Why do I need to be on social media? Is it worth my time?
Social Media can feel daunting. Sometimes it can feel like a crowded room and everyone is shouting. You think to yourself how can I been seen or heard over this crowd. Even if I were seen what would I say?
One of the big mistakes I made was to think of social media as a secondary portfolio site.
Yes it’s true, in some ways it can be but then we are limiting the potential of the platform. Our potential for growth on these platforms will be stunted.
We are so fortunate that we live in the digital age, no longer do we have to fight our way past gatekeeper to be seen. These platforms are the perfect tool to access a large audience and thus is perfectly suited for marketing.
Before we dive any deeper I would like us to relook at the word marketing. For many of us creatives marketing is seen as a dirty word, it brings to our minds the idea of selling out or cheapening our work by being salesy. A self serving act.
In the book This is Marketing by Seth Godin, he says,
“Marketing is the generous act of helping others become who they seek to becomes. It involves creating honest stories – stories that resonate and spread. Marketers offer solutions, opportunities for humans to solve their problems and move forward.”
Seth’s view on marketing changes the conversation, it completely shifts this understanding from a place of self serving to one of serving others. We must use this framework when we approach social media.
Social Media Platforms are designed to be social, it’s all about building and serving a community.
Know your audience
If these platforms are all about serving a community you need to start by asking yourself, who do I serve? Who is my tribe and what can I offer to solve their problems. Clarifying your audience and how you can help them, will then inform the content you create.
You can approach this two ways:
The first would be to do market research and figure out what reoccurring problem can you solve. The research then helps inform the type audience which will benefit from what you can teach.
The second is to build an audience based on a specific message.
When you have a specific message, people who are interested in your message and ethos will be drawn to you.
Now that you know who your audience, the new challenge is what to post. I like to break my content into strategic buckets. There are four categories that I want to cover:
What value can I provide my audience?
This allows me to build credibility as I share my expertise and knowledge a specific field.
How do I allow my audience to know me better?
This is the process of becoming know, as Blair Enns says “people buy from people they know, like and trust.”
How can I let people know about the services I provide?
This does not have to be a hard sell, you can do this by sharing your process. By breaking down the problem you solved and teaching the process you went through to solve it, you provide value, you display expertise and demonstrate the service you provide.
How can you let people know about the products I provide?
This can be done in conjunction with teaching or sharing your knowledge. I like to spend 80% of my time sharing value, 10% on becoming known, 5% on services and 5% on products.
Now that you are producing and sharing content it is important that you spend time interacting with the audience you a growing. Build your relationships and strengthen connections. People will sell you better than any ad. When you take the time to respond to every comment to write back to every DM it shows that you care.
As these are social platforms they want you engaging with the platform for as long as possible they can make more money by showing you ads.
The more time you spend interacting with other relevant connections the algorithm is going to reward your attention and continually show you and your posts to those people.
Consistency is Key to Grow & Serve Community
To maximise social media you have to be consistent.
Continually show up, make sure the content is consistent and valuable this will build loyalty and grow your audience. If you want to grow your influence it begins with serving people. The more you give in a genuine and authentic manner the more people will want to give back to you.