Here’s a challenge I come up against A LOT from people who want to use social media to market their business. They are inconsistent. Either they can’t afford the costs associated with hiring someone to do it for them or they think they can manage it themselves. So many entrepreneurs and business owners don’t find using social media second nature. The thought of doing it themselves is overwhelming and they never start or try it for a short period and then abandon ship. Ever go looking for a business on social media (YES! People do that ALL THE TIME) that hasn’t posted in a year or more? Ugh. Not good.
Sometimes what's effective for marketing on social media is a matter of basic common business sense. For example, if you’re clear about who your audience is, you can be clear about your marketing approach. Trying to convey one message to numerous demographics will water it down and reduces your chance of actually connecting with any of them. Growing your business by letting people know you, like you and trust you is still the cornerstone of growing a small company. All that has changed with the onset of the internet is how we communicate with them.
So that means the real question you need to be asking is how do we build those relationships online? I promise you once you get it, it is infinitely more efficient than the old school face-to-face game. I can hear many of you groaning – if you’re old school, you hate to hear this truth, I know, I’ve had the conversation a zillion times. Just hear me out – remember abandoning ship hasn’t served you so far, so keep reading.
I should be used to hearing that social media doesn’t work as a marketing tool, but because I know this is a complete falsehood, I’m always surprised. As Gary Vaynerchuk, the social media guru and digital marketing trailblazer has been known to say: “ Saying you don’t believe in social media is like saying you don’t believe in the internet”. Just because you don’t know how to use it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work! It just means you don’t know how it works.
Relax, the ‘tricks of the trade’ are way more simple than you may expect. And that’s my point. No matter how you decide to implement a social media marketing strategy, there is one thing that will literally make or break your online visibility. Are you ready for it? I am about to let you in on the one secret that all social media players already know. It’s intense and magical and it will shock you.
The one thing you need to use social media as an effective sales & marketing tool is consistency.
That’s right, consistency. You can’t post 3 times a week and think you will suddenly start selling online. You can’t push your Facebook posts to Twitter and think that will do to start building business relationships with people. And you certainly cannot blog four times a year and build reputation as an expert in your field.
Of course, there will be arguments about the quality of content, what gets engagement, how to reach your end user and more. There certainly is more to really selling online. A lot more actually. I didn't say consistency is ALL you need but without it, the best content in the universe is a waste of energy. I often find that people look at the big picture, get overwhelmed and don't even start. So if you consider being consistent your goal, then all you have to do is one post. Then one more. Once that's second nature, you can move on to the next piece.
See, the thing is that people get to know, like and trust people by consistently learning about them by the content they produce. Content that is created to represent a brand, product or philosophy. Now that we are able to use the internet to do this, we need more frequency and, well, consistency.
Hopefully by now you've got enough evidence that proves this social media stuff is for real. Come back next week for Part II. I'll throw some easy tips your way if you've made the committment and are ready to do it.
As always, Inbox me if you have a question I can help with!
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Catherine Mellon is a Social Media Director with 5 years experience helping entrepreneurs & small businesses use the internet to grow their business.