Social Media Checklist for Entrepreneurs
Ninety percent of businesses when asked in a survey recently, said social media is crucial to their overall marketing strategies. The smaller the business entity, the more that they stand to gain and lose via social networks.
Social media platforms can suck you in and be wastelands of marketing ROI. But savvy entrepreneurs understand how to use platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to spread the word about their businesses. In many cases, these same business people are growing those businesses and bottom lines without spending a dime.
Before you step over to the dark side and allocate too much precious time to social media to pursue networking opportunities or seal the deal with new customers, consider how you know whether you're using your time wisely or merely spinning your wheels?
Fear not. The following checklist is a guide for Entrepreneurs looking to pinpoint their social strategy and use their time on these platforms wisely, to build their investment in their business.
1. Pick a primary channel.
It is too easy to be doing a hole lot of nothing. Decide on a single social channel that's going to command most of your attention. That's not to say you can't focus on both Facebook and Instagram, for example, but trying to be in multiple places at once will inevitably burn you out.
Consider who your market is, and what platforms most attract them. Women love Instagram and Pintrest for example.
2. Don't spread yourself too thin.
Despite popular belief, you don't need to be active on each and every social site. In fact, there are no "must-have" networks. There are ways you can effectively manage a presence simultaneously on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn by yourself. Use 3rd party platforms that allow you to make posts to all the Social Media platforms at one time, This adds a great platform to cover your bases and then focus on your core platform with more activity.
3. Never stop networking.
The old adage, "Always be prospecting," rings incredibly true for today's entrepreneurs on social media.
There are seemingly endless opportunities to connect with new clients, win over customers and share your business's content all at once. Private Facebook groups based around your industry represent potential gold mines of new business. Likewise, sites such as LinkedIn put you on the same level as CEOs and industry bigwigs.
4. Position yourself as an influencer.
Oftentimes, making yourself heard via social media means playing the role of a bigwig yourself. By positioning yourself as an influencer, you grow your authority within your niche and make yourself more attractive to potential clients and customers. Major global brands have been driven primarily by their "Influencer Leader" in the past. Richard Branson and Virgin is a great example of how an Influencer can help the branding of a company.
Some smart yet simple positioning strategies on social media include:
Thoughtfully responding to questions and comments on industry-related Facebook or LinkedIn groups
Republishing your own content to the various social channels, including LinkedIn's own publishing platform
Regularly commenting on the updates of major players in your industry, showing that you've got the chops to be a bigger player yourself
Any combination of these strategies not only puts your name out there, but also publicly displays your commitment to your industry.
5. Look for opportunities to curate social proof.
Before you do business with a company or person, you look for validation. Does this vendor or contractor deserve the business and will they deliver on their end of the deal. Social media represents a great place to curate your legitimacy and proof on behalf of your business.
Post images of completed projects or you serving your customers. Engage with those that use your services etc.
6. Professional imagery goes a long way.
This point is crucial but so easy to ignore: Something as simple as your professional head shot or photo can make all the difference when it comes to networking via social media. If you want to be taken seriously, present yourself accordingly. Bathroom selfies and party pics aren't going to cut it if you really want to make an impression on your audience.
7. Don't let your profiles gather cobwebs.
Finally, don't let your social presence fall to the wayside. Period. Consistency is key to gaining followers and traction via social: The more you post, the more you will grow an audience that's hungry for what you have to say.