While larger companies frequently have entire teams dedicated solely to social media marketing, the reality for many entrepreneurs and small business owners is they have to do it all themselves. This ongoing endeavor requires a lot of thought and energy to be done well. Not to mention the creative output, strategy, and time spent engaging with your audience. This might leave you feeling overwhelmed and resistant to using social media, and with good reason. But make no mistake. There are plenty of benefits of social media for your business. Let’s explore why social media is worth the screen time and effort put in, and what you can do to overcome your resistance to it.
Does it really make that big of a difference?
The internet has reached into all the farthest corners of the globe. And social media has followed right along with 42% of the world’s population accessing these virtual platforms. This is a huge potential reach, especially when compared with other modes of advertising. Not only are you able to connect with so many more people through social media, but it also enables you to cultivate brand loyalty with your audience.
In a survey of 5,700 marketers, 69% have established brand loyalty with their customers through social media marketing. Besides reaching and connecting with new people, social media is also helpful when it comes to
- More opportunities to convert
- Richer customer experiences
- Improved customer insight.
While social media proves to have a number of benefits for your business, it also undeniably takes up a lot of time. And, there’s a certain finesse to make the most out of each platform. If the idea of prioritizing these platforms during your working hours feels like a bit of a drag, here’s how you can move past that to easily make the most out of these virtual communities and reap all of the benefits of social media.
1. Let go of what social media “should” look like
Do a quick search on social media marketing strategy, and you’ll find an overwhelming plethora of tips, many of which emphasize the importance of posting every single day, (sometimes multiple times a day), having a uniform and aesthetically pleasing page, utilizing thirty hashtags…the list goes on.
When there’s so much pressure to have your page and posts look a certain way, it can feel like a huge endeavor to keep up with all the supposed requirements to successful social media use. Let go of the need to craft posts that always adhere to a certain specification. Although these tips can be helpful, they’re not an end-all and be-all.
Instead, just make it a point to show up consistently. If you missed a day (or several) of posting, that’s OK. Try to keep your posts alive. And remember that no one is watching as closely as you might think. Your audience is constantly being inundated with other posts and information, so if anything, it will be refreshing and exciting when you post again after a couple of days.
2. Set an intention with each post
Ask yourself if what you’re posting is valuable to your audience in some way—or if you’re posting just to post. If you’re only sharing on social media to check it off your to-do list, think again. A study of over 777 million Facebook posts shows that content that was either inspirational, funny, or practical (or a mix of all three) generated the most engagement.
With this in mind, you get to be intentional about what you’re posting and why. Perhaps your intention is to inform your audience about the value of your course or to connect with them about a certain topic. Whatever it is, be clear with yourself about what your intentions are with each post and what you want your audience to take away from it. (Even if it’s a laugh!)
3. Be yourself
In the carefully curated world of social media, it can be easy to get lost in the pressure of needing to come across in a certain way. Be wary of getting caught up in the comparison game when it comes to other people in your field, what they’re posting, and how many likes or followers they have. None of that matters as much as you being your authentic self—that is how you’ll cultivate audience engagement.
Being authentic on the world’s stage goes hand-in-hand with being vulnerable—and that takes courage. People are going to be drawn to your brand because there’s something about you or your messaging that they like. They want to see the real you, not a facade.
When you relieve yourself of the pressure to be or act a certain way, it’s a lot easier to show up on social media. If you’re feeling nervous about posting as the unfiltered version of yourself or your business, then sit with that. Write an authentic post and ask yourself what the worst case scenario would be once it’s live? Likely, it’s only that a few haters might pop up, and if they do that’s OK. You’re not going to resonate with everyone. Instead, remember you’re posting for the people that you do resonate with and who will benefit from what you have to say.
4. Choose your platforms and stick with them
There’s an ever-growing list of popular social media platforms; you do not need to be on every one of them. Instead of spreading yourself thin across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest, choose a couple that you want to focus on and repurpose your content for each site.
Do some research to find out which platform your ideal audience is spending the most time on, and focus your attention there. Once you choose your platforms, consider changing up the delivery of your content according to what platform you’re using: Reels are now all the rage on Instagram, while videos get significantly more engagement on Facebook.
5. Schedule your scroll
A frequently mentioned downside of social media is how easy it is to mindlessly scroll through your newsfeed, no matter what platform you’re on. At the same time though, scrolling and engaging is important for connecting with others. To have a healthy balance with this, schedule in time to scroll through your feed, and access the apps from your desktop after deleting them off your phone if necessary.
It’s also time savvy to schedule batching content—once a week you can plan out all your posts for the coming days, and use an app like Preview or Later to set your content, including hashtags, to automatically post at a certain time. By doing this, you can avoid the daily pressure of needing to come up with content to post.
The main key to overcoming any resistance to social media is to remember that it isn’t about you. You showing up on social media is connected to your “why” of creating your course or business in the first place. You’re likely doing this because you have something of value to offer your audience—you’re helping them. Social media is simply a tool to increase your reach in helping people, and of course to make some money in exchange for the value you’re providing. When you start to see it for the tool that it is and nothing more, it gets continually easier to show up!