1 | Locate your audience.
Once you know who you are trying to reach, find out where to reach them. Pay attention to the most popular platforms in your industry and start there. For example: If you notice that your clients and competitors are all on Facebook, start reaching out there and use that to launch your next platform.
2 | What’s the point?
It’s important to understand what your short and long-term goals are before you start posting. Is it brand-building, showcasing incredible customer-service, lead-generation or something else? You may say “all of the above” but it is essential to prioritize.
3 | Pick the right platform.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is signing up for all of the social media accounts available and taking a one-post-fits-all approach. Then they wonder why their numbers plateau (or even drop). Every site serves a different purpose and offers exposure to a specific audience in their own unique way. Do a bit of research and find which platforms serve and support your brand’s goals and place them in order of importance. For example, those looking to promote visual products and services should focus their efforts more on Instagram and Pinterest whereas career advice will serve LinkedIn members and quick updates and B2B will get a boost on Twitter. Nearly 90% of Millennials get their news from Facebook which is perfect for more in-depth pieces and a fantastic place for videos.
4 | Find out what content is appropriate for your platform.
Inspirational quotes do far better on Instagram than LinkedIn and while images can increase your Twitter engagement up to 40%, it shouldn’t be a selfie you’re sharing. You’ll want a strong image that enhances the conversation you’re having or wanting to start.
5 | Follow, support and share.
Whilst you want to promote your own brand, products and services, remember that support goes both ways. Follow brands you want to connect with and give them feedback, like posts and images that you find impactful. Let them know when you feel they are on-point and doing a good job. You’ll find that most will return the favor which will not only connect you to other business owners, it may boost your brand as you’ll gain more access to their followers.
6 | Give yourself six months.
Then give yourself another three. Equating the immediacy of posting with growth is a surefire way to get discouraged. Growth takes time and you can’t set realistic movement goals until you watch how your particular brand is moving. Fixating on every follow is only going to place you in a panic when you notice the loss of some followers (and you will lose some) and it could have you jumping ship on what may actually be a good strategy. Not seeing a direct impact on your ROI immediately is to be expected, so do not take it as a sign that it’s not working. Instead, play the long-game with your platforms and know how to gain from them immediately such as paying attention to what your followers respond to, what they ignore and what they tell you in their comments.
7 | Don’t compare yourself to other brands.
This one is essential. You don’t know who is working on their team, how much support they have or if they have purchased followers (which you should not do as there is nothing more valuable to a brand than a loyal, engaged and organic following). If you want to research what is serving them well, fine, but it’s essential to create your own footsteps down your own path with a realistic outlook and the resources you have.