When I started my photography business 7 years ago, I was able to book my first set of clients due to social media. I was using a popular social media platform that many Brazilians were using at the time called Orkut. Once I had maximized my number of friends and also realized I wanted to expand my market, I ventured out to find another social media platform. The one that worked best for me at the time was Twitter. You see, I had two small kids at home under the age of 2, and many times I didn’t have the gas money to attend all the wedding-related networking events I wanted to. I ended up taking the first two months of the year to attend a targeted few, and then I nurtured online the relationships I had made by connecting with them on Twitter. They felt like they knew me because even though they hadn’t seen me physically at events, I was always engaging with them and cheering them on. I also took advantage of Twitter prizes and won almost $1,000 worth of Twitter goodies. (Perhaps I will make a post about that one day…) I tell you all this because of the power that social media platforms can have in finding peers, networking and marketing… But there is another extremely vital point, and that is “social proof.”
Photo by Jeff Patterson Photography.
What is social proof? This is Google’s concept of finding value in a web page that others have already approved. It offers them the “proof” that you’re legit. This approval can come in many different forms, which are platform specific. Since social proof became a factor for ranking in search engines like Google, businesses big and small began utilizing social media to the max. And even though social media is great to get found online, many solopreneurs and bloggers are missing the secret formula for getting found online and end up feeling overwhelmed, deflated and confused. Fuse to the rescue! Let’s discuss my secret formula and tips to getting found on social media.
Honestly, my current best secret trick to getting found on social media is to stick to the platform that’s working and the platform you enjoy using. Maybe these two are even one in the same. Let me say that again: Stop trying to use 134,345,243,534 platforms, and start using the 1, 2, or 3 that you love! Factor in, of course, whether your audience is even still there! Why do we, as solopreneurs, want to go with everyone else’s flow and complicate things on our end? Just because everyone raves about (for example) Periscope, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you, your brand or your business. Give yourself a break, think really hard, and answer the following questions:
Lets chat further.
#1. Is my ideal audience using this platform?
Where are my peeps at? So, let’s break this down even further and chat about the questions above. If your ideal client is a bride, then we know most likely she’s on Pinterest. PERIOD. So if you’re a wedding vendor of any sort, I suggest that this would be a great platform for you. If your audience is a mom or a grandma, maybe they are more likely to be on Facebook, and if your audience is a tween/young adult, maybe it’s Instagram, Snapchat or even Tumblr. If you’re selling business to business, most likely they’re now on Periscope, Twitter or LinkedIn.
#2. Are peers in my industry using this platform?
I believe business comes from 3 places, and one of these places is fellow peers and the networks within our industry we serve. So if your industry (for example) loves a certain Facebook group, that may be a good place to engage and spend some time in. If they’re on Twitter, then grow your relationship with them there.
#3. Do I enjoy using this platform, or do I feel like I have to use this platform?
Now, perhaps in answering the first two questions, you’ve thought of 4-6 platforms and are feeling exhausted already. But the good news is, you don’t have to use these platforms. You have choices. I was listening to Erin Smith from the Starters Club today, and she quoted someone saying exactly this. You have choices. She said we are adults here. We don’t have to do anything. We choose to do things. If you aren’t excited about using the social media platforms you’re using, why you are using it? Because some guru said you should? Because “everyone” is using it? Because you think that’s where your audience is?
#4. Is this platform working? Am I seeing any results, such as engagement, brand growth, list growth or bookings?
My current FB business page for my DIY SEO not only doesn’t excite me, making it unenjoyable, but it also does nothing for my business… unless of course I pay for some ads. I have over 5k fans, but yet my posts get only 20 people seeing them, which is ridiculous. But furthermore, my initial audience was behaving differently from what they’re doing now, and those 5k are not exactly looking for my content. So why spend the time there? Why make Canva posts? Why spend time doing videos there to bump my engagement? Because I feel I have to. After all, everyone is on Facebook, right? Actually, not really. And no one asks for my FB business page when speaking to me in person, so this is going to fizzle out, and then I can focus on what IS working.
When considering giving up certain social media platforms, as I am doing right now, you need to ask yourself if you’re getting any value from the platform. If not, then it’s not for you. It is THAT SIMPLE. But we make it so complicated! Focused energy will render the biggest results. So be intentional. Be a resource, and you will get found! I am going to be where I want to be, how I want to be, and I will reach who I want to reach. YES! Does this mean you shouldn’t even try new platforms like Periscope, Blab etc? No, because you won’t know if you enjoy a social media platform until you try it. Your next thing may re-ignite your passion for your marketing! Try it and decide if it works for you, and remove one off your list that you’ve been falling out of love with. Don’t add onto a huge pile of busy work and have a giant to-do list. Just remove old ones, making room for the social media platforms that are working or may have better potential.
Now that you have your top 1,2 or 3 social media platforms where you’ve identified your ideal client is hanging around waiting for your brilliance, you’ve identified that you enjoy using each platform, and that you also get value out of them, then it’s time to dig deeper and get some results!
The next ingredient of my secret formula to getting found on social media is to know how to use the platform properly. And let me shout this part, too: especially its SEO aspects! Each social media platform has its own rules because they’re each sort of like their own jurisdiction, and what works for one social media platform does not work for another. Text is the foundation of SEO, so do you research on the text style preference? Is it a platform where hashtags rule? Does natural text rule? Or maybe long text? How much weight is put on images? Focus on the rules of the game so you can become a strong player. If you want a social media SEO cheat sheet, then sign up here to find out which social media platforms have SEO juice.
Last but not least, this powerful secret formula has a key, must-have ingredient that if not present will hobble your efforts. ORGANIZATION! You will have to make your prioritized hand-selected social media platforms part of your workflow. This is something I’m working on myself as I get more organized with my schedule and editorial calendar. I want to be very intentional with my blog posts, my newsletter, my periscopes, and overall with YOU fabulous folks. I truly value you being here. I value both your time and mine. So, in order to add more efficiency to your life, I need to make social media part of my own blogging workflow. There’s a cool new tool I just started using (and LOVING) called CoSchedule. Once I do a draft post, it allows me to customize the text to its own language (hello SEO juice), create unique calls to action, and get excited all over again about my audience receiving my content.
So what has helped you get found on social media? Let’s talk amongst ourselves!