The REAL question your business should ask when posting on social media

How often should I post to social media?

One of the most frequent questions I'm asked by local business owners on Cape Cod is, "How often should I be posting to social media?"

Do I listen to those infographics on the internet that tell me that I'm not "doing it right" if I'm not tweeting 15x a day? How many times should I get on Facebook? I should post to my blog once a week, right?

These are great questions and a lot of businesses struggle with it because they feel really far behind in the social media game and now that they're getting into it, they're throwing all their chips in. 

I love this gung-ho attitude that comes from a business that's ready to join in the online conversation. 

It's vibrant, sassy, and exciting. But it has a lot of potential to add to stress and disappointment when you don't get tons of likes, reposts, and new business immediately.

Before you get ahead of yourself and start tweeting up a storm at 5am when you're on the john... the real question you should be asking is, "What's my social media game plan?"

You need to make a social media plan.

Social media, when used correctly, is a powerful marketing tool that can draw your dream clients to you in a big way. 

But in that same respect, posting on social media without a plan is just as damaging as not posting at all.

Without a point, your message gets lost and you become white noise and your effort is wasted.

This is an opportunity to build trust and relationships without ever having to have someone step one foot inside a brick and mortar store so it makes a lot of sense to put thought into it before you jump online. 

Who is your audience?

Who are your customers in real life? You already know these people now it's time to filter out your favorite qualities. What are their problems, why would they come to you to solve them?

If you feel too pressured to come up with the great qualities of customers you want to work with, make a list of qualities you don't want to work with. 

Don't want to work with someone who is high-strung and low balling all your prices? Then you know you want to work with someone who is relaxed and values what your work is worth. 

This would be known as your customer avatar—that fictional profile of your dream client who you want to always have in your life because you can solve their problems and they're just a completely perfect fit for you.

Why you need a customer avatar.

81% of the entire United States is on at least one form of social media as of 2017, this is a really important thing to keep in mind.

That's nearly 260.3 million people. And that's only the users in OUR country.  Needless to say, your potential audience is HUGE.

Who will you be talking to out of those 260.3 million US residents?

 
 81% of the United States population is on social media. Source: Statista.

81% of the United States population is on social media. Source: Statista.

 

Salty locals within a 25 mile radius of your location? Women between 18-25 with blonde hair who are looking for wedding up-dos? Men of all ages who love gardening in the northeast?

Cape Cod vacationers who'll need rentals to fill out their vacation house for 3 weeks? A family of 27 people looking to go on a multi-generational cruise vacation together?

I can tell you who audience isn't.

Your audience isn't EVERYONE. 

There are so many people out there. To be successful at this you have to narrow down your choices of who you want your message to get out to. 

If you aren't talking to a target audience then you've basically turned yourself into that the person you see muttering to themselves in the corner of Starbucks on Friday mornings. (That's not me, I do that on Tuesdays. 😉☕️)

Casting a net that's far too wide out of fear will catch absolutely no one. I know how scary it is to be super narrow on your focus audience but this is essential. 

Have a measurable, attainable goal.

You have to have a goal when posting or you can quickly find yourself in the weeds. (Whee—been there!

Ask yourself, what part of your dream client's problem do you want to solve with your post today? Are you looking to gain more exposure? Continue with your brand's online presence? Introduce a new product? Brag about a great review?

After that, what do you want your audience to do—Click to visit your website? Like a post? Share with friends? 

The next step might seem painfully obvious to you but it probably isn't to them. We're all awash in social media these days. It's overwhelming. Being told what to do next is a wonderful gift.

"Oh, click here for more information? Great! I'll do that."

*click* 

These are goals that you can actually measure. You might want to get 25 Likes, 4 shares, 17 people to sign up for newsletters. If you reach that goal, great job! Keep going. If you don't, then you reassess and try again. 

Without measurable goals you won't know what messages work with your audience and what messages don't. 

The universal social media goal for everyone.

Your ultimate social media goal is to be a trusted resource for your customers.

No one wants to hear that you're the "Premiere Something of the Whatever Industry". They've heard that about everyone in every industry and it means nothing to anyone anymore.

It's not different. It doesn't standout.
It's white noise.  

What's different is speaking to customers like they're human beings on a level they can understand instead of using meaningless jargon intended to pad a sales point so that it sounds fancy. 

Those of you living on Cape Cod or other small communities know exactly what I'm talking about. Being a local in these small communities is about knowing and trusting people. 

No, really, how often do I need to post on social media? 

The answer to how often you should post on social media depends on how much time you have to dedicate to quality work on top of all the other work you're already doing. 

It's more about quality than quantity. 

Start slow.

This isn't a race. Don't set yourself up to crash before you even get off the ground.

Social media can be so much fun if you build your foundation right. It builds lasting connections, strengthens bonds within communities, and it's one of the pillars that helps to establish yourself as an expert. 

Now go out there and make a plan for your next post and see how it does!

 

Have any questions? 

IN GOOD COMPANY DESIGN is a design shop that helps small & local businesses grow through recharged branding and easy-to-use Squarespace websites launched in 2-weeks.

Get hand-in-hand guidance and working with your dream clients today.

 

Cindy Caughey

In Good Company Design, Barnstable, MA