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<< I'm thrilled to welcome Anne Winters, our in-house social guru, as my partner-blogger this week!

If you're ready to get off the social media hamster wheel, check out our 5 reasons your business has no business on social media. Happy reading! - Melissa B.

 

 

 

The lie—Social media is a “no-brainer,” as long as you know how to post, your brand will organically build itself.

The truth—Social media only works if you make it work. For some brands, social media can be a full-time job.

We know that Instagram is powerful. Across the globe there are over 500 million active users, sharing over 40 billion photos to date. Not only is Instagram used by individuals, but 48.8% of brands are using Instagram as their leading social media platform , and that number is expected to rise to 70.7% by this year (https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-statistics/).

So why aren’t you seeing results?

You post twice a week, have 300 or so followers, but somehow you don't have any leads, increase of traffic to your website, or much engagement on your posts. You've become skeptical that social media actually works, and I get it.

>> If you're ready to get ready to get off the social media hamster wheel, check out our 5 Reasons Your Business Has No Business On Social Media:

 

1.    Start With Why

The first step to promote your business is to understand why you're on Instagram. If the answer it to post, think again. If the answer is to gain more followers, ask yourself why you want more followers. What do you plan to do once you have them? How will you convert your followers to cash?

Before you do anything, know what you're trying to accomplish and how you're going to measure it.

>> Posting for "reach" or "brand recognition" can be a time-consuming strategy. Think about posting to drive traffic, generate leads, and convert. Especially for small businesses, this will give you greater focus in less time.

 Make personas of the people you're targeting. List demographics (age, avg. income, marriage status, etc) and psychographics (interests, hobbies, buying behavior).

Make personas of the people you're targeting. List demographics (age, avg. income, marriage status, etc) and psychographics (interests, hobbies, buying behavior).

 

 

2. Good Content Speaks, Great Content Connects

What you post matters. Your goal isn't to hit a weekly post quota. Your goal is to create and curate meaningful content. Think about who you're speaking to (see #1 above). What do they value? What do they find interesting? Taking the time to craft valuable messages and visuals for your audience can actually influence purchase decisions* -- so take the time to consider your posts carefully. 

*(http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/marketing/2015/05/how-social-media-influences-consumer-buying.html)

>> How many emojis you're supposed to use, what time of day to post, and what makes up a cool hashtag will be ever-changing. Posting great content will never go out of style.

 MindBodyGreen posts an authentic, but timely shot that speaks to moms who have been there before!

MindBodyGreen posts an authentic, but timely shot that speaks to moms who have been there before!

 FlyWheel Sports posts a candid, but artful shot while getting their local fans excited for the opening of a new studio.

FlyWheel Sports posts a candid, but artful shot while getting their local fans excited for the opening of a new studio.

 

3. Timing Matters 

There are endless blogs and bodies of research that will tell you when the best time to post is. To read a good one, click here

What I'm talking about isn't time of day, but timing your posts with what matters to your followers. For example, if a big event happens in your industry, acknowledge it and post something relevant that ties your brand to it. Take advantage of shared interests and awareness of what's going on in your follower's lives.

>> Remember, your content isn't about you. It's not about what's going on in your world, it's about reaching them in theirs.

What do financial advisors and the Super Bowl have in common? Nothing. But their customers care about the game, and so should they.

 

4. Engagement is Everything

Let your target audience know you are there and that you're keeping up with them. Instead of just posting photos or videos and letting your followers interact with you, start engaging! Share a fans post, give a shout out to a loyal follower, or write an authentic response. People will feel warm and fuzzy when they see your "like" notification come across their screen while they're at work thinking about something completely different. Remember, your comments are your personality, so don't try to do this in bulk.

>> You have to be willing to give more than you get.

 Go Pro uses the majority of user's content for posts - what a great way to thank your fans and spread the love.

Go Pro uses the majority of user's content for posts - what a great way to thank your fans and spread the love.

 

5. Mind Your #Hashtags 

>> Hashtags are to Instagram, as keywords are to Google. 

Hashtags should be used to find and connect with your target audience, generate conversation, and build your brand by injecting personality.

No one searches for #melbarmar (my company), so while I use that as a branded-hashtag, I also use popular hashtags that people who want what I do will use. For example, #startuplife, #entrepreneur, and #growthhack. 

By using hashtags that are relevant to your product, you widen your reach to other Instagram users that have the same interests as you do.

For all things #hashtags, click here.

 WeWork uses hashtags to label their events—like #WWCamp—and to encourage customers to share their own photos of the spaces.

WeWork uses hashtags to label their events—like #WWCamp—and to encourage customers to share their own photos of the spaces.

Once you have determined your brand’s hashtags, “hide” your generic hashtags in your first comment and insert 5 dots before the hashtags. This technique will widen your reach to other Instagram users and prevent clutter in your captions. 

 
 

 &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Melissa Barker, Founder &amp; Owner  MEL BAR MAR

                         Melissa Barker, Founder & Owner MEL BAR MAR

 

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