All Social Media platforms have a similar way of starting, which is by creating a profile. And as a business owner, you can start setting up your Social Media account by creating a business account or business profile.
After setting up your account, what is next is how to get your audience, which is popularly known as “followers” on most Social platforms. You want to gather as many audiences as possible because the more audience you have, the more visibility your brand has.
Understanding Your Targeted Niche
One important thing before you start gathering your audience. Every business must have a target, as a business owner, you know the kind of customers (or client) you want, but more importantly, you know the location where you can find the kind of customers that you want. So you will have a niche in mind that you see as a good ground for your business to thrive. You might have speculated, but you have to be sure there’s going to be a good market in the niche you have targeted, and in order to achieve this you have to carry out a market analysis.
You have to be sure there are enough people in your targeted niche who are willing and able to purchase your offer (either products or services) at a good enough price that you are able to make your profit from the sales too. This is why a market analysis is needed. Market analysis is a research where you gather information about to know more about your targeted niche. In market analysis, you must have a broad knowledge of your prospective customers. You need their detailed information, for example, you need the population, education, occupations, average range of their incomes, entertainment and recreation and of course how well they use the internet. From this research, you will be able to know the possible reaction of your prospective customers.
Market Analysis isn’t just about knowing your prospective customers but also know if there are advertisements (competitions) in your targeted niche already. It is safe for every Entrepreneur or business owners to assume there is a competition in the market already, as this would make you want to make your awareness dynamic because you know you are not the only one. In your research, you have to find out about the competition in your niche.
Knowing as much as you can about your competitors will give you a great edge. Find out about their brand and identity, check their materials (which can include their website and Social Media handle), know about their ads (the style and method). Check their customers’ reactions, review or feedback. The reason you are doing this is not to cause them any harm, but from this research, you will definitely see good things that you can emulate from them. Also, you will see their strength and weakness, you can utilize their weakness to your own advantage, thereby making your business better. Market analysis is the best way you can evade competition.
Expected Results of Market Analysis
At the end of your analysis, you should be able to:
• Know your prospective customers’ inclination and proclivity (the kind of choices they would make depending on the offers presented to them).
• Know how to ameliorate your products and (or) services based on your interaction with the customers. You’ll know their taste, their preference for appearance and packaging of products, and their preference in terms of customer service.
• Set a price standard for your products or services based on the financial capability of the customers as this will reveal how much customers will be able and willing to pay, which will set a good profit margin. Also comparing your competitors’ price can give you an insight into your own price standard.
• Create efficacious Social Media ads, as this will help you get rid of unwanted or unprofitable promotions thereby helping you get rid of unwanted expense in your marketing. You’ll know the kind of content that will be included on your Social Media platforms and the kind of offers that you can use to attract your customers.
How to Reach Your Potential Customers
Now that you have the market analysis of your targeted niche, you need to create awareness, making your potential customers know that you exist. No matter the amount of information you have about your customers, if they don’t know about your existence, there is nothing you or they can do about it; they can’t patronize you.
All Social Media platforms have paid traffic plans, where you can select a location and audience you want. You get to set the preferences of who you want the ads to reach, like location, age bracket, gender, interest, and other things. This is a great advantage as it saves you the luxury of making random ads and promotions and you hope for lucky hits. It also saves you the cost of spending on irrelevant things that won’t contribute to the promotion of your business.
Nurturing Your Potential Customers
Writing Social Media content goes beyond using “flashy” or “catchy” words as a means of trying to get the attention of the audience. You have to know the mind of your audience (this is a problem you should have dealt with during market analysis), what will interest them and will “tickle their fancy”. Knowing that you are not just putting a random string of words together, you should watch out for the following tips and make use of them in writing your Social Media content.
