Either you are self-employed, owning a Company or working at your clients’ location means that you have limited time and resources to look after your Social Media activities. Creating a Social Media Strategy helps you to optimise time, reaching the right people online and see better results. It is translated as having more followers and increasing demand for your services especially during months of low-demand.
Take for example Facebook with over 1.7 billion users in Ireland in 2017 (according to Ipsos) is one of the most used platforms in the Country. This is one platform you should consider to use it if you are still not using.
So, how to use Social Media in the Smart Way and in Simple Steps?
Step 1: Know what your goals are
Before even start to post or doing anything else in Social Media, it is important to identify your goals. What do you want to achieve from Facebook or Instagram in the short and long-term? Without any defined goals you won’t be able to benchmark your performance and also assess your Return on Investment. If your first goal is to increase the number of followers, you have to set a daily or weekly target (example: 5 per day or 40 per week). If your Facebook page has already enough followers, you might need to define a target based on engagement, such as: how many likes your post gained? Can you get more? For example, if you have 3,000 followers and after publishing a post you get 10 likes, this means this is something you need to address and assess. This is a low engagement, which is going to affect your ranking.
You can set more than one goal to establish if your strategy is going in the right way. Also, if you invest some budget in Paid advertising, you will know if it was well spent or not. If you need any advice regarding this, you can contact me using this form.
Step 2: Identify your target personas
This might be seen as funny or time wasting, but once you know who are your online users and potential clients, it will help a lot to know what content you can deliver and the tone of voice to use. Try to group your customers and identify a persona. Some of the key information can be retrieved from your database and based on clients you have met so far.
For example, you might have one group made by Women, 45 – 50 years old, home owners, married with children, who are using Facebook to read recipes online and ideas for gardening. Having a house clean and tidy is their main concern. They call a carpet cleaner, like my friend Brendan once per year because they believe that using a domestic vacuum cleaner will keep the carpet clean, ensuring a healthy environment for her children.
Following the example above, you can create a tailored promoted post on Facebook, choosing the similar target audience discussed above. The topic of the post would be to raise awareness about having the carpet cleaned regularly by a professional, rather than hoovering by themselves. This because using a pressurised hot steam vacuuming system, guarantees that the carpet is cleaned internally (under the layer) because the hot steam kills moth larvae and bacteria.
Now, try to create other personas and think on what message you would like to tell them. The more personalized, the more change to connect with them and get also leads.
Step 3: Listen to the conversation about your industry and competitors
Before playing a game, you must know the rules and most important who are your opponents to understand how good they are at this. First, start doing searches on topics and keywords related to your industry. Second, write a list of the most engaging competitors. This can be the number of followers, posts, likes received. It is important to study what they talk about so you know already what works best and what not. Are the pictures of “after and before” their work more engaged? How many followers commented on a post? Is there a particular promotion or time of the day that drove the most engagement? The more info you can get, the more you can use to your advantage for your strategy. There is no copyright in doing or adapting what your competitor is already doing well. This will save you time in doing experiments or tests.
Step 4: What services do you provide? Be sure your users know it
Be sure that your potential followers/clients understand right on the spot what are your specialties. Be as much clear as possible. When necessary remember to write plain English using a non-technical language. Think again about step 2. Do you clean only carpets? Do you clean rugs? Can you find among one of your services something unique you can propose to your followers? This is the secret to differentiate from a competitor. This is called Unique Selling Points. For example: “Time for drying the carpet is very short if compared to the standard, because we use a new technology who doesn’t require too much water and still guarantee perfect results”. Or in the case you are a painter you might say the same adapting to your job.
Step 5: Create a Content Calendar
Each persona has potentially a golden hour where to reach on Social Media. For example, if one commutes by car from 7.30 to 8.30 to work, in theory, they won’t be able to read your post within that time-frame but only after when they reached the workplace. If somebody else will use the bus, it can be a good idea to post on that hour because they will check Facebook and other Social Media platforms while commuting. Once your post is published it will be among others (competitors too). The more the time passes, less chance your persona will have to see it and to engage. Having limited time during the day is important to create a calendar where to schedule post publishing.
One idea is to use a free app such as Hootsuite (https://hootsuite.com/plans/free) or Postify (http://postfity.com/) and let it post for you during the day while you are working. If somebody contacts you by Facebook, you will be able to get their message through your smart phone and not worry about posting.
You can also consider allocating some budget in Facebook Ads to attract more followers to your page and convert them into potential clients. In this case, the posts will be shown automatically at the best time your persona is using Facebook. This further optimises your Social Media activity and therefore your Social Media Strategy.
To conclude, if you want to optimise your social media, reaching the right people and getting more results, you can follow my steps above. If you need more information or some tips, you can leave your comment below as well.