Unless you are an incredibly well-connected Solopreneur who is making a killing and maybe even turning business away, social media will play a role in your branding and marketing strategies. Each platform has its cohort of devoted users and will be a good fit for some businesses, but maybe less so for others.
The platforms are free of charge, aside from the time it costs to keep your content up-to-date. No matter how responsive to social media marketing your venture is, time will not allow most Solopreneurs and business owners to maintain a presence on all platforms, unless social media management is outsourced. If the ROI positively impacts sales revenues, then the investment will be worthwhile. Let’s take a look at Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
The most popular social media platform has 2.19 billion users (Statista, 1Q 2018) around the world. There are somewhat more female users than male and the bulk of the age demographic is 18-44 years. Forbes Magazine data indicates that 47% of Americans report that Facebook is their primary influencer when it comes to making purchases.
Facebook often delivers excellent ROI for B2C enterprises (somewhat less for B2B). In-store events and promotions, speaking engagements, your workshops and other events can be announced to Facebook Friends. Content provided in text, photos, or video can be uploaded. You can create groups and build communities, or post a customer survey. Share behind-the-scenes information about your business and what it takes to do what you do and in the process, you’ll engage customers, strengthen your brand and build relationships.
Does that sound like too much work and too much sharing? Then create a Fan Page and limit your presence to basic info and a good call to action. Be aware that your presentation of text, photos and other content should be relaxed and welcoming, to create a personal feel (but remember that business is the context).
You’ll find 1 billion users (Statista, June 2018) from around the world and 80% are outside of the U.S. 95 million posts are shared daily, with many accessed on a mobile device. Approximately 59% of U.S. users are 18-29 years. As of 1Q 2018, there are 300 million daily Instagram Stories users and 30% of users have purchased a product.
Visual storytelling, behind-the-scenes photo montages, social selling, brand awareness, engaging with customers and creating relationships are good uses of Instagram. If you are in public relations or special event/conference planning, then you will find worthwhile B2B use, otherwise it’s B2C as far as I can tell.
Photo sharing, brief video trailers and concise text postings that include a hashtag # to better distribute your content are ideal content. Add a link to your profile bio. Decide if you want a public or members-only account. Links cannot be shared.
Considered the gold standard B2B social media platform, LinkedIn has 500 million members globally (Statista, January 2018). Business ventures large and small, Solopreneurs, corporate and nonprofit leaders, physicians and dentists, any employee who harbors professional aspirations and most college students maintain a profile page. Recruiters use LinkedIn to identify potential candidates for job openings. LinkedIn ProFinder helps Solpreneurs find project work.
LinkedIn is an excellent platform on which to build a community of professional colleagues through your connections and share with them your professional story, successes, highlights and other updates that support your personal brand. My B2B blog posts to my LinkedIn page and my connections receive notice of its arrival. Your connections will also share their stories and there is great opportunity to be in touch and nurture relationships.
Professional portfolios, videos, white papers, newsletters, blogs, infographics, SlideShare presentations and podcasts can be featured on your profile page to add depth to your brand story. Links to articles or studies that might interest your connections can be posted. Recommendations and endorsements let others verify your professional bona fides and you can return the favor.
In the Groups section, you’ll engage with colleagues within your industry, or with alumni of your school. Topics of interest are explored through posted questions and group members can respond and in the process get to know one another and possibly, forge relationships that lead to doing business.
Thanks for reading,