As an entrepreneur looking to grow your business in 2022 and beyond, social media should be a top priority.
Some still underestimate the power of social media or think that it’s too late to jump aboard, but the numbers speak for themselves. The number of Americans using social media is expected to increase from the ~295.5 million we see in 2021 to ~323 million by 2026.
Better still, with the right know-how, you can find your clients among this growing audience for absolutely free.
How to win at social media strategy: our 5 tips
With 91% of businesses in the US using social media for marketing purposes, it’s a competitive space to play in for sure.
The key to outperforming your competitors doesn’t lie in shouting louder than everyone else or posting 24/7, it’s in knowing how to grab people’s attention — and keep it too.
There are a plethora of social networks to choose from, separated by demographics, functionalities, and cultures, so do your research to find out which are popularly used by your target audience. You wouldn’t want to dedicate all of your time to YouTube if your clients hang out on LinkedIn!
Beyond that, the guide below has all the pointers you’ll need for your social media to excel in 2022. If you can nail these, there’s no doubt that your business will thrive.
1️. Use short-form video content
Video content is by far the most engaging format for social media. A study carried out by Hubspot found that videos on Instagram can receive double the engagement of a static, visual post. The more engagement you receive, the more a social media platform will view your profile as having good content — and it’ll show that content to an even bigger prospect base.
Short-form video in particular has value for 2022’s content creators. People prefer watching snappy, to-the-point videos that’ll gratify them quickly — possibly due to their ever-shrinking attention spans (who else can relate?!)
It’s also worth noting that most social media giants now have dedicated tools for producing short-form video content, including TikToks, Instagram Reels, Stories, YouTube shorts, and more.
Don’t hesitate, just create. The more video content that you put out there, the sooner you’ll learn what gets results and what doesn’t.
2. Don’t build a client base — build a community
Offering genuine value is the secret sauce to social media success. Don’t expect that you can just share a few posts about your business and the clients will come to you. You need to give them more than just your product or service. By providing them with real value, you’ll build a community that keeps coming back for more.
How do you provide value, you ask? By giving back to them.
Whether it’s through entertainment, providing solutions to their problems, giving them information, making them feel good, or inspiring them day-to-day, you’re adding value to their lives. Ideally, the content you share will link back to your products and services too rather than just being smart or funny — that’s when you’ll see results.
Some people will join your community, unsure whether they’re ready to become a client. They’ll linger around, consuming your content, waiting until they get to know you and your offering better.
That’s why it’s so important to keep creating value — you never know when a potential client will decide to pick up the phone.
3. Tell a better story than the rest
We’ve covered the most important content format and what you should put out there, now let’s look into how to tell your story.
Every piece of successful content has a story behind it, it should hook your audience in and maintain their interest to the end. If you know your target audience inside out, then you’ll also know exactly how to tell a story that they want to hear.
When telling your story, try to let go of the ‘what’ and start thinking about the ‘why’.
A description of your product or service is your ‘what’ and very few people will be hooked by this. If you really want their attention, you’ll need to appeal to their emotions — otherwise known as the ‘why’.
When you think about the ‘why’ you’ll be thinking about the pain points that your clients are facing. Why do they need your services? How will it make them feel? How will their lives change as a result? Why are you selling them what you’re selling?
Those are magic questions to get your story straight.
4. Develop your personal brand
As a PFA agent, you already know that there’s no fun to be had in trying to fit in. It’s your unique personality that sets you apart from the rest — so let it shine across your social media.
People want to get to know the person behind the business: if they can’t trust you, why should they trust what you’re offering? Showing your face and talking directly to your followers is a great way to connect with current and would-be clients. It’ll also help you build trust and get your personal brand out there.
Before you can do that though, you’ll need to decide how you want to appear on social media. This includes setting a tone of voice, deciding which topics you’ll talk about, and which you’d prefer to steer clear of.
A good starting point is to choose 3-5 values that will carry your brand. What matters to you as a person and how can that transcend to your business?
5. Establish success metrics
Last but by no means least, we need to set some goals. These will motivate you to achieve more and never let the ball drop on your business.
You may measure your growth in followers, likes, and shares, but don’t overthink these numbers. These are what’s known as ‘vanity metrics’. They may make you feel good and give the impression that you’re succeeding, but they’re a little bit meaningless in the wider strategic context.
So what if a post receives 1,000 likes — did you make any sales from it? You’d rather get 10 likes on a post that generated 4 leads than 500 likes with no prospecting value at all.
If you need some ideas on what to measure, think about what’s integral to the success of your business. Lead generation is a good example, but you could also think about web clicks, messages, overall engagement rates, and so on. There are even tools out there that can help you plan, schedule, post, and analyze your social media efforts to save you time and increase effectiveness.
Monitoring these goals and analyzing the success rate of social content can help you to understand the reason why certain content performs well. This way, you can reproduce successful ideas and leave behind anything that didn’t work to your advantage.
You won’t see results overnight, but that’s the framework to get started
Even if you roll out all five tips from day one, be patient with your steady growth on social media. Keep at it and stay consistent to see the best results.