So you want to start your own business, huh? Congrats! You’ve taken the initiative toward being your own boss, which is admittedly a challenging but potentially rewarding career path. However, keep in mind one of the most anxiety-inducing parts of entrepreneurship: securing clients.
Depending on your marketing skills and luck, finding enough clients may be a minor annoyance or a severe obstacle in growing your business. In any case, your business will only survive if you can consistently convince other people to buy your products or services. Fortunately, you have one of the most powerful tools ever to help you snag more clients…
The Power of Social Media
Despite their reputation as time-suckers, sites like Facebook and Twitter can be put to productive use. Like any other tool, your results with social media will depend on how skilled you are in utilizing their potential.
To help you, here are some essential tips that will turn you into a social media whiz:
1) Identify Your Unique Selling Point
Now you might be thinking to yourself:
“How is this tip relevant for social media marketing? Any entrepreneur worth their salt knows how important it is to have a unique selling point.”
Yes, you’re right. Businesses that thrive are those that can identify the unique selling point that they can offer. That’s precisely why we’re starting this article with this essential tip. You’ll be surprised by how many business people fail to devote enough time to work on their unique selling point. Without taking enough time to finish this crucial step, you’re crippling your potential for success.
Your unique selling point is the sole reason that clients would want to approach you in the first place. Your business needs to address a market pain point that other firms can’t or won’t solve. All the marketing gimmicks in the world can’t save an enterprise that can’t offer a strong unique selling point.
Social Media Research
Okay, so how would you proceed with finding your unique selling point?
Social media can help you out here. Investigate if people want the products or services you’re peddling to them. Look at trends. Scroll through your competitors’ Instagram channels or Facebook pages and look for any flaws in how they serve their customers that you can exploit.
Before social media, businesses have been thriving and dying because of their unique selling point (or lack thereof). Now that you have the power of the Internet at your fingertips, what’s your excuse?
2) Determine Your Niche
Alongside your unique selling point, you need to decide which particular groups your business will cater to, as well as how you’ll reach them. Your niche is the specific section of the general audience that will make the most use out of your unique selling point.
Let’s suppose you run a shared workspace business like CircleHub. Do you expect that running ads without a target audience would be sufficient? The chances are that most of the people who view your ads will come from groups generally uninterested in your services, like high school students or retired grandparents. Having no targeting strategy means that you’re throwing away your marketing budget on efforts unlikely to give you the results you desire.
It’s Time to Surf the Net
To assess your niche, you need to investigate the online communities you want to reach. The right way is to find active groups of like-minded people, all of which have something in common.
Do you specialize in making customized board game pieces? Check out the Reddit board game community. Want to find out what dubstep fans like? Read the video comments on the Monstercat YouTube channel.
Get as much useful information about the niche you want to target. Afterward, use that information to fine-tune your marketing approach.
3) Understand the Different Platforms
Social media might look all the same, especially if you grew up before the modern Internet took off. However, each platform has its peculiar flavor. Specific demographics prefer each social media site. Understanding the differences between each platform is key to fixing your marketing funnel.
Know Your Facebook From Your Twitter
These two platforms cater to more general audiences due, in part, to their vast popularity. The vast majority of people have or had an account on at least one of these platforms. However, there are still fundamental differences between the two sites.
Facebook, by nature, is more content-rich. Posts here tend to be longer and contain more content. If you’re launching a photo album infographic describing what your business does, the material fits better in this platform. The drawback here is that you’re somewhat less likely to reach people outside of your immediate network.
Twitter might have a smaller character limit, but people tend to circumvent that rule by continuing their messages through replies. This microblogging platform specializes in short quips designed to squeeze out as much engagement as possible from every word. However, tweets can reach more audiences when done right, especially if you put the hashtag system to good use.
Twitter users are typically younger than the average Facebook demographic. There’s even a joke that teens flock to Twitter to escape their parents who made accounts on Facebook.
Check Out More Specific Platforms
Of course, why limit yourself to Facebook and Twitter? Check out other platforms that cater to more specific needs.
For example, content-rich marketing materials are better suited for YouTube and Instagram. Do you want to cater to other businesses or to establish professional networks? LinkedIn is your friend. If you’re ambitious, you can even consider platforms not typically considered as social media, such as Spotify or Medium.
For each platform, craft an approach that takes advantage of its strengths. By combining multiple platforms, you get to engage with your audience across different experiences. Keep everything organized, and clients will soon go to you in droves.
4) Build Coherent Branding
Branding is the bread and butter of marketing. It encompasses the first few interactions of your audience with your business. For many people, those interactions will also be their last. However, good branding signals the value of your business to the people you want to target the most.
