Social media can be a scary beast, especially when you’re using it to promote your business. It’s mysterious, complicated, and overwhelming. “When do I post? What do I post? How do I post?” And it’s always changing. Algorithms, trends, and fickle audiences are all things that can easily throw even the best planned social media management strategy out of the water.
And there are so many different platforms to choose from! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, the list goes on, and it shows no sign of stopping. New platforms emerge all the time. So what is an entrepreneur to do?
First, choose just one platform to focus on. Become an expert at it and expand your tribe! When you feel the natural pull to bring another social media platform on board, choose another. Just be careful not to take too much on. If you try to keep up with too many you’re going to end up overwhelmed and probably not seeing the growth that you would be if you were more focused.
How do you choose? Well, you could do one of two things.
Option A: Do some research and find out where your tribe is hanging out. You can break this down by using different demographics such as age, location, gender, and occupation. Still haven’t pin pointed your target audience? We’ll talk about that soon!
Option B: Choose which platform you feel most comfortable with. Do you use Facebook every day and feel comfortable with it? Try starting there, where you won’t have as much of a learning curve.
Once you’ve chosen a platform, become an expert on how to use it. Look into how other businesses are utilizing it by looking up some of your favorite brands for inspiration. Check out the advertising options and pay attention to how other users are using it as well. Make sure you stay tuned here for more specific information on how to maximize your engagement on different platforms, like the Facebook tips below.
Facebook is probably one of the easiest platforms to utilize, but it’s also one of the more mysterious ones out there. We all have heard that Facebook uses complicated algorithms that are constantly changing and that Facebook is constantly making it harder for business to market without emtyping their pockets, but it is so accessible and so many people use it, it would be folly to overlook it.
I’ve put together a list of tips that I give to my clients when they’re starting to brave the Facebook waters.
10 Tips to Grow Your Facebook Tribe
- Post, post, post. But not too much.
It’s hard to find that fine line between sharing valuable information and spam. You need to post regularly so that your posts get seen and your page doesn’t go “dead”, but if you’re posting every 5 minutes, you might lose followers who don’t want you taking up their whole feed. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that you’re posting at least every other day, but no more than 4 times daily. And always make sure your content is valuable and unique.
- Curate, don’t create.
Don’t hesitate to post because you can’t think of anything to write about. Look at what is currently being shared around Facebook. Can any of it be valuable information for your potential clients? Is any of it relevant to your business? It doesn’t make you look less credible when you share a post that was created by someone else, it makes you look as if you know your stuff so well, that you know where to find more information to back it up. People will keep coming back to your page if they find what you post to be of use to them. Don’t forget that “of use” can mean many things. Maybe someone finds your posts amusing and it brightens up their day to see them, maybe they find the inspirational quotes you share to help them get through the day, or maybe the tips and tricks you share deepen their understanding of their own business.
- Borrow and share audiences.
When you “like” another business from your business page it’s the beginning of a beautiful symbiotic relationship! Now their posts show up in your “home” feed, where you can easily share, like, or comment on their content. When you do these things you’re helping them out by boosting the visibility of their content, but you’re also getting your name in front of their audience. Hopefully, they’ll start doing the same for you too. This is most effective when the business page you’re interacting with has a similar client base to yours. For example, if you’re a massage therapist, you might want to do this with local yoga studios, because you share potential clientele.
- Pay attention to your analytics!
Facebook may have made it harder for businesses to advertise for free, but they do a great job of helping you figure out who your audience is and how they’re interacting with your page. Facebook calls this “Insights” and it shows you who is looking at your page, when they look at your page, and how your posts are doing, so you can adjust your marketing accordingly. Best of all, it’s FREE!
- Respond and interact.
I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but I see businesses doing it all the time, especially the smaller businesses where it’s most likely a one-woman/one-man show. It can be overwhelming to do, but when a viewer responds to you with a comment you should always respond. This builds trust with that one person and everyone who sees the exchange and it also helps to boost the visibility of the post they commented on. Additionally, sometimes you have to give people a little push to interact. Try asking questions, opinion questions work wonderfully!
- Create a group.
Once your audience is big enough, people will start to interact with each other without your guidance. This is a good thing! Give them a place to do that more securely and collectively by starting a Facebook group. Much like the internet forums of “old”, this gives them a place of “their own” to start discussions and get to know you better. It’s also a place for you to show them what you’ve got! This works best if you are offering a personal service such as coaching, teaching, or mentoring, but it can be made to work with whatever you are offering.
- Don’t let it lag! Schedule your posts or hire someone to manage your page when you can’t.
Don’t let your page die! It’s hard to bring back a dead page. Need a vacation? Want to reach people on the other side of the world who are checking their Facebook while you’re fast asleep? No problem! You can schedule posts to post without you. If you’re overwhelmed, I recommend setting aside 1-2 hours once weekly to schedule Facebook posts as far out as that time will allow you. If you still find that you’re dreading it, hire someone to take the burden off of your shoulders.
- Try a social media management tool.
This tip is a bit of a bonus because it’s relevant to more than just Facebook. If you aren’t ready to pay someone to help you with social media, but you’re still overwhelmed, try a social media management tool. There are a lot of options out there. Hootsuite, Edgar, Sprout Social, and Buffer, to name a few. Many are free at the basic level, but you have to put a little money in to get the full features. Which is best? I’ve tried most of the ones out there and I have to say that it truly depends on what you’re looking for and how you work. I highly recommend giving all of the free ones a try to see how they work for you before making a decision.
- Host weekly events.
Every week, on the same day host a mini-event. It can be an “Ask Me Anything About *insert your specialty here”, where people can ask you whatever questions they might have about your topic. I’ve seen tarot readers offer up free readings and people offering free mini Reiki/coaching/brainstorming sessions for the first X amount of people who respond to the post. Think about what you have to offer people. You don’t even have to give anything away. If you’re a life coach you could have a “Transformation Tuesday” where people post about the big changes in their lives or maybe you could host a “Get To Know Me Monday” where people can ask questions about you and your business. Be creative and don’t be afraid to try different things. And don’t’ get discouraged if something doesn’t immediately take off. Give it a few more tries, and then try something else.
- Watch for trends.
What are people into right now? What are people talking about? Keep an eye out for what is trending online and try and see how it fits your business and your audience. If you’re a health coach and you notice that many people are starting to follow a particular diet, start posting articles and information on that diet and how you weigh in as an expert in the field. If you sell items made out of recycled material, find out what is trending in the world of ecology and start a discussion about it. Let the trends work for you!
Most of all, stay true to your business and to yourself. People can tell when you’re forcing it.