• Catching the audience’s attention
The first thing you want to do is getting the attention of your audience, and this starts with the title of your post. The title is very important when I want to read a blog post or Social Media post myself, once the title doesn’t interest me, I drop it, because I feel it’s a waste of time. Your title will determine the number of people that will read your post out of the number of people the post reached. I have seen bloggers use this technique a lot. Where I download my movies, after downloading, sometimes I end up reading quite a number of blog posts because I see ads with titles like “5 dangerous things you don’t know about mangos” then I begin to wonder, how can mango be possibly dangerous? I want to know, so I click the ad and I fell into the trap of the writer. Also, your first statement in your post matters a lot. I see posts that start with a title like “How a 23 years old student made his first million” I am interested, I’d say “Really? Is this possible? Let me see” and I go on ahead to read the post and I see “Do you know you can make up to $5000 in a week by working from your home?” In my mind, I might say “Come on, that is not possible, let me see how they want to do the magic” and I read the post even more.
• Precise error-free
Be sure to post content that is free of any error whatsoever, if need be, you can hire a writer or an editor to proofread and make corrections where necessary.
• Be convincing
Truly, you are competing for the readers’ attention but also you are trying to convince them that your offer can be of benefit to them. You have to be able to tersely describe how your offer will be of benefit to them. You will describe stupendous benefit that readers will get in your offer, you can start this by posting as a captivating excerpt, the reader will say in his mind “tell me more” then you barf it all out.
• Be absolute
You don’t want to write in a way that describes you as uncertain and unstable. Stay away from using words like “maybe”, “probably”, “we think or I think”, “hopefully”, etc. Be absolute! You are telling readers what to expect, you can’t sound unsure you have to convince them they will DEFINITELY get what you are offering them.
• Be as brief as possible
Most social media users are not interested in long posts, all they want is a post that says something that interests them, once they see that the interesting thing, they move on. The reason is that there are many posts to read so they wouldn’t want to waste time on one post, it will turn uninteresting is a while. I do this too, once the post is getting too long, I’ll move on as there are a lot of other things to read. You will do well by cutting away unimportant statements or words in your content. What you want is to make the readers quickly know the reason they are reading your content and to show them it’s worth their time, rather than bore them with unnecessary details.
• Be consistent
On Social Media, consistency is key. You want to avoid seasonal appearance, your followers must know that you are always available online, the best way to ensure this is by posting consistently. On my personal Social Media accounts, I get rid of friends/followers that do not post regularly, because I think what are they doing there if they can’t write posts? You have to build a consistent online presence. Consistency in posting makes your followers expectant on a daily basis, this is a good advantage. Followers are more likely to easily feel a connection with a brand that posts regularly, authentic and devoid of mendacity, rather veracious.
• Good graphic designs
Get good quality and professional graphic design for your brand logo, page and content. Infographics is very helpful when it comes to Social Media content, it helps in driving your point better while audience find it attractive as well.
• Be a good listener
Listening to your audience might even give you a lot of information and make you stand out from many other brands. Consumers like it when they know their opinion, ideas and input matters to the company, as they see this as the company knowing their importance. While using Social Media, make sure you respond to audience. Brands that respond well to customers emerge on top always. A quick example, when I opened my PayPal account, I had difficulties adding my debit card as payment option, so I told a friend of mine, he told me to message the PayPal support that they’ll reply within twenty four hours. I messaged the support and truly, in about twelve hours, I got a response through a mail. I was surprised, I’ve never seen anything like it, very quick response. This builds a confidence in your audience because they know that they can reach you anytime and you can respond to them quickly.
Planning Your Social Media Content
First thing I’ll say is taking your time, being in a rush has never and is not helping anyone. I know you can’t wait to see your brand or business at the top, everybody wants that, but being in a hurry has never been a solution. I have heard this little analogy from people that “if you want to cut a tree, it is better you sharpen the axe for four hours and cut the tree within two hours than to start cutting the tree with an axe that is not properly sharpened, surely you’ll spend a great deal of time”. Take your time with planning put more effort into creating a strategy. You don’t just post contents randomly and any time or day that you want, if you do that, there is no way you can be consistent with your content posting. You need to have a schedule. Yes, I said schedule, where you make plans on how, when, why and what you post. You can solve this challenge by using Social Media Planner.
