It’s very tempting as a new business owner to try and get all the Social Media Platforms up and running and spend lots of time posting everywhere. This is inefficient and a waste of time.
Firstly, you need to decide who your audience is and where can you talk to them.
Who is your market?
Let’s tackle the “Who” first. Who will buy your product or service? How old are they? Where do they live, what sort of jobs do they have? Are they parents or single or retired? A good way to do this is to create profiles of a couple of different types of potential customers. Give them a name and picture them in your head. It makes it easier to “talk” to them on Social Media.
Before we delve into where they are on social media – think about the Social Media platforms you already use personally. Is there one you love and use all the time? Is it your go to place for getting social? If you really love Instagram but hate Facebook – then why not start with a platform you are confident with and know how to use. The more time spent on a platform, the more engagement you will get and the more customers you will gain. If you only go on there once a week, it won’t work.
Where is your market?
Now it’s time to discover where people are. The biggest platform is Facebook with 57.1 million users in the United Kingdom*. If your target audience is in their early twenties or teens, then Facebook isn’t for you. Think anyone aged from thirty upwards. The only problem with Facebook, is because it is so big, you can find it hard to make an impact. The best way is to dive into the local Facebook groups and really get involved in the community side of Facebook. People are on Facebook to connect with their family and friends, but also their local area. So do think of how you would talk to your local community and its people.
So where do you find the younger market? That would be Instagram with 33.5 million users in the United Kingdom*. Instagram is very visual and a great place to sell your products. If you provide a service, it’s a bit harder to come up with the images to sell yourself, but if you think outside the box, use free images from sites like www.unsplash.com or use graphics created in www.canva.com, then it’s definitely achievable. People use Instagram to shop, be inspired and look at amazing images. Although it appeals to a younger market, it’s also a great place to reach out to older parents, and don’t think it’s just women on Instagram – it’s just as popular with men.
You may provide services or products that are aimed at businesses, so the place for your business is on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the professional business networking platform with 33 million users in the United Kingdom*. Don’t be daunted, LinkedIn has become a friendly space, with people sharing inspirational posts, sharing their knowledge, and helping each other. Remember, although everyone on LinkedIn is a business person, they are also just people. Reach out to people that you think you can help and message them. Get networking.
Now let’s talk about Twitter. There are 18.4 million users in the United Kingdom*. People use Twitter to keep up to breaking news, trending topics and to make complaints to companies. It’s a useful place to connect to other local businesses and to keep up to date with current news. It is a very fast paced platform and you will need to post very frequently to make an impact. It has a broad user base from young to the older generation.
The above 4 platforms are the most commonly used by smaller businesses, but it is important to mention Pinterest and TikTok. Pinterest is a great platform to reach out to people who are planning weddings, having babies, renovating and decorating. It’s a platform that people go on to get ideas for anything they are planning and it’s a great shopping site. So, if that is something you want to tap into, then do have a look, as it is a lovely and easy-to-use social media site. TikTok is for the young market and is a video-based platform. If your audience is young and trendy and you love making short videos, then maybe have a look at TikTok.
Finding the right balance for you
Do take your time to get to know the different platforms and find two that you like using and where your customers are. Don’t spread yourself too thin and don’t let it become a dreaded burden. You do not have to be everywhere; you just have to be consistent and social on the platforms you like using.
If you’re just starting out on your self-employment journey, we have various free helpful resources available to support you.
This article was written by Fiona Service of Litus Digital