We have no doubt you are already fluent in several forms of social media. In fact, you might not be able to remember a life without it!
For the past decade or so, young people aren’t the only ones dominating social media platforms. Businesses of all sizes have created accounts on Twitter, TikTok, SnapChat, and elsewhere. The good news for you is that, unlike large corporations, you don’t have to hire an entire team just to cover your business’s social media presence. Even better – you’re already quite literate in how each platform works. The less good news is that you’ll have to post to your business accounts yourself. And business accounts are not the same as personal accounts.
Once you’ve written your business plan and have your enterprise’s name and logo, go ahead and set up business accounts across social media. While you do, keep these tips in mind.
WHICH PLATFORM(S) TO USE?
You may be your school’s Queen of TikTok, but if your product is meant to target customers in their 40s and 50s, will that platform work for your brand?
Before you waste your time setting up accounts on platforms without a lot of users in your target customer demographic, do a little bit of research. Posts like this one break them down for you by age, identified gender, and amount of time spent on there per day. Knowing where to find your customers is a crucial step in getting customers. And not just any customers, but the customers you want.
Carefully consider your business and your brand, too. Say you’re starting a babysitting service. Parents with small children might be your target customers. Based on the link above, that means you’ll want to advertise on Facebook and Instagram, as those platforms have many users aged 25-34, or the age at which most people have small children. But the clever young entrepreneur will also open a babysitting TikTok account. Why? Because the majority of TikTok users are 10-19 years old. If those 10-year olds like your TikTok videos, they may tell their parents how much they want this person to be their new babysitter!
COMMIT TO CONTENT
After you create your social media accounts, set up a schedule to post regularly. There’s a fine line between spamming your followers and ghosting them. Find that sweet spot by checking out this article that breaks down posting guidelines by platform. Once a day is the minimum. But how many posts are too many? Short answer: it depends on the platform.
Remember that it’s fine to go a day without posting. Everyone has emergencies and everyone understands what it’s like to suddenly land on a busier day than you had planned. A day off now and then is fine. At the same time, using a social media manager can help you create posts ahead of time so that you’re still posting on days when you barely have time to open your phone’s apps.
STAY ON BRAND, BUT BE PERSONABLE
This is another fine line to consider. While you shouldn’t treat your business accounts the same way you treat your personal accounts, you also want to try to come across as warm and personable. What’s personable? It means you’re pleasant and friendly.
In addition to posting about the business – new products, special offers, etc. — throw in a post now and then about something you care about. Show a photo of your dog. Have a family member take a picture of you creating your product. Share the story of another young entrepreneur you know or admire. Stay away from topics like religion, politics, personal dramas, or the fight you just had with your mom. Before posting something personal, ask yourself:
- Is this inspiring?
- Is it funny but not hurtful?
- Does it avoid using degrading or derogatory language?
- Do I have permission to post this?
You can’t go wrong posting inspiring stories of other young people you admire, including entrepreneurs, athletes, and award-winners. You can also post about others in your industry.
And remember, when in doubt, don’t. When it comes to posting personal things on social media under your business account, err on the side of being too cautious.
ENGAGE WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS
Once you have followers and they begin to comment on your posts or tag you in their posts, try to engage with them. Most of the activity from customers will, hopefully, be positive. When you see a compliment or good review, or someone tags you because they are recommending your business, remember to thank them and like their comment or post. This helps customers feel appreciated, and an appreciated customer is a return customer.
In a perfect world, all your customer interactions would be happy and helpful. But what happens when someone’s upset? How do you handle a customer who is not only unhappy with your product but posting about it for the whole world to see?
When that’s the case, take a deep breath, step back from your phone or computer, and think before you respond. Keep these guidelines in mind:
- Don’t take it personally. Who knows what’s going on in that customer’s life right now? Maybe they had a rough day at work. Maybe their cat just died. You don’t know what frame of mind they’re coming from. They may be taking their negative feelings out on you. That’s not fair, but try not to engage.
- Respond in a reasonable amount of time. Not immediately, especially if you’re feeling heightened states of emotions from the post. But don’t let it go too long, either. And certainly don’t ignore your customer.
- Rephrase the complaint. “I understand that you thought the bookmarks would be blue, but the one you received has more of a purplish tint.”
- Apologize. Even if it’s not your fault – like, not even a little bit – this is your business, and you need to take responsibility.
- Offer to make it right. This could mean paying for the shipping on an exchange for a new product, a one-time discount code, or some other freebie.
Social media is a wonderful tool that can be an enormous asset to your business. As a young entrepreneur, we can’t wait to see you make the most of your natural posting skills!
Find out more about the Kantner Foundation’s commitment to young entrepreneurs, including our college scholarships for high school students, by clicking here.