Still time to make the most of 2018
We’re already 5 months into 2018. How on earth did that happen?! Where did those months go?
By this time of the year, many of us have not yet achieved those goals we initially set out at the beginning of 2018. Whether you’re someone who was adamant you’d go to the gym EVERY DAY, buying an annual pass and haven’t been back since the middle of January, or someone who wanted to change their career path (but hasn’t got round to it just quite yet) – bottom line is, we all slip up somehow. But fear not! You have 7 months left to make sure this year is the best one yet. Whilst the ‘New Year, New Me’ feeling we experience at the end of December is a great time for reflection, consideration and improvement, it doesn’t need to be the start of the new year to make changes for the better.
Alas, I can’t help you find the strength to go back to that dreaded gym. However, if you have a business and are eager to build a presence online, I can provide some insight on how to improve your digital lifestyle using social media marketing.
Many of you will already be using social media as a tool to promote your business, though for some it can seem quite daunting to venture into the unknown waters of unfamiliar social media platforms. A wonderful thing about having a business online is there are countless directions people follow to promote themselves. There are, however, certain points you may want to consider before diving in. Whilst promoting through social networking sites can increase your integrity and presence online, if done poorly or half-heartedly, it may do more damage than good.
So without further ado, here are our 5 top tips to ensure you can make the most of promoting your business online:
1. Focus on your target audience
Whilst developing a presence online is essential, it’s important not to overdo it. Platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are some of the most user-friendly and popular networking sites and are therefore great places to be promoting your business. On the other hand, having a multitude of different accounts linked together in the bio on each platform can be quite overwhelming and off-putting. Do your research, find out which networking sites your target audience use most and focus on these. Ask yourself: what type of people will be most interested in my business? You can’t know a person by stereotyping, but similar people are likely to behave in similar ways – and social media are no exception!
2. Optimise your content
Most platforms have methods of monitoring which posts received the highest response. Posts with visual content (photos, gifs and videos) are more likely to catch people’s attention as they scroll through the endless abyss of their timelines. See which posts get the most comments and shares, and compare the differences between the successful posts and the posts that backfired. Your digital lifestyle will be continuously evolving, and it’s okay if you find that tactics you initially thought would be most popular receive little notice. Be flexible and consider what your target audience wants to see, not just what you want to share. Ensure any visual content you share is good quality and captivating. Even though a picture can paint a thousand words, you should always include captions so your readers know why you are sharing that post.
3. Be responsive and read recommendations
Word of mouth recommendations are one of the strongest forms of publicity. Customers are more likely to take notice of a recommendation from a friend or acquaintances than from an advert. This is because consumers are more likely to trust products or services that have been peer-reviewed, as customer reviews (usually) have no reason to be biased. They can be honest about their opinions of your business, as your company’s reputation does not impact them. Acknowledge what’s being said about you or your business and engage with your audience. Reply to reviews, messages and answer questions. Ensure any negative comments have been responded to – and make sure to be polite!
4. Be consistent and patient
Like everything in life, you have to put in some work to reap the benefit. If you can consistently publish captivating content, you’ll build trust and respect with your followers. This will drive quality traffic to your website, with visitors who will be interested in your business. But to get this point, you need to build a reputation. This takes time – so be patient. Post frequently (but not too much, it’ll bug people if your posts are the only ones they see on their timelines) and make sure everything you post is relevant to your business. Keep your platforms up to date, and keep engaging with your customers. If you respond to one message within an hour, but forget to respond to another for a week you’ll lose integrity. If you are consistent, with time your business’s reputation will be the biggest promoting tool you can use.
5. Be yourself and don’t lose sight of your initial goal
We humans are so easily distracted. I’m not referring to you accidently scrolling on Facebook for an hour without realising, but to losing sight of long term goals. Most businesses are built on someone’s passion. Of course, as a business there is some intention that your passion will be profitable, but don’t let this make you forget why you initially started. There are a huge number of people who are passionate about the same thing, and the wonderful thing about being online is that you can find them! While considering the opinions of your audiences is important, being genuine, enthusiastic and confident with your work will ensure others have confidence in you too, and attract customers with the same interests.
Utilising different social media platforms correctly can help you gain publicity and increase awareness of a product, website or company – whatever it is you want to promote! If you can understand the basics of social media marketing, this will prove to be an invaluable skill that’ll help you gain online success, especially for growing businesses.
If you have any other top tips – comment below! Let us know what you found helped you the most when you started promoting your business using social media.