Alex StoyleSo you’re starting up, and trying to leverage social media in your marketing, what’s holding you down?

No boundaries.

The possibilities are endless. How do I decide where to focus my efforts when there are more social media platforms than hours in the day?

No budget.

I don’t have the money to fund an Emmy award winning YouTube series. How can I compete?

Nobody cares.

I got three likes on my last Instagram post, one of them was my mom. How can I boost engagement?
Let’s answer a few questions.

Who’s your audience?

Identifying your audience will help set some boundaries and help you develop a message that people might actually care about.

What story does my audience want to hear?

Most likely, you offer the solution to a problem. Your targets are the people who commonly suffer from that problem. Make sure your content is about them, not you.

What I’m really saying here is that no one cares about a selfie you took at an industry event. Your audience cares about solving their problems. Work on crafting an authentic message that speaks directly to your target, overtly tells them “we get it” and whispers “let us help you”.

Where is my audience?

If you’re trying to talk to male baby boomers, Pinterest is probably not your best bet.

Once you know who you’re trying to reach, and have developed a story they’ll want to hear, it’s time to deliver it. This is where many start-ups get lost, too many platforms, different messages, half-baked ideas, it all leads to confusion. Remember, your brand is only as strong as your weakest touch-point and quality is better than quantity.

Do a bit of research, and start with one or two platforms where your target hangs out. Once you know where they are, you can begin working your message into the boundaries of the platform. Think about your product here as well, is it physical and beautiful? Leverage Instagram to help tell that story. Do you offer an intangible business solution? Try posting on Linkedin.

The X Factor?

Once you’ve figured out the Who, What and Where, it’s time for the Work. Marketing takes time and there is no “viral button”. Your message might feel repetitive to you, but while you feel you’re beating your message to death, you’re building brand recognition and consistency. Keep pushing and listening to your audience.

At the end of the day, social media is about engaging with people. It’s invaluable for building personal relationships with your audience and turning customers into advocates.

What does your social strategy look like? What’s working particularly well? Where are you struggling? Let’s chat – alex@gykantler.com