BY NICOLA MORAS
Social media is a content machine that is never ever satisfied when you’re running a small business. Your audience is demanding new content if you want to keep their attention and that alone can create a bit of stage fright or ‘flashing cursor syndrome’ when it comes to trying to work out what to post, when to post and how to online. This tends to lead to overwhelm which less than ideal.
Businesses in this day and age cannot afford to ignore the importance of using social media especially if you want to be relevant and still in business in the next 2-5 years. According to Forbes magazine, 78% of consumers say companies’ social media posts impact their purchases. That’s a huge number and one we simply cannot afford to ignore. How much are you missing out by not using the power of social media? There are four steps to work through in order to create impact and return:
What makes your company different?
We’re not just talking about your products and services here. We need to be clear on what makes you as people different from your competitors. What are your strengths, your knowledge, your R&D processes, or who are your people?
This is very different from the standard ‘USP’ because it requires you to delve deeper into what makes your business, your company and yourself different. Being able to articulate this very clearly will create the confidence for you to be able to share online with authority and certainty in a way that builds impact.
Know your audience – demographics as well as psychographics
Business 101 will have you doing work on your ideal audience and it’s an incredibly valuable process, but most companies only do it to about 50% of how it could be done.
If you delve deeper than their gender, age-range and marital status you’ll find all sorts of gold that you can use to create digital marketing that speaks directly into them as humans. From their fears and problems that they have. Their stress points, dreams, goals and desires. Knowing this will help to create an emotional connection with your audience online.
For example, if you know that your audience is someone who wants to write a book but they’re deathly afraid of putting themselves out there for fear of judgement. You’ll have a very different conversation with them online versus the standard “3 Steps To Writing A Bestseller” conversation.
Get inside their heads and understand what really makes them tick. Connect with them on a very emotional level. This will have you standing out as being different.
Building Presence and Platform
One of the most powerful things that you can do online that will drive impact is to share your opinions and thinking in your area of expertise, products and services.
There are many platforms out there to choose from where you can share this and it can often lead to being put in the ‘too hard basket’ when trying to decide where to focus your attention.
Focus on my 3 Pillar rule. Build a presence on Facebook (with a global, growing user-base of more than 2.2BN people you cannot ignore it), your website where you’ll be blogging regularly and then choose either Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter depending on where your audience tends to spend the majority of their time.
Posting various pieces of content consistently, multiple times per day. (Productivity tip: You can share the same thing you posted on Facebook to a different platform at a different time)
How to get a return
With all of this social media and digital activity, many business owners neglect the most important step, which is letting people know how they can buy.
My rule of thumb here is that you will post five pieces of valuable content (solving problems your audience has or helping them with achieving their goals, dreams or desires) and then you will make an offer to buy a product or a service or even download something for free that you might be offering them as a way of getting them into your email database.
When you follow these four steps you will be creating impact and return because you are speaking directly to the audience who you want to buy from you. They are scrolling through the endless supply of content realising that YOU are the one who can solve their biggest problems, you understand them and they feel heard and validated.