If you're not using social media to market your business, you're missing out on an entire generation of new clients. Facebook has over 1 BILLION users, many of whom could be interested in your products or services. Don't leave money on the table by skipping over this modern marketing tool.
Here are some easy ways you can start leveraging social media to increase sales and engagement.
1. All of your social media platforms should be consistent and streamlined so you can build a strong and iconic brand.
Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+. All of these accounts should either have your name, or some variation of it, or the name of your company, as your handle.
If for some reason your name is not available, sometimes adding a middle initial is an option. (This is also a good way to help you figure out a company name if you don't want to use your personal name. If all of the social media handles are taken, maybe think about a different name for your company.)
You want people to recognize your name and brand without having to think about it.
When you see a red can with white cursive writing, you don't need to pick it up to know that it's a can of Coca Cola.
Having a brand that is strong and recognizable will set you apart from all of the other ---insert what you do here--- out there.
You can also use your business name as the handle and in the introduction/description use your name so the two become synonymous. You can click on all of my social media accounts above to see how I've streamlined Traveling Wild Woman with Shannon Whaley across the board.
2. Pick 2 of your favorite platforms and focus on creating a really strong presence.
If you're focusing on too many platforms at once, you won't be able to do any of them well. Stick to the two platforms that you enjoy being on, as this will ensure consistent engagement with your followers. If you're rarely on Twitter, don't focus on Twitter. Stick to what is already working and then pour gasoline on it!! This is not time to re-invent the wheel.
The photo captions on Instagram give you a great opportunity to mini-blog. Explain the feelings and thoughts behind the pictures rather than just saying, "Here I am in front of the Colosseum." What did it take for you to get there? How was the taxi ride? Did you sit outside at the little coffee shop across the street before you went in? What makes the picture interesting? Don't waste this really useful space to be dull.
When you share personal stories, your followers begin to feel like they know you, and this is part of building your Know, Like + Trust factor. You're building relationships, so let your audience get to know YOU better. There are a million coaches out there, but what sets ME apart is my story, where I've traveled, what I do on a daily basis. Make your audience your friend and they'll love you for life.
Interact with your audience. Comment back, like their comments, engage with them and always ask questions to keep the conversation going.
If you get a lot of comments on a Facebook post, space out your replies so the picture or post will pop up in other people's feeds throughout the day. For instance, if you have 10 comments, like and comment on two of them, in an hour or so go back and like and reply to a few more, and do that for a few days. It will keep bringing the post up on people's feeds and your engagement will increase tremendously.
3. Create a content calendar.
It sounds like a pain, and I'm not gonna lie, in the beginning it's a little bit of work, but it's totally worth it.
Create a theme for the month so you have some structure in your content. When you have a clear idea of the topics that you'd like to cover and share with your audience, it takes the pressure off of you to create something if you're feeling uninspired or too busy.
You can also create sub-themes for the week, that tie into your theme for the month. You don't have to announce the theme to your audience, this is just a good way to give yourself some focus and structure.
You can use your editorial calendar to plan out your daily Facebook and Instagram posts, as well as the other social media platforms. Set aside a few hours to create a content calendar in Google docs, color coding each platform. Facebook, Instagram, blog, newsletter, LinkedIn, different Facebook groups, etc. Then you can see where to post and when and it takes the guess work out of your social media presence.
If you're still feeling stuck, ask your audience what they want to learn about!! I created this Market Research Guide to help you interview potential clients so you can create content and products that sell themselves!! I give you the exact questions I ask when I get people on the phone to learn more about what will help them the most!!
4. Re-purpose your content.
Re-use the content that you've created across your social media accounts, just not all at the same time.
If you post a picture on Instagram and then post it on Facebook, Twitter, in your Facebook groups and in other people's Facebook groups and pages, IT'S SPAMMY AND ANNOYING.
By all means, it's totally ok to re-use the same content on the different platforms, just space it out by a few hours, and even a few days!! This is where the content calendar comes in handy!!
Say you post a cool picture and mini-blog on Instagram. Let it sit there for an hour or so, and then share it on your Facebook page. Then choose ONE group to share it in, and then chill out. Wait a day, or even two, before you post it in another group. Keep track of where you posted and when, and if you REALLY want to get technical, track the number of comments and likes so you can figure out where you should be spending your time on social media.
Did you post something in a Facebook group and it got 5 likes? That group either doesn't like your content or isn't highly engaged. Time to find another group.
I see people posting the EXACT SAME picture and post in sometimes four and five different groups at the same time, forgetting that the same people can be in all five groups. It starts to feel really sales-y and unauthentic. Don't be THAT person.
When your target audience gets announcements that you've posted in five groups within seconds of one another, it takes away from the feeling that you're sharing from the heart and instead makes it seem like you're posting just to make a sale.
5. Share your story, from the heart.
Melissa Cassera once said: "Facts tell, stories sell."
I cannot tell you how much my business has picked up since I started sharing EVEN MORE of my life and my story.
I thought I was already pretty vulnerable but it wasn't until I started speaking more openly about my sobriety, my breakdowns in my business and my mental health issues did I start to book more discovery calls and get hired by women that I absolutely adore.
Share, share, share.
We are in a really interesting time right now where people are CRAVING human connection and understanding. My belief is that politics, suicide bombings, all of the religious and lifestyle persecution is dividing so many of us, and yet all we want to do is CONNECT with one another.
When you share your heart and soul with others, it creates the opportunity for them to do the same. By sharing your story, you give people permission to start speaking about things that they've kept hidden all these years.
If you want to have a massive impact in this world, show people your heart. Show people your truth. Get emotionally naked with them and you will set yourself apart and create the tribe and following that you've been dreaming about.
Yes, it's about getting clients and making money. But that's a by-product. When your focus is sharing your heart and your story, the money is a no-brainer. It's on its way.
I can confidently say I know I will not only meet, but surpass my financial goals, because money is not what's driving my business. What's driving my business is my deep, deep desire to connect with people on a heart-level, and show them how to do the same.