You started your business with the hopes of making a difference. To reach your audience and tell them what their life could be like. To solve a problem and ultimately make the world a better place. But if your audience can’t find you, how the hell are you supposed to make an impact?
The truth is you can’t. Your audience needs to see you in order for you to change their life and that my friends starts with some strategy (what else?!)
One free way to build your audience and get seen is on social. But this isn’t a task for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of work and thought to build your audience on social. But when you plan ahead and stay consistent, the results are powerful.
“But Katie Leigh, I’m on social and nothing is happening!”
I hear you girl, and I’m here to say. Posting to social and being on social are two very different things.
Posting on social simply means you provide content, but you aren’t being social. This is a dinner party and you need to be adding to the conversation, not just talking about yourself.
Get Seen on Social with Hashtags
Hashtags are a powerful tool when used correctly. Let’s start with the rules of the game for these guys. You have 30 hashtags to use on any given post. You WILL NOT be punished for using all 30 of them. The algorithm doesn’t care if you use 10 or 30 so use all of them baby! With that being said to get seen on social you also need to have a strategy with your hashtags. Use hashtags that have between 50,000-500,000 uses so that you’ll actually get discovered in them and not just lost.
Create different groups of hashtags of 5-8 that are relevant to themes in your business. For example, if you sell zero-waste products you might have 5 categories related to being plastic-free, and another five related to zero waste. You might also create categories that have to do with each room of the house or types of products like shampoo. The list goes on and on. When you’re researching your hashtags keep your ideal customers in mind. What tags will they be searching through? Or what community tags do they want to be a part of? What location tags would they search because they live near there? All these answers will help you create your saved hashtags.
Finally, I like to create a note on my phone or save my hashtag groups as captions in Later so that I can easily copy and paste them whenever I’m posting. By doing your research on the front end, you’ll save time and get your posts to go further. Keep in mind that this isn’t a one and done thing. Hashtags change over time and one that has 50,000 uses today could have 1 million uses in 6-months. So you’ll need to update your hashtags once a quarter.
Engage on Social
Like I said before, this is a cocktail party in which you need to do more than just talk about yourself. If you really want to make an impact at any party, you talk as much as you can about the other person. Science shows the we love talking about ourselves and when people ask us a lot of questions about ourselves, we’re prone to like them more. So start engaging on other accounts and asking questions.
The benefits of engaging on social are two-fold, one it helps you to get seen on social by appearing in the notification center AND it starts conversations that build trust. Both these things are need in order for you to win new customers.
The rule for commenting is to post more than 4 words for the algorithm to recognize this as a true comment. You can always say something nice about the photo or caption, but if you really want to engage, leave a question. It ask the person behind the post to engage back to you and in most cases will get them curious about who you are, making them check out your profile. If you want to see real impact I encourage you to comment on at least 30 profiles a day and watch what happens to your account over the course of a month. It’s magic!
Create Valuable Content
This is the number one rule for me in all things–add value. You aren’t here just to post pretty pictures of your coffee or talk about the sunset. We’ve all seen those things and we get it. We want real content that adds to our lives and helps us solve the little problems in life, even if that’s just inspiration or motivation.
“But a sunset is inspiring,” you say.
Sure, a sunset is inspiring. But a caption talking about the path you just walked or sharing a quote that gets you through a long day says a lot more to me than “#Sunsetgoals”. If you want to get seen and build your audience, you need content that’s worth following. Think about what your customers need, what’s going on in their lives that you can speak to? What questions do you answer ALL. THE. TIME. and what motivation do you know that they need? Share something personal, talk about the behind the scenes of your business, and find ways to solve the small pain points. That’s content that adds value.
Social media was always meant to be a place to be social. No one wants to hang out with the guy at the party that can’t stop talking about themselves. Instead, add some value to the conversation, ask about others, and use those hashtags to get discovered by audiences that care about what you’re cooking up. It’s these 3 things that will allow you to get seen on social and build the brand of your dream.
Make a plan, stay consistent, and watch your audience grow.