"Right now, with social networks and other tools on the Internet, all of these 500 million people have a way to say what they're thinking and have their voice be heard." -Mark Zuckerberg
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been getting the question from clients about which social media platform is the 'best' for their business.
I so get it; we want to know the best place to spend our energy, and we’re kinda hoping someone will tell us the ‘secret’ formula to overnight success.
I’m no social media guru, but my business has been built on digital and content marketing. My first coaching client came from Instagram, and my second client, back when I started, came through Facebook.
I’m not about to tell you how to skyrocket your following to a million people, but I will tell you, this stuff works.
Not only have I met the majority of my amazing clients through social media, I’ve met mentors and friends. I've been interviewed and have had fun collaboration opportunities thanks to social media. (If Tinder counts, I even met my guy online!)
Back to the question at hand: What social media platform is the BEST platform for your business?
The answer I've got for you comes indirectly from the Digital Marketing Conference I attended earlier this year. There were some incredible speakers and some online entrepreneurial hotshots.
One person told us Instagram was THE way to explode your business. Another expert claimed Facebook Groups are the key to business success. Yet another explained how YouTube was the secret. Someone else said blogging wasn’t dead and was the way. Another person had an epic podcast funnel.
It was enough to make your head spin.
I realized after I left that they were ALL right. Each platform was THE way. It was the way for them.
I realized we’re asking the wrong questions.
It isn’t about what platform we should be on or how to deliver content best.
Maybe we should be asking: Where can I show up, connect, and build relationships? Where will I do this consistently?
Those platforms worked for each of those speakers because they had their business shit down and used social media as a tool to connect with new people.
They narrowed in and learned how to work each platform, mastered the strategy that worked for them, and stuck around long enough to build relationships.
The truth is, there is no “best” platform. Social media bridges the gap between our customers and our business. Social media isn’t our business, it’s simply a tool. It happens to be a very powerful tool when used correctly, but at the end of the day, it’s a tool.
It’s the carpenter who wields the saw and crafts the table; the saw on its own is just a piece of sharp metal. It’s all about how you wield your social media saw.
Strategy varies from platform to platform, but here are five philosophies I’m currently sharing with my clients:
1. It’s not a popularity contest.
It’s SO tempting to get sucked into the number of followers and likes.
Big numbers don’t necessarily mean business success. I know plenty of people with modest social media followings and more than modest businesses.
Let someone else win the popularity contest. Focus on connection and relationships instead.
You probably already know I think relationships and connection are at the core of a sustainable, successful business. When we use them as our social media compass, it changes the way we engage with the platform and the people on it.
2. It’s not about you…and it's also about you.
With selfies flooding our feed, this can be a tough one to remember. Whatever platform we’re using, if we’re using it for business, we want to remember, it’s not about us. It’s about our existing and potential clients.
Our social media works for us best when we filter it through the eyes of our ideal clients. But our ideal clients also want to get to know, like, and trust us, which means we also want to think about ways to authentically show up and share parts of ourselves.
Give your audience what they want AND show up and give them a peek into your life.
3. There are real people on the other side of the screen.
For some reason, there’s a tendency to forget that there are real people on the other end of the digital devices that we’re talking through.
With a screen between us, it’s easy to dissociate, and in turn, act in ways we never would in real life!
Want to make social media work for you? Talk to people the way you would offline!
4. Be a good friend.
We hear a lot about ‘know, like, and trust’ in the marketing world.
It sounds good, but I think sometimes we forget what really generates these feelings in one another.
If we want people to know us, like us, and trust us, we need to show up online in ways that foster this. That means being open, real, and vulnerable if we want people to know us.
Liking us…I’m in the camp that it’s none of our business who likes us, but for our purposes here, this is about being a good friend. That means showing up, offering value, and giving before we ask for anything in return.
The big one, trust? Social media is a beautiful way to build trust. When we commit to a platform and show up consistently as ourselves, we build trust.
It’s pretty simple. How do you make and maintain a good friendship? You say hi, you get to know one another, and then you continue to show up when you say you will. You offer support and value. You don’t decide for months on end that you’re not into your friend. You don’t flake out.
Be a good friend on your social media platform of choice and it will take you further than any hashtag ever could.
5. Don’t forget to ask for what you want.
I’m ALL about building connection and relationships. This is my business M.O., but we have to remember we’re also running a business.
I’ve been lucky and social media has worked for me, but for a long time, I never really let people know I was open for business.
I kinda figured, if my content was good enough, people would just figure it out and hire me.
Luckily some did, but this is NOT the way to go about utilizing social media.
We can’t expect people to know what we do and what we have to offer. It’s our job as entrepreneurs and business owners to communicate this effectively.
Use social media to build connections and share value, but don’t forget to remind people what you do, and make an offer every once in a while!
For all we know, the social media platforms we're on now won't even exist in ten years, but these core philosophies will. Whatever platform you focus on, remember it's a tool, and it's all about how you use it.
Wishing you your version of success
P.S. What's your favorite social media platform right now and why? I'd love to know! Let me know in the comments below!
P.P.S. Ready to build relationships online and create content that connects and converts into clients? This is something I LOVE supporting my clients with! Click here to learn more about how we can work together and apply for a free coaching consultation.