David is a best-selling author, speaker and trainer. He is also CEO of IPD, a world-class marketing agency based in Tampa, Florida.
At the time of this writing, we’re halfway through August and heading into the final quarter of 2021.
Many large corporations take this time to handle any last-minute issues and evaluate end-of-year goals, while also attempting to get a jumpstart on the new year. You see it in every industry. End-of-the-year sales and last-minute opportunities present themselves, and those who capitalize on them put themselves in a better position for next year. If you want to end strong, then you must start strong, right?
If you’re looking to end this year on a high note and put yourself into a better position for next year, don’t wait until November or December. The time to start is now, and the place to start is on social media. Here are five specific ways to gain ground on social media before the start of the year.
1. Know your brand.
Before you can start to effectively market on social media, you have to know what your company represents and the goals that you have. Your activity on social media should be in alignment with the branding of your business so that consumers will easily recognize who you are, what you stand for and the message that you’re trying to convey.
In order to get people to buy into your brand, they must know who you are. In order for them to know who you are, you must know who you are. It sounds simple, but ensuring that your social media is in accordance with your brand requires fine attention to detail. Know what you want to convey to potential customers before you post!
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2. Know your audience.
From my own personal experience, I would argue that the number one issue companies have when working on social media marketing is that they don’t stop to think about who their audience is. This is going to vary from industry to industry, company to company, product to product and even platform to platform.
Facebook, for example, is large and by far the most popular social media platform. With over 2.89 billion active monthly users, Facebook dwarfs all other platforms. It’s mostly composed of users between the ages of 25-34, whereas platforms like LinkedIn generally have an older audience and TikTok and Snapchat have a younger demographic.
Knowing your audience, what platform you will find them on and what would appeal to them is crucial for growing your social media following. You don’t need the entire market, you just need a very small fraction of it. Understanding who that fraction is will make all the difference.
3. Consistency is key.
Think back to the times before streaming, where we had to wait each week to watch a show on traditional television. We would find a new show, and we would know that this show comes on, say, every Friday at 7 p.m. You talk about it the next day with friends, you get excited for it, and every Friday at 7 p.m., you’re on the couch ready to watch.
Now, imagine if, instead of the normal schedule, the show decided to change every single week. This week, it’s Saturday at 2 p.m. Next week, Wednesday at 11 a.m. Eventually, you would miss enough episodes to lose interest. This is what followers do when we don’t post regularly.
If you’re only posting once a week, it will be extremely hard to build or retain a following. I’m not saying you need to bombard your followers with posts every five minutes, but a post or two a day should be the minimum if you expect to gain any traction with your accounts. Be consistent. Consumers don’t want to chase companies down to learn about them. They will go elsewhere. Whatever you’re doing, do it consistently, or don’t do it at all.
4. Interact with others.
People won’t care about you until they know you care about them. Make sure you are taking the time to interact with your followers. This can look like many things. It can mean a comment or two on some of their posts, it can be a brief conversation with them on your own posts, or it can be something as simple as liking a picture or video that they have shared.
Meaningful interactions can’t be faked, and a simple heart emoji under a picture isn’t going to cut it. If you want to gain meaningful interactions, then you need to give meaningful interactions.
5. Don’t wait.
Maybe people miss the boat on trends and ideas because they wait. Before TikTok became the viral phenomenon that it is today, it was known as Musical.ly. While Musical.ly was successful in its own right, it doesn’t compare to the popularity that TikTok enjoys today.
Those who jumped ship to TikTok when the merge first happened were able to get a jumpstart on the app. They learned the ins and outs of TikTok and were able to build a following much sooner than those who came after, once the platform became more popular.
When you see something that’s gaining traction or popularity, don’t wait or discount it. Take the time to analyze and learn about it. Instagram Reels, for example, is a feature on Instagram that has been on the site for about a year now, and I highly recommend looking into using them, as the reception has been tremendous.
While things these past couple of years have changed and transformed in many ways, social media is only getting stronger. Now’s the time to take full advantage of the massive tool that is social media marketing. There’s no other substitute.
Start now, and see where you’re at this time next year. It might surprise you.