Unless you’re an incredibly well-connected Solopreneur who’s making a killing and maybe even turning down business, social media is going to 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 perhaps less so for others.
The platforms are free, apart from the time it takes to keep your content updated. No matter how responsive your company’s social media marketing 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 revenue, then the investment will be worth it. Let’s take a look at Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
The most popular social media platform has 2.19 billion users (Statista, Q1 2018) worldwide. There are slightly more female users than male users and the majority of the demographic is between the ages of 18 and 44. Data from Forbes magazine indicates that 47% of Americans report that Facebook is their main influencer when it comes to making purchases.
Facebook often offers excellent ROI for B2C businesses (less so for B2B). In-store events and promotions, talks, workshops, and other events can be advertised to Facebook friends. Content provided in the form of text, photos or video can be uploaded. You can create groups and create 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.
Sound like too much work and too much sharing? Then create a fan page and limit your presence to basic information and a good call to action. Keep in mind that your presentation of text, photos, and other content should be relaxed and welcoming, to create a personal feel (but remember that the context is business).
You’ll find 1 billion users (Statista, June 2018) from around the world, and 80% are outside the US. 95 million posts are shared daily, many of which are accessed on a mobile device. Approximately 59% of US users are between the ages of 18 and 29. As of Q1 2018, there are 300 million daily users of Instagram Stories and 30% of users have purchased a product.
Visual storytelling, behind-the-scenes photo montages, social selling, brand awareness, customer interaction, and relationship building are all good uses of Instagram. If you’re in public relations or planning special events/conferences, you’ll find a worthwhile B2B use; otherwise it’s B2C as far as I can tell.
Photo sharing, short video trailers, and concise text posts 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 worldwide (Statista, January 2018). Businesses large and small, Solopreneurs, Corporate and Nonprofit Leaders, Doctors and Dentists, any employee with career 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 a great platform to build a community of fellow professionals 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 are notified of their arrival. Your connections will also share their stories and there is a great opportunity to stay in touch and nurture relationships.
Professional portfolios, videos, white papers, newsletters, blogs, infographics, SlideShare presentations, and podcasts can all appear on your profile page to add depth to your brand story. You can post links to articles or studies that your connections may be interested in. Recommendations and endorsements allow others to verify your professional good faith and you can return the favor.
In the Groups section, you will interact with colleagues within your industry or with alumni from your school. Topics of interest are explored through posted questions and group members can respond and, in the process, get to know each other and possibly forge relationships that lead to business.
Thank you for reading,