How to use Social Media to Grow your Business
Whether you think social media is the most important part to growing a business or you’d prefer to never again hear the word “tweet,” then you’re in the right spot.
My goal here is to make sure you’re intentional and focused on the right things that will grow your business and community more quickly, rather than wasting your time, money and effort.
Do you need to be on social media?
Social media has become such an important part of our daily lives and sometimes it seems like this is the only way to reach to your costumers. However there are new platforms rising every day and you might get the feeling that you need to be present on all of them. But unless you have the resources to maintain all those platforms, they are not going to bring you the results that you expect. Instead of being on every single platform, you should go deep on 1-2 platforms so that your audience really gets to trust you and your brand and knows that they’ll get quality content every time they see your username pop up in their feed.
What this means for you is that you don’t need to be everywhere.
Find your core social media platforms and go hard on those instead. It may even just be one platform that you’re particularly active on. Doing that is enormously better than spending your weeks feeling frazzled and fake as you craft social media personalities that feel forced and automated, rather than real.
Which social platforms to target?
Here are a few things that you should consider…
- Where is your audience hanging out most?
This tip is the most obvious, but it’s true and worth mentioning. If you’re trying to build a business, then you have to get over the hump of only wanting to use social media platforms that feel comfortable to YOU.
Plenty of people say that they have no idea how to use Instagram Stories or Snapchat, even though they know their target audience loves those platforms.
And instead of trying to figure out those platforms to build better relationships with their peeps, they stick to the platforms they’re already comfortable with and squander the chance to go deeper with their crew.
But business is about adapting. And whether Snapchat is around next year or not, you’re still building the skills that are required in order to connect with the potential customers and clients you’re trying to attract.
Bottom line: don’t just go hard on a platform just because YOU enjoy it. Do it because you’re invested in creating a community for your audience, too.
- Incorporate video.
Whether you love it or hate it, video is the evolution of digital content, and at this point, it’s hard to disagree.
Pretty much every popular social media platform — Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter/Periscope — heavily incorporates video (and often live video) into their features.
So, when you’re trying to figure out which platform to hop on full force, consider which one you can rock video on in a way that feels comfortable to you.
- Which platform accentuates your brand?
If you’re a graphic designer, Twitter may not be your bread and butter. But Instagram or Snapchat might work since they’re largely visual.
If you’re a motivational speaker, you may find it more worthwhile to do twice-weekly Facebook Live classes than to post recycled quote images on your Instagram, because you know that will speak more deeply to your audience.
It’s not only about your preference, but also about which platform brings out the best of your brand.
What’s the point of social media?
Social media CAN help you grow your list and sell more products or services. Those two things are simply side effects of successfully accomplishing the MAIN goal of social platforms:
To connect and engage with your audience.
So, instead of thinking of social media as a way to “convert” people, think of it as a way to build a deeper bond with someone.
Building that bond is often WHAT will convert them into a subscriber or customer later on because they now know/like/trust you.
So, I believe that you should use social media to build community and humanize your brand, rather than ways to directly convert someone into a customer.
What are some ways that you can do this?
Well, Gary Vaynerchuck just started the #5MinClub as a way to build community and engagement. He throws up an Instagram post that shares his entrepreneurial perspective about something and anyone who shares their own perspective about that topic in the comments within the first 5 minutes (using the #5minclub hashtag), has the chance to win some cool prizes from Gary.
He’s training his audience to engage with him…and as a byproduct, with each other (as they may want to respond to other people’s comments if they agree or disagree).
Others may engage in their Facebook group to answer questions and teach new ideas.
And some may share behind-the-scenes videos on Snapchat or Instagram Stories each day.
But the people who are using social media well are generally not on every single platform (and if they are, you can usually bet that there’s a team of people runnin’ the show behind the scenes).
Most people really killing it at social media are usually just really good at one or two things and not worrying about the rest.
And truly, that’s the whole reason I wanted to write this post. So that you would feel comfortable cutting out the excess and only working on the things that bring you joy and actual results for your business.
Or more simply: don’t just try to grow your number of followers because that somehow seems important. Focus, instead, on creating quality content and engagement on just a couple of platforms, and the community will come.
This is something that took me a long time to finally see, but unless you approach social media with intention, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need to be EVERYWHERE (which just dilutes your brand and shrinks your potential results).
Which brings me to my final point…
Social Media is not an Email List
Social media can be a fabulous tool for showing YOU and your personality and the gorgeous community you can create for your brand.
But it is not an email list.
And it will probably never directly bring you the same results (revenue-wise) that an email list can.
So, first and foremost: grow your email list. And focus on sending value to your subscribers each week. Building engagement with your subscribers will quickly create a tribe of raving fans.
And then move on to social media. But like I said, just 1-2 platforms where you can be engaged and intentional, rather than spreading yourself too thin and connecting deeply with no one.
Which platform(s) will you choose? Leave a comment and let me know!