Social media is easy, right?
Create a business page on the platforms you like, link all your social accounts up to Hootsuite or similar, start scheduling posts, setup automatic message replies and bam! People start engaging and sharing your content.
Well that was great… a few years ago when every post would reach most of your followers. Now social media platforms have changed and continue to change every day. Just when you might think you have mastered the craft, the field changes. It is proving increasingly difficult to keep up or even predict what developers might change next to stay ahead of the game. New social media platforms will enter the market and threaten the existing ones we have grown to rely on. The arena is highly competitive and with a digital advertising spend of $7.9B, you can understand why.
Source: IAB Australia/PwC Online Ad Expenditure Report; CEASA
These days, as a business, we have to use social media differently if you want to grow a following and keep them. We need to get back to the roots of why each platform was created and what their intended use is. Facebook was not created as a shopping tool to sell people your products or services, surprisingly, it was developed as a way for us human beings to interact with each other, no matter the time or distance. As we reflect on this as a team, looking back to 2003 when Facebook landed literally on our laps, some of us were barely teenagers and have not known life without it. The other half of us can remember joining Facebook and how it suddenly made you feel that you were connected with friends, even though you hadn’t physically seen them for quite some time. One of our teams’ favourite Facebook features is the birthday reminders, giving you a chance to send good wishes into your friends’ special day, that may have previously been otherwise forgotten.
So if you want to know where to put your money and attention in 2019, keep reading.
Understand the strength of each social media platform
Facebook was not designed to drive traffic to your website. Facebook was originally designed for you, that’s right you, to be creating posts and engaging in discussion with your friends, followers or fans. Every day Facebook is making it more difficult for you to reach your entire following without paying for it. So what is there to do? The pressure of posting fun, unique and sharable content exists in every post. Followers can be fickle and unfollow at the click of a button, so providing handy information, sharing untold stories and benefits about your business is the key to keeping your following engaged.
There is nothing worse than following a business on social media only to discover that the business isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Be as authentic and real as you possibly can across all your social media platforms and don’t be afraid if you are a little bit different. Conversely, if you think you are a little bit boring, you may need to search a little harder to find ways of making your posts more interesting. But always remember this, people want to do business with people, not corporations. They want to get to know the people that make up the corporations. We are quickly realising that the people stories are what makes other people want to do business with you. Like attracts like and if people like you, your business will be a place they enjoy engaging with.
Just because your competition is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s a great idea for you to do it as well. Stop being a sheep and following the flock, and start doing the opposite of what your industry is doing. There you will find the gold, the cream, that may even create a disturbance in the mass amount of information that is being fed to potential customers that will find your content much more interesting than your competitor next door.
Stop selling and start engaging
You know those business pages you see all the time with sponsored posts in your feed. All they do is sell sell sell. You think, yeah I kinda like some of the products they offer, but all they do is try to jam their entire product line down my throat and now it’s somewhat annoying – I might unfollow them. Don’t be that business. Develop a ratio of how much of your content will be informative and engaging content and how much of it will be sales related.
Share images that don’t relate to your business
Sometimes businesses think that if I’m in accounting, then all the images I can show are calculators and graphs. Instead of showcasing the features or services your business offers, showcase the benefits of what it means to have a great accountant. Showcase people living their lives in abundance. Share a success story from one of your existing customers. Share photos of what you do for lunch, the activities you do as a team, as this all contributes to your success as a business. There is no time to be shy in business, people want to do business with people they trust. The quicker you can make this happen, the faster your following will grow.
Monitor and measure all your results
Firstly, you need to have a plan and stick to it. You need to have clearly defined goals. Then, you need to know what works, at what time and why. Understanding why a post generates more likes, shares or comments and how you can replicate this with other content is essential to keeping your following.
The world of social media is ever changing. As a new member of The Marketing Factory team, I welcome you to reach out and get in touch to discuss how we can make great things happen for your business on social media. I look forward to meeting you soon.