Assuming an active presence online is key to growing your business but, how do you know where to be when the digital space is so BIG? Believe me, I hear you. The overwhelm that comes with starting anything online, especially on social media, is difficult to get through. However, with a bit of patience, consistency and experimenting, you’ll end up exactly where you need to be in no time.
The #1 way to know where you need to be in the social media space is by determining your focal points.
Here’s how I did it:
1. Set a goal.
Before you go plastering your brand all over the internet, it’s imperative that you set a goal so you can narrow your focus. This requires knowing your ideal customer and the space in which that customer spends their time. When you set a specific goal upfront, and with an audience in mind, you take the first HUGE step in mapping out a true plan of action.
2. Find Your Hot Spots.
There are so many social media channels and, what many don’t realize is, you don’t have to be on every single one. You just need to be where your audience is most active and work to develop a community in that space. You need to find your hot spots. When clients ask me where to begin, I always tell them to start everywhere but not to end up everywhere…atleast not right away. You simply need to know where your community of supporters congregates most often and be there. Otherwise you risk spreading yourself too thin.
- Launch profiles/pages on The Big Four social media channels and other key digital networks overtime. Claim your handles/usernames so that you have them and can use them as needed. Get to know these spaces, how they operate and observe how frequently they’re used by others.
The Big Four: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest
Other key players: LinkedIn, Google+, Snapchat, Periscope, YouTube
- Start sharing content consistently across your launched channels. You set the stage here as far as how frequently you do so but remember that experimentation is the key to growth. It may take some time for people to see your content but don’t let it slow you down. Continually sharing content will expand your reach and grow your exposure.
- Connect with those who take to the content you share. Communicate with them, see what they’re all about, and find ways to develop relationships. They could be potential customers!
3. Analyze and Engage
In time, the height of activity on your channels will help you realize where your audience is most receptive. When you reach this point, you’ll know you can narrow your focus to a few channels versus all of them. In this way, you’re able to put time into publishing content in places where you know people are picking up what you’re putting down. Hurray for efficiency!
Here’s an example of how I went through this process when I launched my business.
After a month of my website being live and having some content curated, I launched Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Periscope. After a couple months of posting to these channels, connecting and observing, it became obvious that the bulk of my community was engaging and growing most frequently on Instagram. Over the past few months, Instagram is where 90% of my focus for social media planning and prep has been because, not only is it expanding my reach, it’s bringing me customers! My other social media channels are still very important and I’m active in those spaces, but Instagram is where my community is most connected to my brand. So, nurturing them there has become a top priority.
Knowing where you need to be online doesn’t happen overnight. It comes down to those three critical steps.
- Set a goal.
- Find your hot spots.
- Analyze and engage.
Your focal points will ebb, flow and evolve over time but, no matter where you set your sights, remember that your community determines the success of your business. Find them, connect with them and nurture them so you create a network of brand evangelists that stick with you for the long haul.