Social Media Tips For Business
Welcome to part 5 of our 10 part series, Idea to Income, where I speak with social media marketing expert, Ally Archer, about helpful social media tips for business.
Social media for your business can be intimidating, complex, and even overwhelming. You’re putting yourself out there. You’re trying to build your brand. And there is an initial feeling that you need to be active on every platform.
It’s easy to see why many owners opt out altogether. But, given the huge opportunity to get in front of potential customers – ignoring the potential upside of effective social media use obviously proves a mistake. Even business owners not participating will likely acknowledge they are leaving business on the table.
Fortunately, Ally guides us through putting together an effective strategy to grab attention, capture leads, and position your company for sales.
In our discussion we review:
- Developing your client avatar
- Choosing your initial platform
- The importance of email
- How to go from stranger to trusted expert
We cover a lot and hope you enjoy our discussion!
Our video provides all of the information. For those of you who prefer to read, please find the most pertinent material below:
Key Social Media Tips For Business
When social media started, an effective strategy consisted of business owners making a Facebook page and maybe a Twitter handle. The owner likely delegated monitoring the activity to a tech savvy assistant or maybe even an intern. At the time, fairly easy to manage. Now, as social media has become crucial to any well-rounded marketing strategy, the number of platforms has exploded and catching eyeballs requires a lot more craft than an intern periodically posting.
With these platforms comes a lot of noise. We can understand why many owners new to social media become overwhelmed.
To overcome this, Ally recommends every owner create an email list and then choose one platform to focus on.
For owners with millennials as their target market, that might mean email and Instagram. If you have a professional target market, it might be email and LinkedIn. You want to correlate the platform to where you ideal audience spends their time AND expects to see your type of content. Then, Ally suggests focusing your brand, your messaging, what you’re trying to promote, and what value you’re bringing on that specific platform to build an audience.
Every platform has a different context. You want to make sure that your content is tailored to the platform that you’re on, and that the content resonates with your ideal client.
Develop Your Client Avatar
When I started my business, I found marketing challenging because financial planning can be applicable to just about every demographic. It was hard to determine the ideal messaging. Do you talk about budgeting to millennials, do you cover complex estate planning topics for wealthy individuals, or do a little bit of everything?
I fell into the “little bit of everything trap” that any marketing professional will chastise as disastrous. When you speak to everybody, you speak to nobody.
It wasn’t until I figured out my ideal client avatars that messaging, and business development improved. Now, I specifically speak to millennials on Instagram, and the business owners I love working with on LinkedIn. A bar bell approach that I’m finding works very well.
Sadly, this took me a long time to figure out.
Fortunately, Ally has provides social media business tips to help you expedite the process. Specifically, Ally suggests the first thing to do before creating any content is to create a client profile.
The more detailed, the better – obviously within practical constraints.
Ally provides a great example: You can give your client avatar a name. Envision Jill from San Diego. A 32 years old that loves walking her dog every morning. She works in the finance industry, but she also has a side hustle with interior decorating and loves to watch Queer Eye on Netflix.
By understanding the client’s desires, values, and interests – you can then craft your message effectively. If you’re struggling to understand their problems, Ally suggests visiting comments and reviews from online communities like Facebook or Amazon. These will provide you helpful insights into the actual language your client uses.
Pick up on the phrasing and the messages that they’re putting out. Use that information to tailor all of your content so you’re speaking directly to your ideal customer. Addressing their desires and pain points directly will grab their initial attention.
The Importance Of Email
Recognize that an email list becomes one of the only marketing channels that you own. There are no algorithms you need to compete with or rules that might be changed overnight. If you have an email list and somebody opts in, they tell you, yes, I want to hear from you. It’s like you get an invitation into their kitchen, right into their online house.
After getting your ideal client’s attention, converting them to an email opt-in is paramount in order to maintain a dialogue.
Create a lead magnet to increase your opt-ins. You may hear it called a freebie or freemium content, but essentially this lead magnet is a free digital download, webinar, free shipping – something appropriate given your business operations.
