Social Media is the ultimate tool for any fledgling small business. Regardless of what marketspace you occupy, where you are based, or what you have to offer. Social Media gives you near instant access to millions and millions of people. That said, because of the sheer quantity of possible connections it can be easy to feel lost in the crowd. The key to standing out to your potential and existing customers is to build and develop a strong relationship. This article is here to give practical and applicable advice that can help solidify your brand reputation and build solid relationships between your business and your client base.
The most important step is to determine which platform best fits the needs and market of your business. There are many platforms to choose from and each platform comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. While there are certainly great benefits to YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram, Facebook is a great place for any business to start. Not only is Facebook the largest singular platform, but it is in many ways the platform best equipped with creative and analytical tools for businesses big and small. If you haven’t already, consider creating a page for your business as a starting place.
The backbone of any social media following, and of any successful business/consumer relationship is compelling content. If you aren’t creating articles, blogs, pictures, or videos that users can find something to engage in, you are not going to build any legitimate following. The easiest way to create compelling content is to first and foremost create and to do so by discussing, displaying, and sharing the ideas and products that are important to you.
Compelling content is the foundation of a successful social media following. However, it is equally important that you portray your business as accessible and available to them. This means answering questions, responding to concerns, and making comments on ideas of their own. This also means that you are doing so in a timely manner. Fortunately, you do not have to be glued to your phone in order to do this. Facebook offers a variety of automatic responses that can help notify customers and followers of updates and provide information on when you’re able to reply in detail.
In addition to being replied to and seen, customers also like to feel heard. You can show your followers that you are listening and that your business is personally responsive by addressing issues and topics of interest that may be brought up in their own engagement. If, for instance, your followers are repeatedly asking about a certain product or area of expertise you can create videos, Q&As, and articles that dive deeper into those subjects. Make sure to give your audience a shoutout and credit your inspiration to show them that you see and take to heart the things on their minds.
In addition to engaging with your customer base it is equally important to engage with collaborators in your industry and businesses that operate parallel to you. Find ways to engage in and stir relevant conversation. This might be something as simple as asking a question in the comment section or replying to a question posed by another account. Seek opportunities to display the expertise of your business and conversations where you can soft sell your business and any relevant facets of it. You may also find it helpful to join groups or threads where other businesses and followers are actively creating conversations that you have relevant input in.
Pull Back the Curtain
You can humanize your brand by letting followers see behind the scenes not only to illustrate what you do but to highlight who you are. A great place to start is by sharing photos or even video introductions of each of your employees and staff members. This is a great way to establish the people behind the operation, the culture behind your company, and to establish the value of the network that you are a part of.
Additionally, you can also pull back the curtain by going behind the scenes into the products you create or the services you offer. Let your audience feel like they are getting an insider’s view by carefully peeling back the curtain and creating vivid and compelling deep dives into the parts of your business you wish to drum up interest in.
If you find yourself wondering just what you need to do in order to help further establish your brand, ask. Seeking out feedback from your audience is a great way to discover what they want to hear and see more of. You can utilize polls, surveys, the comment section, and live video feeds in order to directly engage your guests and give them a platform with which to voice their opinions. This further establishes the notion that you are not only listening to them but actively hearing what they have to say and adapting your content to their needs.
A major part of building a healthy relationship between you and your audience is by being consistent. It isn’t enough just to create content, to engage with your audience, and to personalize a few messages. It is critical that you do all these things consistently and with intent to establish a solid relationship. Make sure that you are dedicating time each week to your social media pages and to your audience.
Analyze and Adapt
Once you’ve had time to analyze your social media page and posting strategies, make sure to be receptive to the suggestions that your audience and the analytical tools available to you offer. Take note of what post styles, topics, and times generate the most interaction. What are you doing that’s working? What are you doing that isn’t? Ask these questions and adapt your content appropriately so that you can invest the most time in successful strategies and quickly divert resources form strategies that aren’t yielding the best results.