Confused About Using Social Media For Your Small Business? Let Me Help You!
Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I'm talking about having a social media presence when you start your own business. If you're an aspiring or new business owner, you obviously know that social media is a powerful tool for reaching potential customers or clients, but do you really truly understand how and why you use it? Read on if you're feeling confused or overwhelmed about creating or growing your social media presence.
Let's talk a little bit about the psychology behind social media for a second. It's easy to get overwhelmed with social media when you start a new business. It can be a MAJOR time drain and, if you're not intentional about it, the return on your efforts can be little to none. There's also this sneaky thing about social media posting - hitting that "post" button can make you feel like you've "done something" when really you haven't done much at all. You know what I mean? It's like a quick hit. A quick fix. And then, before you know it, you're spending more time on social media in search of that quick hit of feeling productive, instead of actually doing the real work behind your business. It's important that social media be given an appropriate place and time in your schedule, and an appropriate role in the growth of your business.
So that brings me to my next point. What is the point of social media? When you really boil it down to the nuts and bolts, what's the point? The point is to connect with a new or current customer or client and get them off the app onto your own website. It's not for "likes." Nope. You know what real business owners measure? They measure clicks to their websites, not likes. Likes are superficial and meaningless. That's why some people with thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of followers make very little through their "influencing." Likes don't equal dollars. And you know what else? We are all smart enough to know that current social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc) are not going to be around forever. At some point, a better platform will come along and people will migrate there. So, for example, if you have one million followers on Instagram and Instagram dies next year, your business is going to die with it, unless...what? Unless you've been good about getting people off the app onto your website where you connect with them in different ways! When they go to your website, you can collect their email address or phone number. That way, you own a database of the people who love your company and, if Instagram dies, you'll still be able to stay in touch. Plus, when you connect with people through email or text, you can control how you communicate with them. You don't have to rely on Instagram to show your customers your post (because we all know that Instagram doesn't show your post to all of your followers!).
When you think about social media through this lens it becomes a lot easier to manage. It gives you a purpose and something to focus on, right? Remember, the purpose is to connect and take your followers off the app onto your own site. I'll say it over and over again until it clicks! When you have this idea in mind, you're probably not going to post that drink from Starbucks again (I hate to be so blunt, but no one cares!). Let's look at a quick example. Let's say that you sell high tech, customizable running shoes. No one really cares what kind of coffee you had on Monday morning, but they might be interested in the trail you ran on Monday morning, right? You can still share personal things but, most of the time, strive to make it relevant to your audience and your shared common interests (in this case it was running - not coffee!). In other words, BE INTENTIONAL! This will save you so much time and so much effort. And it also cures that "quick hit" phenomena I explained above.You now understand that posting your Starbucks drink makes you feel like you "shared" or "did something" but you really didn't do anything productive for your business at all. By the way, if this example resonates with you, check out my recent journal entry here where I elaborated on this idea.
Once you've gotten your social media accounts up and running in a manner that appears to be attracting the right customers, it'll be time to think about advertising on social media. There's so much you can do even on a small budget. It can be complex though, so I highly recommend taking an online course. Then, once you've tested some ads and know what works, you can really scale up your customer base and scale back on the amount of time you spend on the platform (because the ads are doing the connecting for you and directing people off the app to your website automatically!). In short, building an intentional social media presence is the first foundational block to building a successful advertising strategy. And that's when your business can REALLY grow and skyrocket! So stay patient and keep at it - it'll be worth it!
I hope you've found this week's journal entry enlightening! If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. I hope you're able to learn something from my experience and also my mistakes!
P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. I have a few weekly journal entries on the board right now, and I'm adding more on a weekly basis. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to read the entries that resonate most!
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