It’s now a lot easier to start a business with a website and internet access, the needs for staff and overheads are minimal meaning anyone can be on their way to being an Entrepreneur. It is not uncommon to have multiple streams of income, the days of one track careers are coming to an end and creative intelligence is turning its hands to spinning many plates.
Maybe you have had many businesses or maybe you are just starting out but it is always good to come back to basics, the core competencies of business maybe simple but we often forget that. Social Media is a fairly new and advancing string to the bow of business but not many are using it effectively, so what are the pitfalls and how best do we avoid them.
This might sound obvious but bear with me, to know your target markets wants and needs generically is a great starting point, your competitors are already doing that for you. However nothing becomes dynamic unless it is specific. Customer Data and profiles that drill down to the psyche, wants and beliefs of your target market leaders will be invaluable to you.
By specifically knowing your target market leaders and attracting their engagement, will create a domino effect of influence, as your engagement effects the following they have already attained. By osmosis their contacts are now your contacts. To do this effectively you must have a strong identity.
As an entrepreneur you share multiple traits with others in your field, you are go-getters, risk takers and out the box thinkers but you need to be able to stand your own in the market. The common mistake made with identity is to fit into group thinking and blend into a similar identity to your competitors. It is good to be aware of what the competition are doing as a sounding board to help you pitch where you want to be in the market. Identity must encompass, who you are and why you do what you do?
Now this is where separation comes in, the separation between the Entrepreneur and the product / service. Identity is not derived in this case from the Entrepreneurs personality although that will undoubtedly influence, it is the essence of the product /service that you are providing and the unique selling point of that. In Social Media first impressions count and are often summed up in your image, which should re-answer the question of who you are. So whether that be logo, animation or photography, keep it simple, consistent (which does not mean it can’t be adapted) and focused.
The third potential pitfall dovetails with the second. Values answer the why you do what you do. Your content, interactions and responses must be value led. In Social Media control is an illusion, as the consumer holds a huge sway with their ‘buying power’ which is why values are so important as people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Ultimately they are buying into a belief system, why are your values worth believing in?
So you know your audience, you know your identity and values. Next comes your delivery which must be strategic and organised, time management is a struggle for most which is why you need to outsource. A common misconception with ownership, is that I must lead everything, resulting in mediocrity and a lack of discipline in time leading to shabby management and poor presence. Expert knowledge is an investment that pays back, not an overhead. Experts will build on the specifics of target audience information to help plan steps that get results through chosen social media channels and campaigns. A sign of great leadership is being able to delegate and this is an area you can’t afford to not invest in.
This is a vital part of the process of progress, you need to know if what you have output is received and how effectively so. This is where the expert not only implements the model and plan teaching you the ropes of your campaign and approach but can provide statistics of site traffic and social media engagement. While you can measure the lead generation and sale conversion. It’s good at this point to look at how you measure success, managing your expectations realistically, can help you frame growth long term. You need to consider campaigns take about 3 months to peak in momentum. Also note, that lead conversion and sales is not necessarily the epitome of success. Long-term this is the goal, but to begin with engagement and following is a far firmer foundation. You are not just waiting for feedback to come to you, any successful campaign will have a call to action which will invite the feedback/response.
The potential pitfalls might appear simple but the best things are, here at Status we believe to be effective, business should be simple as should be its communications. We have a passion to equip the world of work to absorb the benefits of Social Media into their everyday business practice, championing their online presence.