5 tips for staying sane when using Social Media for your business
It’s a curse and a blessing: social media. It is free, and it can be a powerful marketing tool, but boy, can it drain your time and energy. Crafting content, coming up with ideas, making sure your branding is good, making sure your message is out there, building your brand. Connecting with your followers, growing your audience, replying, commenting on other people’s posts, using the correct hashtags. It can take up many hours. In fact, it can make us start hating it. What can you do to stay sane on social media, make it more joyful, and still get good results?
1. Be where your fans are
You keep posting on Facebook, but are your ideal clients actually there? Before choosing a platform, you have to ask yourself the basic question first: who do you want to attract, and where do they hang out? Sketch a profile of your ideal client, or the person you most want to talk to, and draw into your world. They may be on all platforms, but most likely are predominantly on one favourite. Then be there. Attract them with relevant content, hashtags, and a clear message. Don’t spread yourself too thinly. Retain your energy, and stay focused on the goal.
2. It’s not quantity, it’s quality you need
You look at your competitors with their shiny accounts and their branded feeds, and feel a pang of jealousy when you see how many followers they have. Thousands. Tens of thousands even. There you are with your rickety page and your shoddy posts, and your 125 followers. You feel inadequate, envious, but most of all a little hopeless. How on earth do they do that? And more importantly, what are you doing wrong?
You are doing nothing wrong, my friend.
The most important bit of advice I am going to give you right here is that it is not about the amount of followers or likes you have, it is about how engaged your audience is. At the end of the day; a silent audience of 10,000 is no good for sales. It may look impressive, but if nobody says anything, then they are not going to buy either. So be grateful for the few hundred people that do follow you, like and comment, and build on that. Start talking to them, and make them feel heard. They follow you because they love what you do. Nurture them and serve them. Growing a loyal audience that buys from you takes time (2 years is not uncommon!), and requires trust. Build that trust with great content and authenticity.
Try and get a couple of sales from your small audience to begin with, or offer something for free in return for feedback and a case study. Gather testimonials, and use those cases again in your content to build authority and trust. All of these steps will help you get more results from social media..
3. You are not posting to get people’s approval
Before you post, reconnect for a moment with your inner compass and your self-worth. It doesn’t matter if the branding is on point, or your photo has the right filter; it is about your message, and what value you offer to people’s lives. It is also not about getting approval. Think about how you want to serve your audience, and how best to share your knowledge, your gifts and talents with them though your posts. Tell your truth. Make them think. Bring joy. Spark their curiosity. It may resonate with some people, who are likely your ideal client, but it may not be someone else’s cup of tea. You are not posting to please others. You only need to resonate with those who you want to attract into your world.
You are not posting to be validated as a business or a person.
4. Practice posting from your authentic self
Don’t post daily just for the sake of being ‘visible’. You’ll soon run out of ideas, and end up posting content that doesn’t align with your message at all, or how you want to be seen as a business person. You may copy a type of post, because you’ve seen others do it, and got tumbleweed on your page as a response. Try writing, recording and expressing from your authentic self, instead. People follow you for a reason, and the reason is you. Your skills and knowledge can probably be found elsewhere on the internet, but as a person you are unique. Your audience loves you for who you are and how you serve them and talk to them. So don’t try to be someone you’re not. By creating content, you are practising expressing yourself and that in itself is valuable.
Post that unpolished video, unedited selfie, and blog post written from the heart. Not only will this hit home with much of your ideal clients, it also makes social media more joyful for yourself.
5. After posting… take a break
Once you post on social media, go and do something else. Don’t sit and wait for the dopamine hit. Don’t keep checking to see if there is engagement! There may be, or there may not be. Ignoring the likes will strengthen your boundaries, and make you feel more in charge of your work. It’s just a post. If you haven’t already, turn off notifications on your phone for likes/comments/shares.
Check engagement later in the day, or the next morning. If you have an interesting post that has plenty of comments, most likely people will start talking to each other, and this is what you want! Creating community is the best outcome from running a group or page on social media. You don’t need to be there constantly. Checking engagement is good, so you learn what resonates with your audience, and it can feed your future content. If they love a certain topic, create some more, go deeper. You may even want to design a service or workshop around it.
Don’t make social media a headache for yourself. It is not the only marketing tool in the box, and you don’t need to have it all sussed within a few months. Take your time, find out what makes you feel joyful about it, what type of content you love creating, and above all: how you can be your most authentic self. Keep being unique, don’t care what others are doing, and serve your audience. If you can inspire or help just one person each day, you are doing fantastic work.