Everyone dreams of waking up one day and living life on their terms, as entrepreneurs do day in and day out. As one of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes says, “You can’t wait around for things to happen to you; you have to go out and make your business dreams come true.” The freedom to profit from your productivity is akin to the American dream so it’s no wonder many would be entrepreneurs are coming up with innovative ideas.
It’s important to appreciate that entrepreneurship is not for the faint hearted; the hard truth according to Forbes is that 9 out of 10 startups fail. How do you avoid the same fate? The answer is simple; go social. A study by Gallup shows that 50% of startups fail within the first 5 years.
Social media marketing is the most innovative and affordable strategies to get your startup off the ground and watch it grow. Social media is where your target audience “hangs out” online and sites like Facebook and Twitter are an integral part in creating brand awareness, lead generation and sales conversion.
But most entrepreneurs are getting social media marketing all wrong. The good news is we’re here to help. Here are some strategies to help you optimize your social media presence:
You need a map. Social Media Marketing is a long journey and the strategy you choose will determine whether you will get to your destination. Think of your business goals and objectives as they will determine the type of steps you take to reach your audience. After all, your social media messaging should be congruent with your brand. A quick question here; do you think Coca-Cola and CitiBank have the same strategy on social media? One is all about fun while the other is about serious business. What is the tone, messaging and positioning of your brand?
Too often, entrepreneurs set-up an account on every single social network and fizzle out. It’s a lot to manage! You should only use platforms where your target audience is likely to be found. If you are targeting a young audience Facebook is not the obvious network as the younger demographic is already on Instagram and Snapchat. If you are offering B2B advice LinkedIn would be better option as opposed to Facebook. In essence, take time to find out where your target audience is likely to be found and go there.
Relationships matter. It’s important to interact with your followers and avoid automated generic messages that could turn off potential customers. Find a way to build brand ambassadors through engagement and incentives, like contests or customer referrals. Whatever you choose, remember to be highly visible, listen more and talk less and always be available to answer and engage.
Share a video as an easy and effective way to engage fans and followers on social media. It can be about your products, a customer testimonial, behind the scenes in your office or a funny take on your operations. Forrester Research estimates 77% of online traffic will go to videos by 2017 so it’s a perfect time to film and share.
Things change rapidly on social media. What is popular today might be gone tomorrow. Who would have thought WhatsApp would be a big thing a few years back? You need to keep examining trends and how they impact your social media strategy.