G.A.’s Quick and Dirty Social Media Tips

10 Oct

Everyone thought social media was just a sexy trend that would soon pass, but it’s looking like its here to stay for a while. I’ve had conversations with several people over the last few weeks about developing and implementing social media strategies for a variety of end goals. For the past year, I’ve been working as a freelance social media coordinator and have come up with some quick and dirty tips for your venture— whether it’s for your ice cream delivery service (someone please do this near me) or just to try to get all of your friends to like your witty commentary on your raucous neighbors.

The first thing I must do is make a disclaimer: Social Media is NOT advertising.

Repeat after me: Social Media is NOT advertising.

Think about it—people get on social media to “hang out.” They get on there to see their friends new haircut, share jealousy-inducing pictures of their fabulous vacations, Instacreep on their ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend, etc. People don’t want hard sells on social media. They don’t want you to be saying “Buy this, buy this, buy this.” Don’t people DVR television shows these days just so they can fast forward through the commercials?

What people do want on social media is to feel connected. To feel special. To feel part of something. To feel like they know you, know your product, know your brand. They want to hang out with you—laugh at your jokes, hear your interesting stories, learn something or be inspired. So cater to them.

My four W’s: Who are you talking to, Where can you find these people, Why do you want to engage with them, and What are you saying?

Who:

If you don’t know your audience, you need to take a few steps backward and identify it. Be specific. I’m not going to go into outlining your ideal client/target audience, but what I will say is BE AS SPECIFIC AND DETAILED AS POSSIBLE. You really can’t move forward until you have an idea of who makes up your audience.

Where:

Once you know who you’re talking to, you’re going to know where to find them. Don’t waste your time trying to get on every social platform out there. Be smart. If you’re a retirement home, do you really think your ideal clients will be on Instagram and Snapchat? And if you’re a teen boutique, do you think they’ll be concerned with your Linked In profile? It’s more valuable to have consistent, tailored, knockout content on two or three platforms than one post every four months on a half dozen networks. Figure out with platform or two your audience is already hanging out on, and go put yourself in front of them!

Why:

What are you trying to accomplish with your social media presence? Providing customer service in real time? Letting your audience get to know the person behind your business? Positioning yourself as an expert in your field? I cannot say this enough: Be useful, be inspiring, or at least be entertaining.

What:

Like I said earlier, do NOT make your page all about yourself. Make your page a resource for your audience. If you’re a kitchen store, then post recipes, local foodie events, articles about area chefs, funny cartoons about cooking… be creative and have fun. If you aren’t interested in your content, chances are, nobody else will be either. I tend toward the 80/20 rule in social media: 80 % of your content is about your audience and 20 % is about you. Using the kitchen store example, only post store events, sales, and new products 20 % of the time. Otherwise, your audience will be bored and disinterested.

Be personable and engaging—ask questions, encourage response, and PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING RESPOND TO YOUR AUDIENCE. If you get a direct message, respond to it within a day or two. Comment back, favorite a retweet, tag other people or businesses…this is social media. Not “I’m a recluse sending things into Cyberspace on my iPhone” media.

 

This is not rocket science. It doesn’t require hours of work every single day. If you’re consistent and dedicated, you can spend 15 minutes a day on your social media strategy. But it’s like a sourdough starter—you must feed it regularly or it will not yield anything.

This is a basic overview…if you have questions or comments, post them here!

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