Social Media 101 for New Businesses
So you're about to launch your business, and Social Media is a massive, scary beast that keeps staring you in the face. You know you need to be "doing social," but you're not sure where to start. There are so many social platforms to choose from, and so many experts offering advice and services.
If this sounds familiar, this blog post is for you! It will answer all of the most common questions that new entrepreneurs have about social media. Armed with these answers, you can remove the overwhelm of social from your launch and focus on what you do best.
What social media platforms should I be on?
Answer: pick one!
You don't need to stress out over having the perfect social media presence on every platform available. There is no reason you need to invest tons of time, money, or resources into building out a massive following on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube, Pinterest, etc. all at once.
Just pick one that makes the most sense for your audience and do that platform really well.
How do I know which social media platform to focus on?
This is a great question to be asking. The answer lies within who your ideal customer is. For most businesses, a good rule of thumb is to start with Facebook, but it really depends on what your business is.
A jewelry business would do well on Instagram; a technology startup fares better on Twitter. It's all about your unique audience and where they spend the majority of their time.
If you're still feeling stuck on this, try to come up with someone you know who represents your ideal customer. What platform are they most active on? Where do they tend to get their news/media/information? The answer will be there waiting for you.
What type of content do I need to post, and how often?
This one is a bit trickier to answer in a blog post, because the most frustrating marketing answer applies: it depends.
Consider these three things:
- What is the core offer or value that I provide to my audience, and how can I translate that into "quick hits" for social media content?
- What are my top 3 competitors doing on my chosen platform?
- What is reasonable for me to accomplish, given my time and resources?
That last one is likely the most important, because consistency is key. If you set a goal to post every day on Facebook when you don't really have the time to do so, you'll probably end up not posting at all. Set a realistic goal and then focus on staying consistent.
What if I haven't launched yet? Should I still create a Facebook page (or other social profile)?
Short answer: yes.
One of the first things that many people do when assessing a brand is to search for them on social media. Even if you haven't launched yet and aren't ready to start posting content consistently, you could always do a "COMING SOON" post. By having something come up when they search for you that looks legitimate and updated, you're already building trust with potential customers when the time comes for your launch.
Do I need to spend money on Facebook Ads? Do they work? How do I even get started?
First of all—Facebook Ads DO work. In fact, they are every smart business' secret weapon. They are cost effective and can pack a huge punch in terms of the number of people you can reach. You can also learn a lot about your audience through testing Facebook Ads.
However, they are not easy to DIY. Before investing in Facebook Ads, you should either spend a considerable amount of time learning how to do it yourself, or hire a professional. Ideally, you hire someone! Please contact me for my recommendation on the best Facebook Ads course for you, or so that I can refer you to a trusted Facebook Ads professional.
Regarding when to invest in Facebook Ads: it depends on if you have the funding and if it makes sense for your sales funnel. Again, please don't hesitate to contact me and I can give you a personalized answer for this question!
When and how should I outsource my social media upkeep to a professional?
Outsourcing your social media to a professional is a smart move, but only if you have the finances to do so and if it makes sense for your business. When hiring someone, make sure to figure out the specific return on your investment that you are looking for, and how you're going to measure that. It's also important to work with someone you like and communicate well with, and who has a proven track record of success. (P.S. This could be me!)
Here's a basic guide to get you started on social media, including how to figure out what social media platforms best meets your goals and what metric to track.