If you are a small business owner, you might be caught between wanting to post all the time about your achievements (which is great and we high 5 you!) and having so much work to do that you cannot find the time and space for posting anything on any network (then we high 5 you again! Work is great and there is too much noise anyway).
Entrepreneurship is not easy so we’ll cut to the chase. You want your social media presence to be awesome and to take you internationally? Let’s see what we can do, what you can do and what nobody should do.
5 mistakes you might be making when approaching your social media strategy
You don’t have one, you’re just posting
We know you’re the one who knows your business best, but this is not about who knows it best, it’s about who can pitch it. You need to have a reason for every post, a big picture and an even bigger picture. While every post you have might make sense to you, that is not what’s essential. The key is to have an assembly of posts that make sense as a whole and confirm the identity you created for your brand.
You’re mirroring accounts you like, although you don’t know what you like about them
A lot of people can say they like a certain website, a WordPress theme, an Instagram account. But most of the time they like the logo and not the wireframe, the hero banner and not the theme structure, or they like the main colour from that IG profile and not what they’re actually saying. So you might find yourself in this situation where you like a brand, you would like to make something similar, but you cannot pinpoint the similarities you’re following. The most common mistake, in this case, is to copy or adapt other elements than what really attracts you and not knowing why you’re doing what you’re doing.
You are too influenced by your competitors
If they zig, you zag and if they zag, you have no idea what to do. The trick is not to think like them or just think the complete opposite. For example, a lot of restaurant owners will follow other local brands on social media and then they will just change some details, but they will have the same structure, not knowing what they’re adapting exactly because they don’t know the numbers and goals behind the web.
You are worrying too much about the times of day you are posting
A lot of people are asking about which is the best time to catch people on their coffee break and some even look online for how many friends are available to find out if there is a ‘rush hour’ on Facebook. It doesn’t work like that. First of all, the organic reach is, of course, very small for business pages. Second, because the smart thing to do is to promote your posts so they will be on your target’s feed at exactly what hour you like – morning, lunch, evening, or only between 14:28 and 15:14.
It is not a small window for throwing your post into the ocean, but a smart strategy of spreading the message to targeted ads that reach certain categories at certain times, on certain placements.
5 things you should be doing when posting on social media
Think strategy and get expert help
We hope that by now, if you are a live business, you have a logo with a brand manual, a catchy name, a descriptor and a slogan and a very clear tone of voice. You know how to place your brand on scales like simple vs complex, playful vs serious, classic vs modern, etc. And that you know what your brand would do in certain situations.
It’s like you’re a human being and knowing yourself enough makes every choice and decision easy, because you are authentic, you know who you are and who you want to be(come).
If you want to communicate your brand on social media, you should work with a communication expert. They would normally help you with:
- Having a concept in your strategy. Have you thought about that? You might not know the concept behind every brand communication you’re following, but its existence makes communication unitary and coherent.
- Applying this concept to your objectives. You should have in mind some KPIs about what you want to achieve by posting on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or somewhere else.
- Applying the concept and objectives to every channel that fits your brand.
- Working with relevant people (influencers) who can test and talk about your brand in an authentic way.
- Achieving great visuals that represent your brand, products and services.
- Creating copy that represents your tone of voice, it’s simple and concise.
- Manage your ads on every channel.
- Reporting all these results, rethink, relearn, make better.
Have a voice.
Most of the people are following brands on social media because they want to catch offers, discounts, promotions, you know the deal. Nowadays people are so conscious about the fact that everybody is trying to sell them something like they are in an exotic bazaar. So they don’t like feeling cheated upon or the same selling door to door communication of a lot of brands: ‘Tired of (problem)? Now, this (brand) has come to (solution) and fix your life and this is the best thing you have been waiting for your entire life’.
Speak like you’re a human being. Make jokes. Reply with GIFs, when possible. Understand people and their questions. Don’t refer them to your websites, reply to them in the same place so other people can see that information and appreciate you’re responsive. Create a way of forming phrases that might be auto ironic, enthusiast, happy or kind and always write in that way, so people can feel they are coming back to a sure thing.
Pay attention to your competitors
It’s not contradictory to what we were saying above, but complementary. The idea is to not let them influence you like bingeing your favourite series can, or that neighbour that simply ruins your day. Apply a practical and pragmatic approach and analyse their behaviour and strategy (hopefully, with the communication team from above).
There is always a niche or at least a narrow space that can be created for you to have an original approach, voice and take on your target. It’s true that most of the people just want to buy your product or solve their needs with your services and don’t pay that much attention because they don’t even work in advertising. But once you have touched their heart with your tiny, original message that resonated to them, they might be yours forever.
Approach your entire communication as a whole
In an ‘elevator pitch’, you should be able to reply instantly when someone is asking you how are you communicating on each channel. Because you see the structure that connects everything and the sense of it.
For example, if you have a business of renting holiday campers you might use your YouTube channels for vloggers testimonials, your Instagram for jaw dropping travel pictures and your Facebook to disband common myths and faqs about how travelling in a camper might be uncomfortable, scary, risky, it might be hard to drive etc.
That way, you would be offering sufficient content on each platform that shows both the dreamy and romantic side of camper travelling and the open and professional expert approach that is ready to show you in a friendly way everything there is to know. That witty tone of voice can also be found on your IG profile and those perfect landscapes are found again on Facebook and YouTube.
Don’t mix up your personal identity with your brand’s identity
While you might gain some exposure, this audience should be used only for your brand’s purpose and not be mistaken as exposure for ‘things I always wanted to share with an audience’, like political opinions, personal causes, photos of your kids graduating and your tucked in cat.
You can see the irony about how a lot of these tips are contradictory. That’s because communication needs a fine balance and has very thin lines. It’s actually very similar to day to day communication because life itself needs balance and has a lot of thin lines you cannot make up your mind about.