Three things you need to be successful on social media

You’ve heard it before: promoting yourself on social media is important. It’s a necessary ingredient when putting together your advertising plan. Hey, stop rolling your eyes at me. It has to be done. And it can be done…easily.

If you want to start using social media to promote yourself and your business, there are three (yes, just three) things to keep in mind if you want to kill it.

If you want to start using social media to promote yourself and your business, there are three (yes, just three) things to keep in mind if you want to kill it.

Know Your Audience

Regina George wore army pants and flip flops, so you should wear army pants and flip flops. Well, in theory. Find where your people hang out online. If they’re mostly into Instagram, don’t expect to reach them (successfully) on Facebook. Know what social media networks your customers use, know when they’re using it, and know what they like.

If you need a jumping-off point, it’s probably safe to say that you are your audience, so consider your activity online. Then make circles out from there. Consider your target audience and think about their personality, the things they’re drawn to, etc.

Of course, using a mix of social media is necessary (don’t alienate people, yo), but start small.

And please, for the love of coffee, don’t ask people to turn on Instagram notifications. If your audience interacts with you enough, Instagram will automatically put your posts at the top of their pile.

Tone

Your audience can sense your tone. Write authentically, in a voice that resonates and connects. The best advice I ever got was to write like you’re talking to one person, ideally your best customer. Name her (or him, whatever), know her personality, and write like you’re talking only to her.

The worst thing you can do is be pushy or overtly sales-y on social media. This isn’t the place for that kind of talk. You want to create a relationship here, and that only happens if you’re real and relatable. You wouldn’t walk into your best friends house and sell her on this amazing new product by being a bully. You’d tell her how great it is, how much it’s helped you save time, how it made you skinny, whatever.

If you are tongue in cheek, insert a little of that in your writing. If you’re a southern belle, use that voice. Your customers can tell they’re hearing from a reason person and not a machine.

Timing

Just like you need to know where your audience is, you need to know the right time to write to them.

Facebook tends to be active in the afternoon/evenings. Pinterest is hot on Saturday morning. Twitter clicks increase early in the morning, but evenings are the times for retweets, says Buffer. Pretty soon, Instagram for Business will tell you when your hot times are so you can be more active when your audience is.

Want more? HootSuite has a study from 2016 sharing the best times to post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Now, timing is different for each network and it changes from time to time, so find what works for you and keep testing. If you always posted at 9am but never got interaction on Facebook, look at your insights and try posting when you see a spike in audience activity. Also, keep testing. Did you notice that you had a great response to an article you posted at 3pm on Sunday afternoon? Try posting again at 3pm on Sunday afternoon to re-capture that success.

If you only do three things on social media, consider your audience, your tone, and your timing.

The biggest thing I want you to remember is that if your audience doesn’t perceive value, they won’t care. Keep thinking “What’s in it for me?” and answer that as if you’re a customer. In other words, don’t think about what your customer can do for you, rather how your customer will benefit from following you on social media.

Above all, find out your unique style to set yourself apart. Step into what makes you you and you’ll definitely be successful on social media.

How have you been successful with social media marketing?