If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s no secret that you’re going to end up relying heavily on your online presence to get your business noticed. But you can’t just haphazardly start up a Facebook page and think that you’ll immediately gain a following. Just like all other aspects of a business, marketing and advertising on Facebook and other social media pages must be done methodically if you want to get your company off the ground. As long as you follow these maxims, your company should eventually start to experience exponential growth.
1. Listen to your audience
Your customer base is, obviously, the entire reason your company exists in the first place. But your audience won’t stick around for long if you only tell them what you think they want to hear instead of actually listening to them. Pay attention to what they like about your online campaigns and make sure you keep moving in that direction. More importantly, recognize your audience’s complaints about your product or company, and do what you can to alleviate their issues.
2. Target a specific audience
It might be tempting to cast a wide net, knowing that potentially millions of people may be exposed to your company. But of those millions, how many people will have a use for what you’re offering? Instead, focus on the specific demographic that will best benefit from your product or service. Rather than spreading your business too thin trying to cater to everyone’s needs, focus on making your service available to as many people in your target demographic as possible.
3. Value quality over quantity
You don’t want to cast a wide net, and you definitely don’t want to overexpose yourself. More content certainly does not mean better content. In my personal experience, and I’m sure many of you can agree, the more posts I see from a Facebook page or Twitter feed in a day, the more likely I am to unfollow it—especially if the posts are riddled with typos and were obviously rushed out to capitalize on a trending piece of news. Don’t produce clickbait. You may get an initial rush of hits to your site, but you’ll end up losing followers in the process. Instead, focus on creating powerful, well put-together content that authentically engages your audience.
4. Be persistent
Like I said in the intro: If think you can just create a Facebook page and immediately go viral, your thoughts have been tricked by one too many get-rich-quick schemes. You have to be in it for the long haul if you want to experience the type of success all entrepreneurs dream of. This means building a following from the ground up. Don’t be discouraged if you only have a few dozen followers in your first week. Think about it, if all 50 of your current followers tell three of their friends about your page, you’ll have 200 followers next week. Then they tell three friends and…well, you see where I’m going. The larger your following is, the more likely your quality content is to go viral in the long run.
5. Seek out the influencers
One of the greatest things about social media is that it’s easy to reach out to those who have already established themselves in your industry. Even though they most likely are incredibly busy, some top players are more than happy to share their insight with you, whether it’s through their own website, ebook, or mailing list. On the one hand, they’re paying it forward, knowing they were once budding entrepreneurs like just like you. On the other hand, they’re establishing yet another authentic customer (you) who will respect the product they’re selling: themselves. Of course, you also want to reach out to them to show what you bring to the table as well. You never know when a connection you’ve made will propel your business into the upper echelon.
6. Cooperate with your competition
It is obvious you will not be offering a product or service that isn’t original, innovative, or can otherwise improve the lives of your target demographic in some way. But it’s unhealthy for your company to not acknowledge the other major players in your industry. For example, when Sony launched the PS4 in 2013, the people behind the Microsoft Xbox’s Twitter page sent out a congratulatory message to the rival company. Instead of adopting an adversarial mindset for your business, acknowledge your competitors’ accomplishments. By doing so, you show your audience that you’re a fan of innovation within your industry, even if it doesn’t come from your own company.
7. Be personable
Having an online hub for your company allows you to connect with your audience like never before. You have the potential to forge actual, authentic relationships with your customers in a way that simply wasn’t possible with mail-in satisfaction surveys. Because of this, you have to prepare to be accessible to your audience at almost any given time. And you can’t be robotic, either. Just because you run a company doesn’t mean you’re not a person; be personable with your audience. They’ll recognize the authenticity, and will hold your company in a higher regard because of it.