Social media is a prominent part of our lives now. It’s how we connect with people all over the world, stay in contact with family and friends who are far, and how businesses market their products and services.
It has become an essential tool in business. It is how businesses are building their brand and their online communities. The root goal behind why businesses build their online presence? The main goal is to make sales and build a customer base.
So how do you get started to apply this to your own business or school-based enterprise? Here are 10 tips to get you started.
1. Who is your target audience
The target market of your business is your ideal customer based on the product or services you are offering. Depending on the business, there may be more than one target market but it is important to establish your primary target market.
When creating posts on social media, talk to your target market directly. Have them in mind behind every post you make. Speak to their interests and needs. Need help establishing your target market? Read this article.
2. Pick a few social media platforms for your business to use
You don’t need to use every social media platform. Each platform has its own benefits. Evaluate the pros and cons of each one and figure out the best one to use for your business. What social media does your target audience use? Do market research and look at businesses that are like yours and figure out what kind of platforms they use.
Once you figure out which social media platforms to use, set them up with a common username and password that can be easily passed down from team to team. Keep in mind your succession plan so that your account information doesn’t get lost when you graduate
3. Make a plan for how many times a week you want to post
This will depend on the platform. On certain platforms, it makes sense to post every day, others maybe not. For example, Instagram rewards consistency in your posts. Facebook recommends posting a couple of times a day. However, this may not be realistic for your team’s bandwidth. Start with researching what makes sense for each platform and plan your team’s social media schedule around this. The primary goal is to have consistency.
4. Create a consistent content plan for the kind of posts you want to share
Once you figure out how often you want to post, create a plan for what you want to post. For example, on Mondays you may want to post a motivational quote, Wednesdays you highlight a product, and Fridays you post a behind the scenes or team member highlight. Having consistency in your posts builds trust from your community and they know what to expect from you. It helps build your brand so that your posts become something your followers recognize.
5. Write and schedule posts in advance if possible
Create your posts in advance so you stay on schedule and ensure consistency. Take a few hours a month to create your social schedule then let your posts post themselves! There are many scheduling platforms you can use: Buffer, Later, Hootsuite, and more.
6. Quality images and graphics
When you see a fuzzy photo or a poorly designed graphic, does it make you want to follow that account? Probably not…Make sure before you post something that it is a high-quality image that isn’t cropped poorly or blurry. Most phones take great photos, if someone on your team has a nice camera or phone to take the images, use that if possible. Sometimes schools will even have cameras you can rent from their photography class.
Design quality graphics. You do not have to be a designer to make good graphics. There are tools like Canva that are free and allow you to build graphics with no experience at all! There are pre-made templates that are customizable for your brand.
7. Look at what other successful businesses like yours are doing on social media
Begin to do some research on other businesses that are like your own. Take a look at what kind of social accounts they are using, what type of posts they make, what has been successful for them, and what you can apply to your business. The great thing about businesses that are already established, is that you get to learn from their successes and apply it to your business! Of course, do not steal their ideas...adapt them to make sense to your own.
8. Stay up to date on social media algorithms and changes
Social media is changing constantly so it is very important to stay up to date on the changes each platform you use makes. Pay close attention to these changes. When your social platform gives you an update on a new feature, don’t ignore it. Try the feature out and make a plan on how to use it in the future. When Instagram creates new features, they reward you in their algorithm for using it.
9. Have a consistent voice and brand on your social media
Going back to your target market, it is important to always talk to your target audience and to have a consistent “voice” in how you talk to them. Even if multiple people are creating posts on your account, make a consistent way your business communicates to your audience on your social media.
10. Have a purpose behind each post with a clear call to action
Before you post something, always ask yourself, “Why am I posting this? What am I wanting my customer to do or feel from this post?” Is it to...
- Build trust?
- Provide value to the customer?
- Sell a product or service?
If you don’t have a clear intention behind your post, reconsider posting.
Put it into action
Social media is something that takes time and intention but can be so impactful to your business. When your team creates your vision, goals, and target market for the year craft your social media plan around these factors. Your social media will be a tool to help you reach your target audience and your goals.
Take it a step further with our Social Media Planning Worksheet. Create a plan for your school-based enterprise!
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