BusinessThe Shop Houston

NAVIGATING SOCIAL MEDIA

By April 15, 2018 March 29th, 2019 No Comments

SnapChat, Facebook, Instagram, VLog, Blog, Podcast, Tinder, Bumble, Amazon Prime. Social media is a part of life for most of the world. Odds are, you’ve heard of some of these social media platforms and even more odds that many of you reading this have one or more accounts.Traditional advertising mediums have changed. If you don’t keep up with the times you’ll turn in to a dinosaur. Not a literal fossil in the Badlands, but a business fossil. If you are a new business with a limited budget and want to compete with the “big boys” who are established in the marketplace social media is the logical choice. It’s inexpensive, has lots of potential customers, you can get your friends to help. So many great reasons small businesses gravitate to social media. I’m doing it, I get it, makes perfect sense.The natural way to start is, “apply more effort, get better results.” Unfortunately, social media has evolved so much that it has become a war to get your content in front of the eyes of the potential customers you are after. Since my background is Real Estate, I’ll use an example that will hopefully make sense.Your social media feed is like a real estate canvas, the most valuable space is taken up by paid advertisement and pieces of content that have tons of engagement that the algorithm of each social media site deems relevant based on your preferences and previous content you engage with. If you want to be higher on the feed and be fed to more people you have to either pay for space on news feeds or create engaging content your potential customers, friends and fans will like, comment on, and share.Posting a picture is nice, it could get a lot of views, but with little engagement it won’t get as many news eyes on it. To go back to my Real Estate analogy, if you have the hottest piece of property in the whole city, you will have tons of people calling you about it, touring it and hopefully selling it to the highest bidder. That’s what you want with your social media content.Just “posting” isn’t enough these days. There are so many Apps, filters, hardware, and software available to improve content quality that you are better off to spend a week creating one good piece of content than posting 20 bad pieces of content every hour. Quality > Quantity.What does quality content look like? Live > Video > Picture > Text. Problem is, people expect your Live content to be polished and relevant. Kinda hard when you’re live, but that’s what the market wants. Video content needs to be polished and relevant as well. The good thing about that content is, if you don’t get it perfect the first time you can do multiple takes and edit it all later with great transitions, music, flashing lights, all the bells and whistles. Pictures were cool when they were the only thing you could post that wasn’t text. Don’t get me wrong, meme’s are still able to catch traction and be shared and commented on. Pictures of your kids are good for friends and family, but we’re a business here, we need customers and street cred. Text has been an interesting topic since social media included multi-media. The rule of thumb when social media marketing was in it’s early days was, “short and sweet” Say what you need to say and hush, people are busy looking at cat meme’s and baby photos. Now, it’s actually okay to post longer, multiple sentence, even multi-paragraph content as text and you’ll surprisingly get good views. My theory on why that is would be, the thinking of “Oh man, The Shop has a lot to say, this must be serious. I’ll give it a read.”Weak content just like bad Real Estate is forgotten or seen by an audience you probably aren’t targeting anyway. A mix of multi-media and text in your strategy is ideal for changing things up, giving your audience something new and fresh each time. We’re in a world of small attention spans and ADD. If you post the same type of content over and over again, people have so many other options for fresh content, they’ll forget about you.I use a mixture of Live content, Blogs, Video content, picture and text content. Mapping out a social media strategy for my business takes a lot of time, effort and editing. Just waking up and posting each day doesn’t cut it anymore. Mapping out your content, scheduling posts and analyzing what’s working and what isn’t is key to developing a sustainable strategy that does what it’s supposed to do. In our case, develop new business, engage with our fans and customers and continue to be relevant in the industry.Having a presence is the first step. If you haven’t sat down, opened up business accounts and filled out all of your information you could be losing potential business each day. The next step is to start investing in social media. Studying trends analyzing your viewer’s reactions, adapting to what they want to see more of. Give them what they want to see from your brand. Why did they stop by and what do they want to see? Try new things. If it doesn’t work, try something else. There’s no magical post or video that will do it all. What works today won’t work next week, next month, next year. Adapt and grow with social media. Here’s a hint, it’s not going anywhere.In real estate, architecture changes. Interior design changes. What attracts a first time home buyer today wasn’t what attracted them 40 years ago. (Shag carpet is not a selling feature anymore). See what others around you are doing, what are they buying what questions are they asking. Realtors look at this all the time. Social media is real estate to capture viewers eyes, deliver what they want to see.

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