clients. Whatever it is, you need to write down your goals and the logic behind them. Understanding where you want to go and how to get there will help you figure out the best plan and route to take.
2. Get brand clarity.
Clarify your brand before publishing. Answer these 3 important questions. What do you do for a living? Who are you helping? Why do you want to be known? Once you can clearly articulate the answers to these questions, you can communicate it on social media or in front of anyone. You need to be able to say clearly and succinctly in one sentence what it is all about and describe your business model in a way that makes sense.
3. Master the art of Pull Marketing.
Marketing pull is about attracting customers. When you create core messages with strong call-to-action statements, you are setting the stage for people in your target audience to rate themselves and respond with “me too” or “I need that” or “where can I learn more?” Your goal is to have ideal prospects capable of seeing themselves clearly 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 using pull marketing tactics. Whether you’re running ads or creating a survey, survey, or contest, you can get targeted leads through advertising and messaging on social media. The key is to create messages that your target market will respond to.
4. Connect and build relationships.
To sell anything to anyone, you need to have a relationship of trust. This concept is also valid online. You really need to connect, chat, and engage with people on social media before they start trusting you. One of the best ways to interact with people is by using groups within social media platforms like Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. In this group you can chat and have electronic conversations with people and demonstrate your expertise. On social sites like Instagram and Pinterest, you must use hashtags. On Twitter, use hashtags and lists to interact with others.
Regardless of what platform you are on, be sure to show what is unique about you. You need to be able to clearly articulate your unique sales proposition. When people don’t understand what’s different about you, they lower the price of your product or service.
Another great way to build relationships with people on social media is to follow, comment, and share their content. On all social media platforms, there is the opportunity to provide feedback by sharing, commenting, or clicking a button to like the message. When you appear 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 is precisely why you need a social media action plan and a content marketing calendar. How are you going to combine social media with your overall marketing strategy? You need to understand that marketing works best when you have a few strategies that complement each other and work together.
The number one reason you need to come up with an action plan is because your ideal customers are looking for you online. For example: you are a health and wellness life coach who specializes in nutrition and teaches people how to lose weight without dieting and how to have a better relationship with food. Your potential customer is online searching for keywords like weight loss, healthy food, life coach, diet, and wellness. As an entrepreneur in that space, you should appear in the search when prospects are 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 people in your target market have. Social media provides you with a unique opportunity to frequently communicate with your target market on a wide variety of topics.
As you can see, using social media as a method of growing your business requires you to go back to basics and understand marketing 101. Once you complete each of the steps above, you will have a better idea of how to incorporate social media. to grow your business.