After working with hundreds of busy business owners during the last 10 years, our Shark Jockey team learned many important social media tips for entrepreneurs to follow. Most business owners today know they need to be on social media on a regular basis. Unfortunately, many do not know what to do, how to begin, or where to effectively spend their efforts. But the biggest challenge most entrepreneurs face is related to their time.
Every entrepreneur will have a different lifestyle and set of business goals so it is critical to developing social media plans that fit within these needs. If managing social media feels too challenging, it is highly unlikely people will stick to a consistent plan month after month. The most important thing entrepreneurs need to keep in mind before beginning a social media plan for their business is that they must create a system that is easy to follow and achieve. Without this, efforts will be strained and it is all too easy to become overwhelmed with the demands of running a business and creating meaningful social media efforts.
When we mentor and work with entrepreneurs, they are typically seeking out help after having already experiencing problems or issues with their social media plan. For example, recently we met with an entrepreneur in her 50s who has been in business on her own for several years. During this time, she started posting some content on social media but was not seeing any results from her efforts. Here are some of the problems she, and others like her, report dealing with on social media.
- Choosing the right social media platform(s).
- Having enough time to manage social media.
- Creating a social media plan or knowing how to create one.
- Effectively utilizing paid social media advertising.
- Using hashtags and tagging others to increase reach.
These are just a few of the social media challenges entrepreneurs face every week. The good news is that the Shark Jockey team helped hundreds of entrepreneurs navigate oceans of marketing questions. We have the experience and tools necessary to make it easy to create and manage effective social media campaigns. Learn more from the list of social media tips for entrepreneurs below. Then, contact us for a free consultation on how to begin implementing these concepts immediately.
1. Create a Social Media SWOT
Think back to the start of your business-building efforts? Remember creating something called the SWOT Analysis? At the beginning of any planning session related to business, one common tool experts recommend using a SWOT analysis. However, very few entrepreneurs remember this when creating a social media plan.
At Shark Jockey, we spoke with entrepreneurs from all over the country to learn and address the challenges they are facing on social media. Less than 1% of entrepreneurs prepared a social media SWOT Analysis prior to meeting with us. However, more than 90% of the entrepreneurs who go on to succeed after working with our team created and utilized a social media specific SWOT.
To get started, simply create a typical SWOT grid. Then in each segment, write down a quick bullet point list of items as they relate to your current social media abilities and plan. For example, your strengths might include items like having some photography abilities, being a good writer, or having a deep knowledge of Facebook marketing techniques. Your weaknesses might include items such as not knowing how to create effective video content for Instagram, or having no experience creating lead generation forms.
The creation of your SWOT analysis related to social media is very important because it will help provide direction for entrepreneurs to set goals. These goals will impact all of the following items on the list below.
2. Improve Content
When it comes to social media content, many entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed. First, they are unsure of how to produce effective content. Second, entrepreneurs might be able to post some content but typically struggle to think of enough content about their business to fill up an entire month, quarter, or year on social media. And third, entrepreneurs are unsure of when to post their content.
The timeliness of social media content will be addressed below, but the type of content and subject matter are easy to begin with. Remember, every social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) has its own best practices when it comes to producing social media content. Many entrepreneurs who are unsure of where to begin do not yet realize they can find this information through simple searches on Google or Youtube. There are hundreds of articles and how-to videos available to get started. Regardless of the platform, entrepreneurs should be prepared to provide a mix of social media posts that include words, photos, and video every single week. Each post can usually include 1 or all 3 types of content.
Creating the subject matter to talk about on social media can be a little more complicated. Many times, entrepreneurs who are just beginning their social media plan simply attempt to post about topics that are on their mind or articles that seem useful. These type of posts can still be done on a regular basis, but we recommend two things instead. First, entrepreneurs should conduct research to find out what their customers are interested in engaging with on social media. This can be done through online tools or simply by talking to customers in person. Second, once a list of 3-10 topics of interest has been established, this can be divided up into categories. Entrepreneurs should then create a social media schedule that talks about a different category 1 or more times during
There are many online tools available to help manage the schedule and production needs of any business. For example, Shark Jockey clients have access to systems that make it easy to find and edit photos, videos, and posts. But simply searching the app store can also provide examples of other easy to use applications that can help with this process as well.
