By Shaun Taylor
Social media is a fantastic way to build relationships with your current and potential customers. This is true whether you have a brick and mortar business or you have an online business. When I started my business I thought I could run the social media for my business the way I ran my personal pages. I was very wrong and in the process did a bit of damage. I did not understand Facebook algorithms or where my audience was or even how often I needed to post anything. This made my business look more like a hobby. Here are a few tips I wish I had known straight away when I started.
- Create social media accounts for your business. If you are using Pinterest then create a Pinterest business account instead of a personal account. This allows your business to be searchable. If you are using Facebook then create a business page. This allows you to create ads to generate traffic to your page or website. Facebook is a pay to play platform so you want to be set up ready to play. Treat your art and writing like a business because it is one. Share things that are relevant to your business and audience. Take time to really make sure your posts work visually. Put thought into your color scheme, wording and even font as you are creating memes or flyers. If you want to be seen as a professional you need to look and act like one.
- Start with only one or two platforms. Social media can be time consuming. Start off with one or two platforms you know you can commit to posting to on a daily basis. If you are new to social media for business I actually suggest you get in the habit of posting yourself before using a program like Buffer or Hootsuite or getting a social media assistant. You need to be intimate with your audience so it is important that you are the one posting and interacting on social media. I am also a firm believer in knowing how to do everything yourself. You can always outsource this task at a later time.
- Know your audience. You hear this a lot because it is true. You need to know who you are selling to and where they spend their time when they are on social media. There is no reason to spend all day on Twitter if no one there is going to buy from you. Do market research. Send out surveys. Make sure your content is relative to your audience and business.
- Stop selling all the time. Everyone wants to buy, but no one wants to be sold. Use social media to show off your talent. Use it to connect with potential customers. People buy from people they know and trust so get to know your audience and let them get to know you. This does not mean you cannot promote a product. It just does not have to be every post.
- Be consistent. There really is no such thing as an overnight success. You need to hustle past what the average person is willing to do. So post pictures of your process or who influences you or even what your favorite art or writing product is this month. Post about what you are doing behind the scenes to get ready for a convention or signing. You can even post about your favorite movie or beer. Ask questions and tell you audience how to respond to keep interest. Just keep posting and keep your audience engaged.
- Stay engaged in social media with the people who influence you. Like attracts like, so there is a good chance you share the same audience with the people that influence you. Post relative content in their comments. Share their post on your platforms if it is relative to your audience. Buy their work and support their business the way you would like someone to support you.
- Do not post the same post on each platform. Ideally you will have some followers on more than one platform and they do not want to see the same post two or three times. This is true for contests and giveaways as well. Really be thoughtful and authentic in your posts. This is what will set you apart from everyone else.
When you are first starting out you do not always have the money or resources to have a fulltime staff taking care of all aspects of your business so you have to do it yourself. Applying these tips to your social media accounts for your business will get you on the right track to making a living doing what you love full time. Did you find this post useful? If so, make sure you share this with your friends.
Shaun is the co-owner of Stay Brilliant which is a business coaching and consulting company that specializes in helping artists and writers. Shaun runs the company with her husband Sean. Their motto is “two Shawns make a right” (See what they did there). Shaun is originally from Los Angeles, but is currently based in Sacramento with her husband and three children. They have two Labradors; Veruca and Thor and a cat by the name of Huntress. In addition to coaching she enjoys comic books, food, craft beer and sarcasm. You can follow Stay Brilliant on Facebook www.facebook.com/staynbrilliant.