Building a handmade business requires dedication, effort and creativity, and so does marketing that business. Of all the ways to market a fledgling business today, social media is perhaps the most potentially powerful and also the easiest to access.
Leveraging social media to your advantage can help build an engaged customer base for your business. The best way to harness the power of social media to your benefit is to plan out a strategy that works for you and your business goals.
Below are five tips to build a strong social media strategy to grow your business.
Know Your Target Market
You likely have a good idea already of who comprises your target market, but it never hurts to do a bit more research. Talk to your current customers about why they buy your products, look at other businesses selling similar products to yours and see who they are targeting with their marketing efforts. You may be surprised by what you discover.
Research How to Reach Them
Once you’ve decided who comprises your target market, next you need to decide how to reach them. Different groups tend to use different social media, and in different ways. Look into what social media your target market is most active on. For example, if your target market skews older, Facebook might be a good option to pursue. For a younger market, it may be Instagram. Don’t assume that your target market uses your social media of choice. Make sure. It won’t pay off to build a strategy around a tool that your target market doesn’t use.
Create Engaging Content
Your social media strategy is only as good as the content you create. If you are handy with a camera, create a reserve of images of your products – of the products themselves, or lifestyle shots of your products. Try to keep the image aesthetic, the same, so that your images are recognizable, with your brand labels clearly visible. If you’re not good with pictures, consider hiring a professional photographer to help you out. Ask if they are open to in-kind trade to keep costs low.
Create a Publishing Schedule
It’s tempting to only post when the mood strikes you, but in order to grow a social media following it’s best to create a regular publishing schedule for posts. That way, followers know when to expect content from you, and this regularity builds a sense of expectation and trust. An erratic posting schedule can seem disorganized.
While you don’t need to nail down the exact time of day that you want to post (although some brands do get this granular), decide on how many times a week you’ll post, and what type of content you’ll post on which days. For example, perhaps Monday is the day you announce any deals or specials, Wednesday is beautiful product shots and Friday is an inspirational use of your product. Even with a publishing schedule in place, you can still get creative with it and go off-calendar for special events or other occasions as they arise.
A publishing schedule also allows you to upload posts ahead of time and schedule them to go live when you want. This can save time by allowing you to upload a week or months’ worth of content at once, instead of taking time each day to do it.
Track your Success
Most social media have measurement tools that you can access for free to learn more about your audience and what posts and content they are responding to. Make time every month to review these numbers to see what posts resonate with your core audience and what doesn’t and use that information to tailor your social media strategy so that it evolves with your growing audience.
Experiment with post dates and times, formats, aesthetics and content and see what works. The social media landscape is constantly changing, and being flexible and responsive to the changes will benefit your business. Whatever the size of your business, the power of social media can help it grow. By creating engaging content on a consistent schedule aimed at your target market and tracking that progress, you’ll grow your following, and expand your business.