Regrettably, a lot of businesses don’t take the time to create consistent branding across all their platforms. The result: confused audiences and wasted money.
What you’ve just read might sound like a cliché, but it’s true. Every part of your marketing approach matters—from your tone of writing to the color schemes you use in your graphics. You need to make sure that all of your content have similar styles to make them coherent.
One good test for coherent marketing is to get a random person and have them read your ads. If they can recognize immediately that these ads belong to the same business, then you’re good. If they know immediately that your business is the one behind these ads, and if they’re compelled to follow your call-to-action, then that’s even better.
No Copy Pasting
However, coherence is no excuse for laziness. Duplicating your content across the sites you use is unlikely to bring you the results you want. Remember that you still need to take advantage of the peculiarities of each platform. The fundamental approach is to subtly modify the content that you push on each platform while retaining the core messages that you want your audiences to know.
Are you having trouble?
Don’t hesitate to hire someone skilled in social media marketing and graphic design to work on your branding. That way, you can focus on managing and expanding your enterprise.
5) Select and Monitor Keywords
One of the things that set social media apart from traditional media is that it’s easier to keep track of topics that you find relevant. Most platforms incorporate artificial intelligence algorithms that try to guess what you want to see. These sites use your online activity, including the keywords that you use during searching, to figure out your interests.
What if you want something more than the default offerings?
Use the search bar!
Seriously, you can take advantage of search capabilities by curating a list of keywords relevant to your business. When you use these keywords in searches, you’re able to see more relevant information, such as industry developments or the scoop on your competitors.
The Power of Search Engines
That said, not all media platforms have exceptional search capabilities. If your searches aren’t giving you the results you want, remember that you can always use external search engines like Google. As long as the information you seek is publicly available, search engines should be able to crawl and index them for easy searching.
An even more powerful way is to use some of Google’s keyword tools. For example, Google Trends can be a useful way to see how the popularity of each keyword changes over time. Incorporating the information in marketing tools such as Google Ads will help supercharge your marketing funnel.
6) Engage Consistently and with Relevance
Some newbies make the mistake of not curating the content that they share with their audiences. Always remember:
Your marketing funnel is different from your personal blog!
Unlike in Facebook, where you can post content without overthinking, you need a more systematic approach when determining which content to push out of your channels. Social media platforms assess your performance continuously, so a string of underperforming posts may be enough to derail your popularity by a bit.
Fortunately, there are a lot of available tools that you can use to fine-tune your marketing approach. CircleHub has compiled a list of useful apps for small businesses, and it includes helpful software for social media management.
The key to improving your social media content is to analyze data. Most platforms have an analytics section that shows you how each piece of content performed according to several criteria. From there, you can determine which resonated the most with your audiences. Study both your greatest successes and worst failures, and use those lessons to improve the social media presence of your audience.
7) Use Your Existing Networks as Leverage
An often-forgotten tip is to manage your expectations. If you just launched your business on social media yesterday, don’t be surprised if only five people have subscribed to your channel. Unless you achieve the unlikely goal of virality, it might take weeks or months for you to amass a significant following.
The Magic of Friendship
However, you aren’t alone. Unless you’re holed up and hardly talk to anyone, you should already have friends and essential connections, even as you’re establishing your business. Don’t be shy about utilizing their networks by having them engage with your platforms. Encourage them to interact with your content, and don’t forget to ask them for feedback.
At the start of your marketing journey, each action holds a lot of weight. Maximize the human resources that you have right now, using them as a springboard to jumpstart your social media presence. Don’t forget to say thanks!
8) Remember to Complement Your Online Communications with Real-World Interactions
Finally, remember that you still live in the real world.
Even businesses that are purely online can benefit from real-world interaction. Despite the prevalence of the Internet, many people still prefer to meet up at physical locations to discuss ideas, establish links, or build their networks.
Imagine that you’re a client. What would you remember more:
First, an advertisement you read on Facebook.
Second, a coffee shop meeting where you got to talk with the business founder.
Of course, nearly everyone would find the second scenario more engaging. As social creatures, humans find it more impactful to communicate and understand each other. Deep connections are more comfortable to obtain when you get to regularly meet with the person with whom you want to form a bond.
Remember also to consider logistics. Find a place where you can work in a professional setting with minimal interruptions. Shared workspaces such as CircleHub are good options. Your local coffeehouse is another viable choice. Pick somewhere you can be at ease with whoever you want to meet.
By following these tips, you’ll soon build a strong presence across social media. With a little patience, you can convert that presence into leads and clients.
Good luck, future social media magnate!