The world of social media is massive, multi-billion dollar industry. There is so much information about social media that it would be impossible to ingest it all in one lifetime. While, ironically, I am adding to it with this article (let's try and gloss over that), I'm going give you a very high-level overview of how your business can succeed on social media.
While being simple, these aspects are certainly not easy. They can take a lifetime to master. But when you do master them, you will be successful on social media. So lets start with the first one...
#1 DEFINE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
While a lot of people claim to be able to do it, it's generally not a good idea to try and sell ice to an eskimo. You will probably end up wasting your time. You've got to know who the people are who are going to be of most value to your business. In the most cases these are the people who will buy from you, however not exclusively.
Without correctly defining your target audience you will be wasting your time, energy and resources on people that are irrelevant to your business. At the Olympic air rifle shooting events, all of the athletes use a scope on their rifle. None of them fire from the hip and hope that a couple of pellets find their way to the target. They know their much more likely to succeed if they only focus on what really matters to them. The same is true with marketing.
#2 FIND OUT WHAT THEY LIKE TO SEE
The mistake that most business make on social media is that everything that they post must be strictly about their business. This is by no means true. People hate to hear it but in the vast majority of cases people don't care about your business, they care about what they can get from your business.
So find out what they want and like to see. If your a mechanic they might like to see the weekend's Grand Prix highlights or funny car memes. If you offer finical services your audience might want see little tips and tricks to organise their finances to save them time. There are many tools you can use to find out what your audience does want to see, but we find nothing beats experimenting. Put up content that you think will your target audience will want to see, and gauge the response from each. this sometimes might be content that's not even related to your industry, but the aim isn't to push your industry, it's to capture the attention, interest and trust of your business' target audience.
#3 GIVE THEM WHAT THEY LIKE
Once you have a fairly good idea of what your target audience wants to see, give it to them! Play around with the formats, maybe they prefer to see a certain type of content in a video rather than a photo, perhaps they'd rather see someone at your business say a great quote rather than just read it. By giving people what they want to see your business is being of use to them.
That use might only be providing them with funny pictures they can share with friends, but they will be starting to build a relationship with your business. There are countless studies which go to show that people who have a relationship with your business are much more likely to either do business with you or refer you to a friend.
The reason that I didn't call these 'steps' is that you won't go through them just once and not always in that order. You may go through it the first time and find out that people don't actually want to see what you thought they did or that you were targeting the wrong audience. It's all about trial and error.
This is a 30,000ft view of social media but it's a framework that every success has and will use. I hope you will find this useful.