Social media is amazing. It's fast paced. It's fun. And it's a free way to advertise your business (unless you hire someone like me).
But do you struggle knowing what to post? Or do you randomly post, hoping that it hits the mark with someone?
Or perhaps you think that social media isn't working for you at all?
Social Media Isn't Working For Me
Content Marketing is the organic way to get found online - no paid for ads or pushy sales. This is content created for your target audience and it's authentic selling. You build an online audience of people who are your target market and trust you as an expert - which leads to quality clients.
Gone are the days of "Your hair is shit. By the way I'm a hairdresser, here's my card"
But I'm not going to lie - it takes ages to build your audience and sometimes up to one year from someone finding you to buying from you. You're kidding yourself if you think you can rock up on day one and it will all fall into place by the end of the week. Or even at the end of 6 weeks. It's all about trial and error and seeing what content works best. Successful Business Owners put effort and thought into their social media content because: if you don't have an audience, then no one is listening.
But if you know the type of content to post to hit the right audience, this will speed up your success. I promise.
Algorithm Woo Woo
We all know that there are the 'best times' to post and you need 3 hashtags for Facebook but 30 for Instagram and images without text and you need to be active 20 mins before and after posting, all whilst spinning on the spot and touching your toes 3 times.
But if your content is a big pile of shite - please don't blame the algorithms.
Put all of that time and effort you spend trying to crack algorithms and research what content your target market would actually find interesting - then post that and see.
Don't you find it weird that you can meet all of Facebook's algorithm requirements with zero interaction from anyone, but you post a cat video with no regards for algorithms and the internet goes wild. It's because that's what people want to see.
Social networks prioritise what content a person sees first in their feed - regardless of what time it was posted - based on the actual likelihood that they’ll want to see it. So have to get your content spot on for your target market (who will be looking for people like you), using the correct niche long tail key words and hashtags, it should make your life easier.
And the more your content is put in front of the right people, the more engagement you will get. And most platforms use algorithms that prioritise content with higher engagement. Full circle, win win.
Three things before you start:
Strong Brand ID so the look, feel and tone of your posts are consistent, recognisable and memorable
Target Market so you know who to focus your content on, get found by them and avoid the time wasters
Marketing Plan so you actually have something to post and keep your business moving forward
If you don't have any of these, go and SCREAM YOUR DREAMS INTO THE BIN.
This is your Audience and Content Strategy simplified:
HOT - Purchase content - current clients - sales posts
WARM - Consideration content - followers - news on your business
COLD - Awareness content - everyone else - answering your target market questions
Now let's explore this further ..
Your Audience Explained
This method has been my life saver. I'm a strategic person and I need a defined thought process for everything.
Break your target audience down into three categories:
HOT: the people who already know like and trust you (i.e. you current and previous clients)
WARM: the people who know who you are but haven't yet purchased (i.e. your followers)
COLD: your target market who doesn't know you exist yet (i.e. the rest of the world)
Now break your content down to target your three audiences ..
Your Content Explained
Purchase content (HOT)
This should include:
Sales posts about your service
What you do
Who you do it for
Why you are the best
How much you cost
Promotions, offers and launches
Your hot audience already loves you, they don't need any convincing, so these types of posts will be right up their street, compared to someone who has know idea who you are.
Consideration content (WARM)
This should include:
Portfolio and latest work
Stats on your business success
Latest business news, promotions and launches
Your warm audience already like you and know your an expert, which is why they follow you, but they need more convincing on the trust - so this type of content demonstrates other people have loved working with you and you are actually successful at what you do. It makes you more desirable - but always come from a genuine need to support your target market.
Awareness content (COLD)
This content is all about SEO / longtail keywords and answering the specific pain point questions of your target market through blogposts, podcasts and videos. Adding this content consistently and frequently to your website and putting it out over social media, will get you found by the right people, when they type their question into the search engine.
This is why knowing your target market, niching down and using the correct lingo is essential to get found online and grow your audience.
For example, if you are a Web Designer full stop - GOOD LUCK to you! However, if you are a Wix Web Designer who helps Mums in business from the Salisbury area, well ...
I have created a list of 17 ideas to help you get started on your Awareness content.
But in amongst this business content, you have to come across as an actual human being. People buy from people and YOU are the 'U'SP in your business. Putting your face to your brand will make you more more relatable and trust worthy.
It doesn't mean you have to share super personal stuff but you do have to engage with your crowd on a friendly level - and the good thing is you get to choose what to share, so you don't have to feel self conscious or uncomfortable. We all have something we can chat about, for example:
Diet and exercise
Family and pets
Friends and places
Hobbies and interests
Share a huge win or loss
Prepare something for Awareness Days
See what and who is trending on social media
Post your opinions
Quotes and memes
Share content that resonates with your target market and the sort of person you want to work with.
Asserting Your Position
Another brilliant way to get noticed, create engagement and attract your target audience is to post your opinions and personal advice. It can be on a general topic or it can be industry related.
But if you have something on your mind, share it because it could make you stand out and be one of the best posts you do.
Remember engagement is engagement - even if someone is disagreeing with you. It asserts your position on the matter and shows that you are confident and professional enough to have a debate. And there will be people out there thanking you for having the guts to say it, when all they've been doing is thinking it.
How to Plan Your Content
There is no ratio of content categories / to days of the week. It's not like, '2 posts of sales, 3 of consideration and 5 awareness per week'.
Your business is fluid, so plan the nitty gritty a week in advance and include anything which is current in your world that your target market will appreciate.
Just don't get hung up on one type of content because you can freeze yourself out if you focus to much on your cold audience or you can get people hot with anger if all you do is sell sell sell. And if you just post personal content about your knitting hobby, no one will know what it is you do.
Keep it fluid and balanced.