Provide that freebie in exchange for their email address.
Then in the confirmation email you can say something to the effect of, “Thanks for signing up, I’ll give you more information on this topic and you can feel free to unsubscribe at any time.”
And if people unsubscribe, it is okay. Your first couple of unsubscribes are going to sting. Just recognize it happens to everyone and is all part of the process. You want to make sure that everyone on your list is your ideal client and that you’re not just gaining subscribers for the sake of ego. You have a valuable product or service you want these subscribers to purchase at some point, even if that may not be right away. If people leave, then that’s okay because it’s better to have a smaller list that’s converting then 20,000 leads that you bought from a random company that may or may not be a good fit.
Also keep in mind most email providers charge you based off the amount of subscribers you have. So you want those subscribers to be high quality and ensure the content that you’re putting out keeps them engaged.
From Subscriber to Buyer
Avoid pitching and selling every single email. Of course, you’re a business and expected to sell, but you want to make sure that you are positioning your business or your brand as the expert in that niche. Earn the right to sell and give your subscribers a reason to buy.
As long as you’re speaking to your ideal customer and you’re using their voice, you’re being friendly, and you’re giving valuable information, they’re going to want to keep opening your emails. At some point when you’ve built up that trust – everything with marketing is about – know, like, and trust – at that point, your subscriber might say, “Oh yeah, they’re doing a webinar and they’re going to sell a product. Or they’re having an event where they’re releasing new samples of their latest granola bar.” They’re ready to participate, buy, or even help spread the word.
As far as developing a content delivery and sales follow up cadence, Ally recommends the template put forth in Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.
Equate this to meaning give away quality information for free multiple times before directly asking for the sale. You can orchestrate this well with your email list. In fact, you may have heard of the “email funnel”. This funnel describes people at the top initially introduced to your brand as strangers. After being introduced to some form of your content, they subscribe into your list where the journey begins. You need to educate. They need to understand your topic, why it’s important, what it’s all about. Your taking them further along through emails where they can continue to learn about things. Then you throw in some agitation questions such as, “why aren’t you doing this already? Or why did you use it.” Then you provide the solution and the benefits that come with it. You’re painting a picture of what life could be and the improvements that come from using the product or service you offer. And your just being honest! Tell your story.
If people don’t buy right away, that’s okay. You want to have nurture emails that are continually providing valuable information and periodically soft selling.
Keep in mind, just like in real life, the first time you’re introduced to somebody they probably are not going to buy from a stranger. That’s why you want to start with valuable content and education, and then move into sales after you’ve established credibility and trust.
Improve Your Conversion Rate
Adding video and audio can help increase your audience engagement and sales conversions.
Whether you’re doing live streams on Facebook, Instagram stories. webinars, or anything that connects and allows you to humanize your brand proves helpful. This becomes especially true if you’re selling yourself as the provider – services, coaching, courses, etc.
Additionally, you can repurpose video in so many ways. This article provides a perfect example. We’ve taken this video interview and transcribed it into a helpful blog format for those that prefer reading to video. We can then send that out to our email subscribers that have said they are interested in business strategy and provide the choice – would you rather read or watch the video?
Video can help with sales too. Effective video essentially provides your own little salesperson out there working for you on an ongoing basis. As you can imagine, there are a lot of ways to leverage your content.
I Help X Do Y
The last marketing gem Ally leaves us with is her one sentence statement. She encourages owners to think in very simple terms – what do they do and who do they do it for. For example, in Driven Wealth Management’s case, we help business owners increase and protect their net worth.
The majority of the marketing should then be around showcasing that one sentence statement. Consistency becomes key. It will feel like you are being repetitive with your messaging. Ally reminds us that is a good thing. You want your ideal customer to see your marketing and feel certain they are in the right place.
A special thank you to Ally Archer for providing these quality social media tips for business and helping owners get started with their social media strategy.
Remember, this series is all about taking action.
Be sure to contact Ally and see her personal website to learn more about these options. And feel free to contact us if you’d like help evaluating the financial implications of your marketing decisions.