Social media isn't just an outward expression saying, "look at me!", it's having tons of 1:1 connections - at scale. As a small business owner, your goal is to talk to and with people who could become customers, clients, partners, mentors, etc. Every interaction you have online won't get you a return on your investment. Still, it drastically increases the chances that you will engage with someone who gets you a tangible business result.
The problem that the marketing industry has portrayed is that it costs money to reach your audience. In reality, the paid-acquisition strategy isn't something most small business owners can afford, nor should they start with it.
The majority of small businesses don't have the disposable income to use on paid ads to gain a following. They have free and proven mechanisms to find, cultivate, and influence a particular group of people.
The best ways to grow your influence on social media are:
📢 Your content is a megaphone for what your brand does and stands for. Value-first content gives your audience knowledge about you and your specialty. Since this is the most essential piece of your social media strategy, we have an entire blog dedicated to value-first content that you can check out here: 👉https://www.getboundlessmedia.com/post/lead-with-value-on-social-media
Take Wootak, the founder of Barchemistry who shares the behind the scenes and step by step model to creating one of a kind cocktails from your own home on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. By sharing such content, Barchemistry amplifies the message that anyone can make amazing cocktails; you just have to know the process to go through, reflected in all the content he puts out. His audience is actively engaging in this content because it's the type of content they want to see (and they pay for his tools to recreate the drinks he makes).
🧲 Hashtags are a magnet to attract people looking for your specific content. You may have seen people you follow use key hashtags to describe a particular message or event such as #instagood, #sharkweek, and #metoo to bring attention to and categorize their content. People searching these hashtags have a direct interest in the content of that topic and, as a result, the people and brands associated with it.
If you reach out to creators who have tagged their content with a topic you're interested in, you're much more likely to have a discussion. For instance, if you're a Registered Dietician like Claire Chewning, you can use #intuitiveeating, #disorderedeating, or #allfoodsfit to find clients who could be a good fit for your coaching services on Instagram and TikTok. Will everyone she connects with online respond? No, but by using a # related to what she talks about and what her audience wants, she stands a better chance at being discovered by someone who could become a client or brand advocate for her message.
☎️ Direct messages (DMs) are like a telephone. You can speak to someone directly and address their unique concerns. This is a great way to connect with your audience and spend time getting to know them. If you message with someone directly, you are much more likely to convert them as a client.
For example, when patients want to build confidence with their smile, they often reach out to cosmetic dentist Dr. Brian Harris on Instagram. He communicates with patients directly via DM to answer any questions they have regarding his techniques, procedures, fees, etc. He even uses voice messages and unique videos to forge a personal connection and let people know he's speaking directly to them.
Social media offers business owners like you and me a more targeted and impactful approach by creating valuable content, using # to find your audience, and direct messages to have 1:1 conversations with them.
This post is part of a blog series where we share marketing tips and tactics for small business owners, consultants, and coaches. If you would like to join the discussion, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or make sure to check out the book We're All Marketers. It contains 20 Go-To principles, much like the ones listed above from the world's best marketers to get you selling more on social media.
Psst.... We've interviewed all of the creators listed above to shed more light on the strategies they used to achieve social media success. These strategies and many more will be outlined in our follow-up book, We're All Influencers, which is coming in 2021! To be notified about the release of this book, be sure to sign up for our mailing list!
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