Facebook was founded in 2006;
Twitter was founded in 2006;
Instagram was founded in 2010;
Snapchat was founded in 2011;
I have been an active user on all four platforms and so have billions of other people. Social media is huge today. I don’t think that I know a single person who is not on at least one of these three platforms, if not all four. We all know the power of a single tweet.
You must be wondering why I am telling you all of this. The answer lies in my fondness for social media and my passion for my small business. I have literally grown up on social media. So, when I was formulating my business plan and how to make it a reality, I had one thing in my mind. And that was social media.
Like many other small business owners, who are operating from their living rooms, I also chose social media as the location of my business. I wouldn’t say it wasn’t a struggle. Like everything else in life, getting a business kick-started is no easy task. And I won’t take the credit all for myself.
I had worked with a renowned digital marketing company in India that helped me along the way and ensured that everything I did was aligning with the fruition of my goals.
Here is how my journey went.
Posting every day on the clock
The first thing to do to gain an advantage of social media for your business is to be present every day. And you can only do that if you post daily. So, that is what I did.
I diligently and regularly posted on all my social media accounts Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I didn’t post on Snapchat much though. I didn’t just post regularly, I also added popular hashtags that would land me on more users’ pages than otherwise possible.
Now running a business and being mindful of posting every day could be tricky. So, I took help from the abundance of tools available on the internet. The one that I chose was HootSuite. It’s a fairly easy-to-use platform that has all my social media channels in one place.
I could post simultaneously on all the platforms. What was even more awesome was that I could schedule posts, which came in very handy on busy days. I scheduled posts for one week ahead in time and kept me free, well as free as a new business owner could be.
Keeping the posts engaging and enlightening
This one is a little similar to the last one. Let’s understand how. You can keep posting a number of posts every day. However, if they do not resonate with the audience, then it would be futile. So, the next thing that I did was to ensure that all my posts were engaging.
I did this in a number of ways.
- First, I did a bit of research about my line of business. And worked out the things that were trending and started posting those.
- Second, I made sure to never miss out on a festival or public holiday. I mean who wouldn’t love Diwali greetings along with a sale?
- Thirdly, I tried keeping my audience engaged. I did a lot of Q and A’s as well as posting a lot of polls to make sure that the audience would be engaged.
And trust me, just being mindful of these three things helped in escalating my engagement rating. And I honestly started experiencing a surge in sales. People love being engaged and enlightened, instead of just scrolling through the usual, boring Instagram posts.
Responding to consumers quickly
The third important thing I did was to be very prompt in responding to my consumers. It definitely took a lot more of my time than I expected, but it is worth it.
- Whether your consumers are messaging you on social media;
- Whether they are commenting on a particular post or story;
- Whether they are reposting and sharing your work;
You have to be responsive to them. You have to reply to every DM, every comment and every repost. Yes, there is a chance that this would really buy their loyalty towards your brand. However, it would make them feel valued. And if you do not respond, they’ll feel the exact opposite of that and as a business owner, you do not want that.
Making a consumer feel valued goes a long way in making them see your value. And there is a high likelihood that in the future, they would turn to your business. The same happened to me.
Working with influencers
When I started my business on social media, I had like a few hundred followers for months and months. No matter what I did, my followers wouldn’t grow. So, I did the next best thing a business could do on social media. That was to collaborate with an influencer.
They are people with tens and thousands of followers. One post from them boasting about my product could be monumental for my business. Kylie Jenner charges close to a million dollars for a single promotional post on Instagram. So, the idea had worked in the past or else no one was crazy enough to pay a million bucks, right?
So, I started reaching out to influencers. It was a long while later that a local influencer from my town agreed to do a promotional post. She had about 20 thousand followers, which is an enormous number for someone with only 200 or so followers. Thankfully, I didn’t have to pay her much, only a monthly subscription of my line. That worked extremely well for me.
Within days of her post, I could actually see my follower count rising and was experiencing a surge in business. Up until now, I have worked with about 15 influencers and my follower count is in the thousands.
The final straw
While I was working on all four of the above-mentioned attributes of social media marketing, there was more to do. My digital marketing company worked in India and abroad. It had a lot of exposure and that helped me in creating my brand’s individual identity. This was the only thing left for me to do.
Being a novice at business, I was sending mixed signals to the consumers about my brand. My company helped me get focused and my business started flourishing.