Use Social Media Platforms That Match Your Target Market
The key to mastering social media isn’t to join and actively participate in every social network available. As a freelancer, entrepreneur, or small business manager, you simply don’t have the resources to engage in every social media audience available, and even if you could a lot of your time, money, and resources would simply be wasted. In order to successfully harness the marketing potential of social media, you have to identify your target market and the social networks they use. A handful of the largest social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are universal enough that your business should maintain an active presence on each one regardless of your target market, but networks and services such as Instagram or Pinterest may not be a good fit for your target market.
Content Marketing and Social Media
Why is it so important to choose the right social networks? Creating content for your blog and social media accounts is called content marketing, and regularly generating content marketing is a time-consuming and potentially expensive process. With your limited time, money and resources, it is absolutely vital that your content marketing campaign connects with your target market, provides value to your audience, and inherently becomes a valuable avenue for attracting and connecting with potential clients.
What Should You Include In Your Content Marketing?
It’s important to realize that with any content marketing plan, your primary mission should be to write original content and collect third-party content that your target market will find entertaining and interesting. Too many freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business managers make the mistake of believing that content they find entertaining and interesting will successfully attract a social media audience composed of their target market, or even worse, believe that a series of highly technical or personal posts are appropriate, when in reality it’s very likely they aren’t. Instead, an ideal content strategy is primary focused on creating and sharing content that will convince your clients and target market that you are a subject matter expert.
Begin by sharing articles written by leading voices in your industry, as doing so demonstrates you follow and respect thought leaders. Next, include articles that address questions, problems, and concerns shared by your clients and target market. Finally, consider showcasing clients with detailed case studies, which will not only demonstrate to your other clients and target market that you can address new challenges in interesting and creative ways.
Be Prepared For Complaints and Negative Comments
It’s no secret that many freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners with limited PR and marketing experience may not be emotionally ready to deal with a public online complaint. Online complaints can range from civil to angry, incoherent, or even graphically profane. No matter how surprised or rattled you may become upon encountering a complaint, it’s vital you remain calm and level-headed. Responding to a complaint, especially one that is initially anonymous, by accusing the poster of lying or even threatening to litigate is often an ill-conceived course of action.
In most situations it’s also a bad idea to delete the comment and/or block the poster. Instead, address the complaint with a reasonable and sensible rebuttal as quickly as possible. A seemingly small, negative comment has the potential to grow into a huge ordeal the longer it sits without a response. If it is necessary, you may also ask the poster to provide more information in order to craft a better response. Finally, you may want to respectfully request that the conversation be moved to a private channel such as direct messaging or email in order to keep things from getting out of hand.