If you're struggling to see the importance of why your business should be on social media and you can't figure it out, you are definitely not alone.
Social media has been sold to so many of us as the "secret ingredient", the "missing element" in our businesses to take it from where we are to achieving greater things, and it is! If you get it right and if you understand it.
Like with every part of your business, social media needs to have a strategy. Now it might sound daunting; there's Twitter, there’s Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, there are so many social media platforms out there, but there are only five core principles that can be implemented across all these platforms.
Once you understand and have dialled in the Principles of Social Media, you will be able to tackle and dominate all Social Media platforms.
Let's get started.
5 Principles of Social Media for Small Business
1. Consistency is King
It's so important that you build an expectation of your business or your brand or your blog that your audience can almost guess what opinion you would have on a topic or what is you would say next.
You want your audience to know that if they like one of your posts, they're going to like all of your posts and that is a key to building strong engagement.
Whether you're curating your Instagram feed or you are sharing your opinion on Twitter or Facebook, consistency brings trust and trust means your audience knows everything you post is going to be worth their attention.
2. Voice & Tone
This one is super interesting because some people get it so naturally and other people struggle with it for ages.
What I mean by Voice and Tone is what character your business play online? What kind of language does your brand use? Are you confident, informative, nerdy? Do you swear or share controversial opinions?
By default we always write our social media copy like we're writing an essay in school, it's way too wordy, way too technical and doesn't engage our audience.
Think about who your audience is, now think about the language they use and internalized it. Use that in your copywriting and your messaging on your website and your social media. This makes your business so approachable.
Don't be afraid to use their language in fear of not coming off as an expert; you can still be an expert and be understood by your audience.
This whole idea comes from the concept of like attracting like. If you wanted to buy a guitar and went to a music store and saw call centre operators or web developers, you'd be confused. You are more likely to buy from someone who has been playing for 20 years and really knows the language and the lingo and can tell you their personal experience.
3. You Need To Look Great
There are countless social media studies that tell us that posts will get a much higher engagement rate when implementing great photos and great videos along with text, instead of just text only.
The mistake that businesses make is thinking they can get by with sub quality graphics and photography and videos on their social media channels.
One of the best tips I can give any small business with their social media is to stand on the shoulder of giants. Take a nod from people like Spotify and Apple and Google and show imagery that invokes feeling an emotion that ties into your brand. Even Apple knows that no one wants to see product shots of their iPhone all day every day, what they do is they show a range of photos showing off the lifestyle that you can have when you buy the iPhone.
Going back to the earlier example of buying guitars, don't sell the guitar, sell the lifestyle of being a musician, of wanting to be a rockstar.
4. Finding Your Niche
This is something that all businesses should have dialled, but for some reason, most small businesses seem to forget about it.
I really can't stress how much of a difference it made for my business when I decided to focus and specify who my target audience was.
Once you find out who your target audience is, you'll find out what your target audiences problems are, and how you can go about solving them.
Finding your niche has so many added benefits, now when someone contacts you to engage your brand services, they mean business.
When my business decided to focus and find our niche, I increased the price of services by nine times and I got way more "yes"s than I ever did.
The importance here is to focus on the first four points and use them together to educate.
It really is quite simple. You start with your niche, find out what their pressure points are, what the struggles with your industry are and you've just found out how you can help them.
Use your character and your brand's voice and tone through great messaging and imagery to answer those questions and to engage that audience and be approachable.
The biggest thing is to be consistent with that messaging.
If your audience can find you because you've been helpful through blog posts and engaging people on social media, you're going to build a community of qualified leads and of people that champion your business and do the sales and marketing for you.