When you first started engaging in social media for your business, you likely considered the who, what, why, where, and when of things, whether you knew it or not. Since then, one of three things have happened that call for a social media reset.
One, your initial assumptions about the 5 W’s were incorrect. Two, you were right on the money, but you’ve since veered from the gameplan. Three, you’re still on the money and confirmation of that will help keep you motivated and inspired.
WHO are you talking to?
When you first start out in social media, it feels like you’re talking to everyone. While it would be great if everyone took an interest in what your business has to say, if we’re all talking to everyone, nobody can hear anything.
Your social media audience is the same target demographic as that of your product or service. Focus on them, and them alone. This means it’s time to stop chasing numbers. Yes, 100,000+ Twitter followers looks impressive, and if you reach that number organically, amazing! But the only followers who really matter to your business are those truly interested in what you have to say, and vice versa.
Social media should be just that — social. So focus on following and engaging with people whose interests reflect a relevance to your business. In turn, your conversations will be more compelling, which will naturally attract new (quality) followers along the way.
WHAT do they want to know?
This should never be confused with what and why you want them to know, though ideally, it really should be the same thing.
Yes, you want them to know about your product or service, but what you really want them to know is how to improve their lives relative to your area of expertise.
If you sell patio furniture, for example, what your product implies is your interest in helping people enjoy the outdoor space of their homes. Cater to that need, and interest in your product will naturally follow. In other words, become a generator and resharer of the best content you can create and find on how to decorate, furnish, care for, and have fun in your own backyard.
WHY should they listen to you?
Here’s where you get to talk yourself up, not in your newsfeed, but behind-the-scenes, so to speak, in your profiles and on your website.
Make sure all of your social media profiles are as complete as possible, including your logo, bio descriptive of your expertise, and links to your website and other social media platforms. Just remember, in your social media profiles, to avoid being too salesy. Use your profiles to share what you do relative to how you’re helping people. Use your social media product pages (on Facebook and LinkedIn, for example) and your website for the harder sell.
WHERE is the best place to find them?
It may seem like there are a lot of social media platforms that your business needs to be on, for both social and SEO purposes — from Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, to Google Plus, Tumblr, and Pinterest. Maintaining these sites is one thing, but actively engaging on all of them is a tall order. That’s why it is so important to experiment with each platform, and focus the majority of your time in places where you see the most interest and engagement.
WHEN is the best time to reach them?
There are all kinds of stats out there on when the most users are on each of the social media platforms. There are also all kind of stats on when users are most likely to reshare content. Here’s the thing, though. These two sets of stats don’t necessarily line up.
Your best bet is to share and engage on your social media platforms throughout the day, every day. If you’re not already, start using a social media management tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to schedule posts at times and on days when you cannot be online.
As for determining the best time to reach your target audience, keep an eye on your postings — noting when you seem to get the most response — and start playing around with your posting schedule accordingly.