You already know you should be using social media to help grow your business. Frankly, this is where pretty much all advertising is going. It won't be too long before billboards, postcards, and even TV commercials will be a thing of the past. Even worse - if you don't get on the train right now, I can assure you your top competitor already is.
But - social media can be daunting, even scary. There is SO MUCH to learn. I tell my clients all the time that you couldn't even teach a comprehensive class on it. There is too much to learn and it is changing rapidly.
That being said, you can get your toes wet and start reaping the rewards of online advertising now. You don't need to spends 10s of thousands of dollars to do it, either. Here's some tips to get you started.
1) Decide which platforms will work best for your business. If you are a real estate agent, for example, you will want to be on Facebook and Instagram at the very minimum. Those targeting a younger crowd will want to be on Snapchat. Industries that move quickly need to be on Twitter. You get the picture.
2) Set up your pages. This will take a little time, as it is crucial that you understand your brand and what you are selling. Do you primarily target lake buyers? Then you won't want to have images and content that make you look like a first time home buyer agent. Do you primarily target renters? Then you probably won't want to have info that will make your audience think you are out of their league. Specialize in home inspections? Make sure your page feels legitimate and has tons of resources for homeowners. You will want to ensure you use high quality images for your cover and profile photos - this will be your first introduction to someone, and you know what they say about first impressions.
3) Start adding content. Again, ensure your content jives with your brand. Offer information and articles of interest to your audience. Mix it up with good original pieces that you create/write. Refer to our previous post about blogging - this is a great way to add content. Also, use video! Video results in some of the best engagement across all platforms - it appears that the platforms give it preferential treatment, even. One important thing to remember, though, is to not make your page too sales-y. Sure - you want and need to inform your audience about your services. But, not every day. Implement a nice healthy mix of sales, personal, funny, and informational and you will have a dynamic, dynamite page.
4) Be consistent. No one is telling you to post 8 times a day and overload everyone's news feeds. But - you should be posting at least once a day or every couple days. Don't have something to say? Find an image that speaks to you, a meme that makes you laugh, or an article someone else has written about your industry.
5) Engage! This is the CRITICAL STEP. All the posting in the world isn't as strong as the engagement you yourself have online. Like people's baby photos. Comment on their vacation posts. Tell your friends Happy Birthday (FB gives you a list!). All advertising and marketing is about staying top of mind. If you are interacting with people daily, they can't forget you.
6) Make use of "groups" on Facebook. Become a member of EVERYTHING. You will find that if you spend time in the various groups that relate to your industry, there are leads EVERYWHERE. This is where non-confrontational engagement comes in. See someone with a new car? Ask them who they use to insure it. See someone with a new job needing to move? Ask them when their property is going on the market. You get the picture. You won't find these leads if you aren't in there!
7) Get help if you need it. Most of our clients hire us to do the hard work. You can outsource a company or person that understands your business to have them create content, images, blog posts, etc. so you can focus on the engagement. The more time you can spend, the better.