In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss how we can leverage social media to grow our businesses organically, without spending 24/7 on social media.
Leveraging Social Media
When someone wants to start a business, they often give excuses such as, “I don’t have the tools and resources,” or “I don’t have the time.” However, this is often a lie. Most people can find a little bit of free time in their day to start a business if they prioritize it, and nearly everyone has access to an incredible free tool: social media.
Many people may associate social media with negativity, but Heather has seen it change the financial legacy of families. Social media has also helped her personally provide financial stability and income for her family.
“What started as my desire to love to connect with people [turned] to nurturing and fostering connections with people across the globe,” Heather said. “Then fast forward to the present time of using it for business purposes; I’ve really been able to see [social media as a] vital resource.”
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. can help us create an online community or audience of people from around the world. We don’t need to have an office or storefront to run a business anymore. We can run a business from our phones. Social media provides the opportunity to help those with little time or funds pursue their goals.
“I genuinely have been able to see businesses that had no other means to market themselves, get out there . . . and see social media [get them] the audience they want,” Heather said. “It really works and it’s something that they can do and implement on their own.”
Social Media Marketing: Inbound vs Outbound
How do we leverage social media for our businesses? One of the best ways to use social media is in our marketing strategies. Heather said it is best to use a combination of inbound and outbound strategies.
Inbound marketing is a strategy in which we use our content to naturally create brand awareness and attract potential customers. Instead of paying for ads, we simply provide free content on social media and use SEO and algorithms to reach our target audience. To know if our strategy is working, we can look at how our customers are engaging with us. Are our customers messaging us, liking our posts, or commenting on our videos?
Outbound marketing is a strategy in which we try to push our messaging out to customers. Often this looks like paid advertisements. However, on social media it doesn’t have to just mean ads. We can run an outbound marketing strategy completely organically for free. To do this, we need to start engaging with other businesses’ and individuals’ social media accounts, something most businesses don’t do enough of.
“You want to go where other people are,” Heather said. “If you love to serve entrepreneurs, go check out what’s happening on the Entrepreneur Magazine Instagram account, and go and engage with those customers.”
We should begin by following accounts and businesses that have similar target audiences to us and then join their conversations. We can like and comment on their posts, respond to comments on their posts, share their posts, etc. We want to become a part of the conversation surrounding our industry.
Heather recommended setting time aside to go and engage with other accounts. This might mean setting a goal to comment on three of their posts each week. “If you want to grow a business and you want to be more visible among the right types of people . . . this needs to be a test that you or someone on your team is doing every single week,” she said.
Almost anybody who’s creating content on social media is watching who’s commenting on their posts. I’ve heard from some of the most popular business accounts that they read every single comment that is posted on their account. As we comment on other people’s threads, we are providing value to them. We are adding to their community; we are helping their posts be seen. This not only helps us build relationships with the owner of that social media account, but it also helps us be seen by their audience.
In our comments, we shouldn’t just post emojis or one-word compliments. We want to be thoughtful and engaging with our comments. We should show that we are taking the time to really care and add value to the lives of others.
“Even if there is no reciprocity, or nobody comes over to follow you on social media, it still has positively added great value to the conversations that are happening online that anybody can see that’s following that account,” Heather said.
How to Grow Your Social Media Without Being on it 24/7
Heather said that outbound marketing strategies on social media often get overlooked. This is likely because it seems very time consuming with little short-term success. In order for our organic outbound marketing strategies to work, we have to be consistent over time. The question is, how can we grow social media organically without being on it 24/7?
Going out and engaging with other social media accounts shouldn’t have to take that much time, especially when compared to the time it takes to create content. Commenting can be the easy part if we set the time aside. We can have someone on our team dedicate 30 minutes or an hour everyday to our outbound social media strategy. If we set the time aside, it will be easier to stay focused and avoid getting distracted.
Instead of going onto our social media accounts and trying to respond to comments, post, and run our outbound strategy at the same time, we should schedule these tasks separately. “I am a huge advocate of getting people to batch their social media tasks in buckets,” Heather said. “You have to be focused during [each] batch time.”
We don’t have to constantly be on our social media feeds waiting to comment and like on every post we see. We can set time aside and narrow it down. We may even want to just choose eight or five top accounts to engage with each week. As we set these goals it will be much easier to manage our time on social media.
Thank you so much Heather for sharing your stories and insights with us today. Here are some of my key takeaways from this episode:
- Social media is a free and effective resource we can use to grow our business.
- We should use both inbound and outbound social media marketing strategies.
- As part of our outbound marketing strategy we should engage with other accounts and join the conversion surrounding our industry.
- We should set goals and schedule tasks to manage our time effectively.
Connect with Heather
To learn more about or connect with Heather:
- Connect on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram
- Visit her website at SweetTeaSocialMarketing.com