Social media is free, seen as more ‘genuine’ than other forms of marketing, and is easy to use.
But many professionals can be reluctant to start, feeling pressure to be entertaining, insightful, and charismatic with every post – while posting multiple times a day.
So it pays to boil social media down to its basics, and use this simple strategy to build your online presence in a way that suits you.
What’s the most important factor in a winning social media strategy? That the strategy is one you can actually use.
There’s much marketing advice concerning the optimal times to post, the right kinds of content, and the ideal posting schedule. But to start using social media, and to continue using it in the long term, build a strategy around you.
The time you have to use social media and your ability to create content should be your primary concern.
Never try to write content for an imagined audience. One of social media’s most powerful attributes is that it’s perceived as genuine, so pretending to be someone you’re not will undo this and make utilising it more difficult.
If you don’t know how to sound like you on social media, simply start using it and find out. Post about a client you’ve just helped, or a piece of news you’ve just read. Anything that interests you will interest someone else.
Don’t worry if you’re not posting the most inspiring content from the start. You won’t need to achieve this even after years of using it. Just start small and keep it consistent. Once you’ve established your social media self, you need to maintain your presence – so choose a social schedule that works with your wider timings.
Another key point to remember is that social media really is social. So your strategy doesn’t have to be all about you.
Engaging with other professionals is a great way to start using social media. It’s not just a good networking method, it also sparks topics you can post about further, while teaching you how other professionals approach this tool.
A strategy that exemplifies this was used by an accountancy firm at an industry exhibition. They handed out cupcakes with the brands of all other exhibiting companies on them, rather than their own.
Each cupcake also came with a hashtag to use on twitter. So although they were ‘talking’ about other brands, their brand was the lynchpin of the conversation.
While you don’t need to be bold with your baking skills to be successful, any time you engage with another professional you’re present, so make use of this opportunity.
Don’t worry about starting small. Instead aim for small and build from there. Did you manage to post a tweet? Consider that success. Did you engage with another professional? Again, this is a success.
Remember that an audience of one is better than audience of none – and once you’ve gotten into the flow of using this powerful marketing tool, in two years you’ll be glad you started at the bottom.