Congratulations! You took the huge step of building your small business’ social media accounts. You’ve crossed a major milestone! But now what?
Once you’ve put all the energy and effort into creating new accounts, the real work begins. If you thought to choose a profile or cover image and writing your bio was the difficult part, think again. Now you’ve got to be S-O-C-I-A-L. You’ve got to say something. And not just anything! You’ve got to post high quality, interesting, and engaging content on a consistent basis… yep, all the time.
What’s your plan?
It can seem overwhelming, but don’t lose heart! Take a look at a few pointers to help you begin an engaging and beneficial relationship with your audience.
Write for Your Audience, Not Yourself
Remember when you researched your audience to determine who they were and the best way to market to them? The same applies here. Consider your audience. What do they want to see, hear, or talk about? What online ‘voice’ resonates best with your? Will they engage with you more if you’re serious, casual, funny, or a combination?
We have a tendency to write from our own perspective, considering only what WE think is relevant. This is not the best tactic. Your content is your product to potential customers until they trust you enough to actually spend money. So, find out what’s relevant to your audience and then give them your insight on those topics.
How do you know what your audience thinks is important? How do you know what they’ll find interesting? How can you find out what they’re discussing amongst themselves? It’s called social listening. Go where your audience is and see where their issues lie. By hanging out online where they hang out, you can discover the problems are they struggling to solve. A simple Google Alert will give you more insight than you could imagine. Set up an alert for your industry or niche and find out who’s communicating what. Join online social media industry groups and communities. What topic is constantly discussed? Whatever it is, that’s your content…that’s what you talk/write about!
Asking questions allows you to converse with your audience, which is what ‘engaging’ means. Remember, people like to talk about themselves and share their opinions. This is a great way to not only engage your audience, but also find topics for your next posts.
While it’s a good idea to show your personal side (it simply makes you more human…more personable), remember that your followers follow you for a reason. They’re interested in your mutual niche/industry and your opinions and expertise on that subject. So, make sure your content remains focused. Most definitely use your personality, but don’t drift into too many off-topic discussions. Stay focused on the issue at hand.
Check out my Social Media Post Launch Checklist for more tips on making the most of your step into the social mediasphere!
MonicaAnnette is an Atlanta-based social media strategist focused on helping established small businesses cross the sands of the mediasphere.