Small business owners have consistently full plates. Aside from selling our products and services, marketing to potential customers is critical. For many of us, researching, writing, and implementing the all-important marketing plan is also a huge undertaking. It takes time, energy, and lots of creative juices to determine where, when, and to whom you’re marketing.
Now, enter “social media”. Many Millennial entrepreneurs start out of the gate with both feet firmly set in small business social media marketing concepts and ideas. With Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, well, not so much. For those of us not born into, but rather adjusted to the world of social media, creating an online business space can be daunting and downright scary. But, it’s gotta’ get done!
How many of you created a Facebook business page because that’s what everyone else was doing? Come on…raise those hands! It doesn’t take long to realize that setting up the profile is the easy part. The hard part is figuring out what to do next. How can you get traction and attract potential customers to your page when, other than your website, you have no online currency?
Let’s look at two critical, but often overlooked, initial steps to help you get social media traction, attract relevant followers, and hopefully, get more eyes on the product or service you offer.
Determine Your Target Audience
Sounds familiar, right? Remember all the research you did to identify your target audience when writing that small business plan or preparing your traditional marketing strategy? That very information is extremely important now that you’re venturing into social media territory. As with traditional media, determining your niche audience can help you tweak your product offering, confidently determine your pricing, and decide how to effectively market to customers online.
Determine Your Audience’s Preferred Platform
Knowing specifics of who your customers are leads to the next step of finding them online. Your specific audience spends most of their time on one social media platform or another. They don’t have the time in a day to spend hours on Facebook, and then hours on Twitter, and then even more hours on Instagram. Thinknabout how you interact on social media. More than likely, you have one platform that appeals to you more than the others. The same goes for your target audience. Instagram may simply appeal more to your audience than Twitter, or Facebook more than Pinterest. Do your research! For example, according to a recent Hootsuite blog, 82% of adults online, ages 30 – 49 use Facebook , but if your audience is between 18 – 29 years old, Instagram may be the better option for your product. And here’s a consideration – brace yourself…is your target audience even on social media?! Again, DO THE RESEARCH!
After you’ve thoroughly researched your target audience, you may be inclined to create a Facebook business page or Pinterest account. Your research will help you make smart decisions about where best to focus your energies. Even if you create more than one platform profile, you must still decide where you will focus most of your attention.
While there are a million thoughts running through your head as you prepare to enter the social media business world, you must make these two priorities. The last thing you want is to have put 6 months into a social media campaign, only to realize that the people you’re targeting aren’t interested in your product or service. Worse yet, you realize you’ve been ignoring your true customers the entire time.
Master the basics, first!
[Part of the upcoming MonicaAnnette Social Media Tips Series “Mastering the Basics”]