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Two reasons you need to learn to use social media effectively for your business

In this edition of the StartUP Sault column, we learn that social media timing and messaging is important
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“Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to great places. You're off and away”

- Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go

A fantastic book I read often to my children before bed. It’s filled with Dr. Seuss’ twist of finding success.

Many of us will start a business and quickly learn how difficult it can be to be responsible for every decision the business makes.

Unfortunately, marketing seems to be put on the backburner for many smaller businesses. It’s unfortunate because marketing on social media is arguably the most powerful tool for promoting your business right now.

Jumping into business because you can do the job better than anyone else is admirable. The issue is the consistency of growing the business and finding new customers. As an entrepreneur I often challenged myself asking:

  • How do I get more customers?
  • How do I drive more traffic and phone calls?
  • How will people find me?
  • What is the best use of my time?

The last question is powerful because entrepreneurs and business owners often have little time left to put toward building awareness for their brand.

I remember trying to get the word out there amongst an infinite sea of ad messages to hopefully land a customer. If I knew of the resources out there when I was running my former business, I would have done things differently.

Social media is a powerful tool for two amazing reasons.

First, social media is an amazing platform for delivering consistent messages that can narrow in on your target market.

And second, it creates open and clear dialog with your customers. You can seamlessly guide and help customers toward your products or services and help them feel confident and knowledgeable to do so.

It’s important to look at your social media marketing efforts from the customer’s point of view.

Role play!

“Do I need your product?” (Appeal)

“How do I get to your website?”

“Where are you located?”

One very important point to maintain when working with your social media marketing efforts is to be consistent.

Timely:

Be consistent in how often you post on social media. Set your alarm if you need to. Post just before times that you know your target market will be using those social media channels. Before breakfast for an article so your market can read it while they eat as an example. A good rule of thumb is at least one message every day on every social media platform your target market is using.

Message:

Consistency not only applies to the frequency of your posts, but your message as well.

Does your message match your business goals and values? It wouldn’t be a good idea as a business producing natural or environmentally friendly products to post about using plastic straws as an acceptable thing to do. Inconsistent messaging can break you.

Did you see how fast everyone jumped all over social media when a Starbucks cup was on the set of Game of Thrones?

Inconsistency in your messaging will most definitely be spotted.

Invest for the long run. Your social media platform will most likely not have a huge following overnight. It will take time. But it will grow with your continued efforts.

Your social media will allow your customers to connect with you, learn from you and even approach you with complaints. Show everyone that you are ready and happy to help resolve their issues and that they are valuable to you.

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go

– Dr. Seuss

If there is anything you can take away from this, be consistent in your timing and your message. Be open to dialog and encourage interaction between your business and your customers. Lastly, seek out resources to help you.

StartUP Sault Ste. Marie is about entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs. We are building a strong support network and the resources needed to help each other build thriving businesses.

Jeffrey Wright is an entrepreneur and the Social Media Manager at StartUP Sault Ste. Marie




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