How to create a Social Media schedule
• Content Planning: Many influencers have said that “Content is the king”. What determines the number of those who follow you and what will make them remain your followers on Social Media is your content. I don’t think you want to handle something like this with levity. Your schedule should include different categories of contents, then substantiate, the kind of post that works best with your audience. This will help you to keep track of the type (topics) your audience like most, then you can capitalize on that. An archive will also be good, you store all your contents there and choose when needed. But doing this will need a good categorization.
• Frequency of posting: You need to decide how many times you want to post in a day, without this, you won’t be able to maintain consistency in your posting.
• Posting Time: The time that you post is really important. Your analysis should tell you the time your audience is most active. Knowing the type of audience you have whether they are students or working class, you’ll find an efficient time when you can reach the highest proportion of the audience and post according to this data.
• Answering comments are important! In your planning include answering comments and other questions. This is a very important move you can’t but make. It gives your followers satisfaction in your customer service.
There are many Social Media Planers online with ready templates that can be well tailored to your taste. If you have experience with a spreadsheet, you can use Microsoft Excel or Google sheets and make your custom style or design. But if you don’t have knowledge of spreadsheet you can try out Smart Sheet or CoSchedule.
There are useful social media tools and apps that can help you, an example is automation tools. Automation tools (which can sometimes be software) allow you to carry out tasks on various social media platforms at a scheduled time automatically. You can use an automation tool like:
– Buffer: This tool allows you to schedule and publishes contents (posts) on your Social Media accounts. It also allows good campaign analysis.
– Workflow: As the name implies, it helps you manage your workflow so each task is done at the right time.
– Sendible: This is a multipurpose tool that allows you to post scheduled updates, reply comments and create reports.
– Later: Later is specifically an Instagram tool, it can be used to schedule tasks on Instagram and an amazing tool to manage comments.
– Mention: This tool makes sure you are not oblivious of any conversation about your brand. It can be used for tracking your brand mention, keywords and seek influencers.
– SocialOomph: It is a very good tool for managing Twitter accounts with surprising ease. It helps in easy scheduling of tweets, tracking of keywords and other things.
These are just a few of the numerous automation tools that are available online for managing Social Media accounts. Explore more on the internet and find relevant ones for your Social Media platform of choice, they will help you keep consistency and help engage your audience.
Converting Your Followers to Customers
You’ve come a long way establishing a stable online presence and gathering followers. Now is the time to talk about how to keep your followers and actually make them patronize you. That you haven’t posted anything all day (an action which proper planning as discussed above will prevent from happening), should not make you just start posting random contents that are uninteresting to your audience. You have to ensure that your posts add value to them as your followers.
Your brand must have interested them well enough to follow you, but you need to do more than making them follow you but also to make them keep following you. And you can do this by giving them a reason to follow you, and you cannot do this by posting contents that don’t add value to them.
In movies, especially TV shows, the producer or director of the movie wants to keep his viewers and how does he do that? He’ll create suspense. An episode will end with suspense then you as a viewer are dying to see the next episode, you want to see what happens next. It’s a simple trick, but it works all the time. You too as a business owner while producing your Social Media contents, do not give away all the information, introduce the topic and give a bit of value. This is the suspense in your own movie, you have gotten them excited, then cutting it short abruptly, giving them direction to the continuation. They will definitely pursue it.
You as a business owner should know definitely that your products or services are meant to solve the problems of your customers, and once this is set, make your followers know that you have products or services that are going to solve their problem. Be compelling, convince them that your offer really has a solution to their problem(s).
Make sure you give out exclusive offers and promotions. You can promote some of your products or services by creating a Social Media giveaway or discounts. For example, on Twitter, there are different contests where a business page asks question and audience are to answer with hashtags and the winner(s) get a prize.
Finally, build a community with your audience. The need to have a strong relationship with your audience cannot be overemphasized. Let your relationship be beyond “seller-buyer” relationship, build a community with them. Use other chat platforms like Telegram, google hangout, etc. Using videos can be of great help, it makes you feel closer to your audience. Google Hangouts is a very useful tool for recording your video content, you can create a video just to holler your audience or give a quick instruction or information.
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