3. Start A New Schedule
Every entrepreneur has a busy schedule. Changing responsibilities multiple times within any given week makes it difficult to set and maintain a regular schedule when it comes to keeping up social media. However, entrepreneurs who want to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their content must view social media schedules as similar to any other aspect of their business. Just like the creation and sales of a product, processes should be created to guide social scheduling.
Many new entrepreneurs do not realize tools exist to help with these very challenges. Shark Jockey clients are given a tool that allows them to schedule posts in the future for every social media platform. This is extremely helpful because busy entrepreneurs are able to spend an hour or two once a month setting up their content for the entire month, instead of carving out time every day.
Another great benefit of tools like this is that they usually include analytics showing the best time of the day and week to post social media content as well. Take a look at the proprietary system used by Shark Jockey clients to learn more about these tools and how they can save you hundreds of hours during the year.
4. Collect and Publish Testimonials
One thing most entrepreneurs do not think about soon enough in their journey toward better social media content is how to effectively ask for and promote testimonials. This is something a lot of businesses really struggle seem to struggle with, regardless of how long they have been around. Part of the reason for the struggle is that there is not a process in place to easily gain these from customers.
When done correctly, asking for testimonials from customers should be a frictionless process. Some companies go so far as to incentivize people who leave 5-star reviews on Facebook or Google. While this can cause some negative consequences as well, the point is that entrepreneurs must make testimonials an important part of their routine. Recent stats show nearly 97% of purchasers consider online reviews before making a commitment.
As is the case with all forms of content, keep in mind there are many different forms of testimonials. Shark Jockey clients are given access to tools that quickly and easily gain online reviews from customers through Google and Facebook. This is a great way to increase trust online and overall SEO value. But entrepreneurs should strive to seek out customers who are capable of providing valuable case studies, blogs, and video testimonials. Creating this content can be as simple as capturing a short cell phone video to share on social media or translating comments made in person into a blog for the website.
Regardless of the format, the key is to share and promote this content on a consistent regular basis. Rather than sharing many testimonials all at once and then stopping production, it is actually better if testimonials are more evenly spread out over time. Take a look at some of the top companies in an industry and take note of if the online reviews occurred recently or many months, or even years, prior. Which do you think would have a bigger impact on someone looking to make a purchase?
5. Product Descriptions
Product descriptions are something usually associated with websites. However, figuring out how to share these on social media can provide valuable education and SEO value for brands. There are easy several easy things business owners can do to make this happen. Adding product descriptions frequently might be boring content to audiences, so think about how to break up multiple posts across several days or weeks. Also, make sure that you consider the sales funnel or journey customers should follow when seeing posts about specific products. Simply posting details about the products is not usually enough to earn a sale from savvy consumers today. It is important to carefully consider the next tip carefully along with the posting of product descriptions on social media.
6. Structure The Acquisition Process
The acquisition process has never been easier on social media than it is today. It is also can include many more steps than what most digital gurus care to mention at first. In simple terms, it is commonly accepted that social media sales funnels include three stages designed to engage viewers, educate them about the product, and convert them into customers. There are many different tools available to help with these three steps. At the very least, entrepreneurs should consider what information they want to reveal and collect from the audience at each phase. Landing pages and forms on Facebook provide easy ways to get started.
7. Thank Others
This can be one of the easiest and most effective social media tips for entrepreneurs to follow. There are many important reasons to thank people. Aside from being a sign of common decency, it is a great way to increase the reach on social media posts. Think about this, if you see a social media post tagging you and/or your business you are usually going to read it right? And if this social media post calls attention to the amazing, wonderful, activities you are performing you are also very likely to write a response and even share the content on your own social media. The same is true of other people. Thanking people is a humble and kind way of showing your customers that you care and asking them to respond.
