We’re living in strange circumstances.
With quarantine and social distancing rules affecting Australians across the country, most businesses have been forced to pivot, looking for new avenues in which to continue operating. It’s a stressful time for everyone, especially for sole traders and entrepreneurs, whose businesses are suffering in these new circumstances.
Many industries have had to shut down completely because of Covid-19, and a lot of people have lost their jobs or been stood down until we find a way to stop the spread of this virus. In Australia, over 290,000 people have lost their jobs, with another 200,000 being stood down by their companies. It’s a dire situation, and we can only hope that they find a solution soon.
But let’s not focus on all the doom and gloom right now. There’s a silver lining to every situation. And for small businesses and entrepreneurs, that silver lining could be social media marketing!
Social distancing rules combined with the closure of many retail, hospitality, and entertainment establishments, means that most people are spending all of their free time at home. Many of them are heading online to look for entertainment, and this has caused a massive spike in social media usage around the world.
The average adult spends around three and a half hours using the internet on their phone every day. That has spiked in the last two months, with some people now reporting that their internet usage has increased to over seven hours. People are looking for entertainment, and while yes, a lot of that increase can be attributed to Netflix and other streaming services, social media is also seeing some unprecedented spikes. Whatsapp, Facebook, and Instagram usage spiked over 40% in March, with TikTok reporting that their usage has increased over 18%, reporting around 2 million downloads every week. We’ve never been this reliant on the internet for entertainment, and people are looking for content.We’ve never been this reliant on the internet for entertainment, and people are looking for content. #socialmediamarketing #fempire Click To Tweet
Why you NEED to Focus on Social Media
Social media is an important part of raising brand awareness. This is a rare opportunity for you to build your business’s social media following and increase your brand awareness. By increasing your reach on social media, you’ll increase your online following and attract new, potential customers and clients. There are a lot of benefits to having a large social media following. Any logical customer would trust a brand with 1,000 followers over a brand with 100 followers on social media. So you need to be focusing on building your social media presence. And once your following is large enough, it will start to grow organically, and you’ll see many benefits from the increased brand awareness.By increasing your reach on #socialmedia, you’ll increase your online following and attract new, potential customers and clients. Click To Tweet
Now is the perfect time to focus on your social media.
For most businesses, the Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on their daily operations. This has ultimately resulted in a need to scale back external and customer-focused operations for most organisations.
If your business has been negatively affected, and your workload has been cut down, now could be the perfect time to turn your focus to building your social media following. Take the time to learn about SEO and figure out who your target social media audience is, and how to effectively communicate with them online. Ensure that you are focusing on creating content that attracts attention, and builds confidence in your brand.
So with that in mind, here are my top five focus points when building your social media following:
1. Focus on growing your following, not your sales
This is the perfect time to increase your following and brand awareness. While you don’t want to forget about sales, your audience don’t want to feel like you’re just trying to sell them something. If all you’re doing is promoting your products and services, your followers will grow bored quickly and may abandon your brand.
You need to stay relevant, pay attention to your followers response, and create entertaining content that they want to share with their friends.
2. Find your online audience
The first thing you need to do is figure out who your online audience is. You should already have a pretty good idea about this, as it should be very similar to your target audience. Think about who buys your products and services, and define your ideal customer based off of them.
One idea is to focus on demographics when determining the type of content needed. Things like gender, age, and geographic location, are important factors to consider. They will help you further define your target audience.
And once you do that, you can focus on what type of content they want. For example, if you’re targeting women in their late 30s, you’re not going to try and build a following of teenage girls on Tiktok. You need to know your audience before you can start working on growing your online following.
3. Diversify the content you post
If you’re constantly posting the same content, even if it’s great content, you run the risk of your audience losing interest. You need to ensure that you’re posting on a variety of subjects, and in different formats. Use a variety of graphics, videos, memes, testimonials, quotes, influencer reshares, and article reshares. You don’t need to be using all of these, however, narrow it down to 2-3 types of content to suit your ideal audience and work from there.
If, for example, your target audience is young mothers in their late 20’s to early 30’s, you could be resharing helpful parenting articles and funny mummy memes, or creating motivational quotes and graphics. You’ll grow your following far easier if your current followers are actually engaging with your content.
And to further diversify your audience, make sure that you’re using social media tools that help you display your content to a wider audience. Always use hashtags in your post, as they will draw in more potential clients. You should also make it as easy as possible for your followers to reshare your content with their friends, so include links in your posts where appropriate.Make it as easy as possible for your #followers to reshare your content with their friends, so include links in your posts where appropriate. #fempire Click To Tweet
And don’t just advertise your accounts on social media. Include social media buttons and links on your website, and in the emails that you send out to subscribers. The more links there are back to your social media accounts, the easier it is for potential customers to follow your business.
As long as you are creating content that is relevant, entertaining, and easy to share, there is no reason for your following not to grow.
And if you’re stuck for ideas on what to post, you can download 101 social media ideas now!
4. Make sure you’re posting consistently.
You need to make sure that you’re posting consistently. In order to stay relevant, your business needs to be visibly active online. Try and post something at least once a day on your social media platforms. Even if you’re just resharing someone else’s content, you need to stay consistent. Spend a few hours at the start of the week drafting up and scheduling your posts in advance so that it’s not a daily chore. You can use scheduling programs such as Buffer or Facebook Creator Studio to schedule your posts in advance.Spend a few hours at the start of the week drafting up and scheduling your posts in advance so that it’s not a daily chore. #socialmedia Click To Tweet
5. Communicate with your followers.
It’s important to not only post consistently, but also to reply to your followers regularly. Communicate with your audience by responding to their questions, comments, and posts. Check your social media accounts daily, as many followers use Facebook and Instagram messenger as a way to contact you. Make sure you’re replying to messages, reshares, and comments on your posts.
By doing this, you are validating your audience, making them feel like they are valued and appreciated. Even a heart emoji can be enough for your followers to feel valued. You want to build a sense of community with your following. A likeable, friendly brand will attract more followers, and encourage people to talk about your business with their friends.
This is the perfect time to increase your following and brand awareness.
There’s no secret formula to growing your social media. It takes time, patience, and perseverance. But you can do it. It may seem hard to get started, but once your social media starts to grow, you’ll find it to be an invaluable online marketing and brand awareness tool.
There’s no better time to explore your businesses online capacities.
Spend right now improving your online presence, and creating quality social media content your audience will love! And if you’re stuck for ideas on what types of content you can post, read our article 101 Sensational Social Media Post Ideas, head to Youtube to watch our Social Media Post Idea Series, or grab our 101 Social Media ideas downloadable.
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Shelby Baile is a Marketing Assistant at Fempire. While completing degrees in Professional Writing and Public Relations, she discovered a love of writing and has since written content for a number of publications and social media platforms. Shelby enjoys writing in any form and wants to create inspiring content that helps women succeed in their own lives.