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#6 Be Heard: how to get results from your social media

For the micro entrepreneur, start-up and small business owner, social media hands us a microphone to help amplify our ideas and messages throughout our regions, countries and around the world.

Social media is also an opportunity to connect and learn from others outside our personal networks. Here’s how to start getting results.

Social media is free to use for anyone with an internet connection. Download the app and away you go… Great free promotion!

But hang on… Social media can be a lot of work for little reward UNLESS you research, target and plan your activity. To enjoy successful social media you need a good social media strategy.

“Everything connects” Leonardo da Vinci

Micro Oiseau bird | get results from social media

Working out a social media strategy…

Today, the most popular social media platforms include: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and TikTok with new ones emerging all the time. You probably have your own personal favourites.

Being in business, however, is different. It does not mean we must automatically use social media. Beware people who say: “You MUST be on Twitter…” or, “What! You’re not on TikTok?”

Your business social media should not be about personal preferences, following the latest trend, or what a well-meaning friend might say. Business social media should be focused on our customers’ and clients’ preferences: what platforms they use, what they respond to and want to know.

Some people who set up in business rush to sign up to a range of social media accounts. They spend too much time posting at random and quickly become frustrated because they don’t get the results they expected, saying, “Social media is a waste of time! It doesn’t work…” And they are right. For them social media won’t work because they don’t understand what they are doing or have a strategy to get results.

In order to create the right social media strategy and make the best use of your time and effort you need to start by getting clear on your needs, expectations and goals. Here at Micro Oiseau we asked ourselves these questions, so, here to help you, we’ve supplied our answers:

1. Why do you want to use social media?

We want people to get to know and trust us. We want to promote what we do. We want people to find us easily. Remember: trust is a huge part of the buying process.

2. What results do you want from social media?

We want to build an audience of like-minded people, a community that will choose us for trusted information and translator referrals over a competitor when they are ready to buy. Forget fast sales, social media requires patience and strategy.

3. Which apps are you going to choose and why?

  • Twitter for the broad and supportive translator community
  • LinkedIn for translator groups/community and also business startups groups and referrals
  • Facebook for translator groups, community, small business owners
  • Instagram for small business community, entrepreneurs and startups

Focus your efforts where you will find most of your customers….

If you have a dog grooming service Facebook, Instagram and YouTube offer great visual showcase for what you do. Think about it. Most people will not visit YouTube to find an accountant.

If you are an accountant look for interest groups across LinkedIn and Facebook and join in the conversations. With 18 to 24-year-olds’ as its largest user group, TikTok shouldn’t be your first thought!

If you are an artist or musician, think about how and where art and music fans go to find inspiration and share. These may include, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.

If you discover that your customers use little or no social media, then you would be a busy fool if you decided you had to! But remember, if your products or services are for the very young or very old, although they won’t use social media, their families and influencers will.

Monitor engagement and response and change what you do depending on your results.

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4. What are you going to share, and why?

We will share great free marketing guides and support. We will showcase talented translators through different languages, high-quality profiles and Google rankings. We will repost information of interest and signpost services, we will encourage and engage.

What you share should be guided by your customer research and always in line with your values or brand behaviour. It needs to focus on your customers’ needs. In this way you will build trust, engage and signpost them to your website.

Websites are where buying decisions are made, so don’t forget to add your link to your posts!

5. Time: how much should you spend on social media?

We’re going to dedicated time every week to create content, schedule posts and review results.

Social media can be a hungry monster and it takes time to build an audience. Keep in mind this is a marathon not a sprint and, unless you can pay a social media company to create and run campaigns for you, the best advice is to forget quick results. Your route to success is about making your social media a habit through a realistic and regular posting schedule. Posting content that will attract and engage the customers you want. Use one platform well. Not three badly. Later in our guide we look at post frequency.

Tip: how find like-minded people

To find groups of people talking about and sharing content on a particular subject use a hashtag #.

Hashtags are used in social media posts like subject labels and they help people find content they are interested in, for example: #translation, #holidays #vegan. You can perform a hashtag search on each social media platform to find ones that are currently popular and/or useful to you. You can also make up your own, using it each time you post. It’s important not to use too many. Two to four is ideal on most social media platforms, however, Instagram is different and allows up to 30.

Another good tip is to use capital letters in a word string. This ensures that screen reading technology used by partially sighted or blind people can identify the individual words. For example: #MicroWins #MarketingGuides.

Using hashtags in your posts will help people find you and share your content.