8. Create Videos
It is easy to forget about the early days of social media when it is was difficult to create, post, and share videos on social media. Every major social media platform made huge strides to promote video during the last few years. These efforts are due to the fact that people love watching videos and usually stay engaged longer than when simply reading a post. For this reason, social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and others actually reward people who post videos with higher organic reach.
Many entrepreneurs struggle to get in front of the camera to make videos. That’s ok! Shark Jockey clients are coached through these problems. They are also provided access to a tool that creates simple videos featuring engaging information about products. Learn more about our video easy to use video programs and commercial production capabilities by following this link. Then schedule your free consultation to speak with our team today.
9. Begin Ads
Many entrepreneurs, business owners, and marketing “experts” attempt to jump right into creating advertisements on social media. However, this can cause lackluster, frustrating results and other problems for the business. Shark Jockey clients often share horror stories of attempts to work with other agencies who spent thousands of dollars on social media ads that produced very little or no results. The Shark Jockey process is unique because it only recommends spending money on ads once the business or entrepreneur has the tools in place needed to gain and measure results.
In addition to following the steps above on this list prior to beginning ads, it is also important to go through a process of installing the proper digital plumbing on social media platforms, the company website, and Google. Each of these sources can involve anywhere from 5 – 50 steps (yes, you read that correctly!) before an account is ready to correctly place effective ads. As with almost everything else on this list, there are a growing number of online resources available to learn how to set things up. To speed things up, consider reaching out to Shark Jockey to talk through the specific resources available to your company and how to correctly place effective ads aimed at increasing return on investment (ROI).
Looking for help correctly setting up your Ads Manager or Business Manager accounts on Facebook? Do you want to learn how we are helping local businesses gain more leads than ever before by managing campaigns on Google AdWords? Have you ever considered running promotions through YouTube videos but you’re not sure where to begin? Click here to get started with a no risk, free consultation.
10. Evaluate and Collaborate
The ROI of any social media campaign should always be carefully considered by new entrepreneurs. Most business owners are eager to see numbers grow in relation to revenue and new customers. However, it is important to remember that the numbers related to time might be even more important. This is especially true for owners who are spread thin while trying to get a business up and running. Spending more time or money on the steps above can provide enormous financial payoffs down the line because:
- An entrepreneur’s time will be freed up to work on other activities once they do not have to worry about recreating the social media wheel every couple of weeks or months.
- The amount of money an entrepreneur will have to spend on searching for and hiring different teams will decrease if they set up everything digital correctly the first time, and early on in the life of their company.
- And, the amount of money an entrepreneur will need to spend on advertising will be much more effective, providing higher engagement and potential new customers.
Most social media platforms and Google Analytics are now capable of providing some analytics showing the effectiveness of efforts over time. The better the report, the more intelligent decisions can be made by the entrepreneur. Not all analytic tools are created equal. Shark Jockey clients are provided with state of the art reporting systems that show multiple platforms, the effectiveness of posts, potential influencers, and suggestions for future content all in one easy to read PDF.
Regardless of the source, up to date data on social media gives entrepreneurs the tools they need to make smart decisions in the future. Once the social media tips for entrepreneurs listed above are put in place, the next thing to do is start searching for opportunities to collaborate with others. This could be applied to several different strategies. For example, entrepreneurs might be able to collaborate on social media with influencers in the marketplace who can help grow their social following. Or business owners can also use the data to find and reward the people who most frequently engage with them. One new program that is producing exponential growth for clients at our agency involves the creation of programs that identify and reward customers for engagement on social media and referrals. Learn more about these programs or any of the details above by contacting us to schedule a free consultation today.
Nick is the owner of Shark Jockey Digital and 20 year veteran in the marketing industry. He currently helps clients with development projects, lead generation, website creation, SEO, SEM, PPC, social media marketing, Google reviews, online listing, and campaign management.