Social media doesn't make a business, but, rather, makes a business better. The most successful businesses are leveraging social media and it's helped even the playing field for smaller and/or newer businesses. Social media is the quickest way for entrepreneurs to create a buzz and Jasmine Star is here to show you how.
1. What’s the biggest difference between personal and professional social media?
The key to keep in mind as you use social media for your business is that it's not about you. It's about the value your business provides for your followers. Your endeavors should be focused entirely as a division of your brand and a way for customers to develop an allegiance to your product or service. Those wild nights in Vegas captured in dimly lit photos? That messy (but cute) photo of your son eating Cheerios in high chair? Those types of photos belong on your personal account. What you share on Instagram or Facebook in relation to your business should give customers into what you can do for them.
2. OK so you launch a social media page for your company. You have zero followers, where do you start?
You must start engaging. In this day and age, it's not enough to simply use social media...you must be strategic and develop patterns of interaction. You should leave comments on other pages, like photos on other accounts, respond to questions, and find ways to connect with prospective followers. Basically, you need to let people know your account is there as a benefit for them if they know they should follow you after your initial point of contact.
3. Name a few companies you think do a great job on social and why.
INSTAGRAM: @ShopBando does an amazing job curating a fun and quirky feed, all while promoting their products, as used by their customers. They know who they're speaking to, the brand message, and curates a feed that attracts their dream customers.
SNAPCHAT: @Everlane is an apparel company that's--hands down--used Snapchat in the most effective and creative ways. Each day is carefully planned so their followers know what to expect and it feels like a series of 10-second artsy commercials for their viewers. SO smart.
FACEBOOK: @ToneItUp does a fantastic job incorporating personal elements into their fitness brand. Yes, Katrina and Karena post personal photos, they're still related to their brand and business. They're regularly active and create a tribe of loyal followers by sharing curated aspects of their personal lives.
4. What trends are you noticing in terms of social media? Preferred channels? Preferred content?
Video streaming is a major shift in social media. Viewers want real-time, raw access to your business, so Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and Periscope are amazing ways to give sneak peeks into your business and connect with followers in a deep way in a short amount of time.
5. How big of an audience do you need before you are considered an “influencer”? How engaged should they be?
Everyone has different categorizations of "influencer" status, but the main thing to remember is that while numbers are impressive, not all followers are the same. I've seen Instagrammers with considerably smaller followings outperform mega Instagrammers, so this begs the question WHY? There are social media accounts that consistently engage, interact, and create value for its followers. These accounts are less about being impressive, and more focused on creating a tribe of like-minded people. As a result, when a company requests a call-to-action, its followers respond en masse. It's incredible to see!
6. How frequently should a brand be posting to keep the community engaged? Is there such a thing as too much?
Yes, there is a thing as too much, but each business has its own cadence. It's important to post at least once a day, but beyond that, the pattern of engagement should be assessed according to how often people want to hear from the business.
7. What is one social media app you couldn't live without?
I'm currently obsessed with Instagram. The updates have been incredible and the possibilities of getting discovered, searched for, and found are unparalleled. The average Instagram user is in the app 21 minutes per day, and has the highest engagement of any social platform. From a strategic standpoint, it makes the most sense to build a presence on the fastest growing social media platform...and I'm happy to do so.
8. Can you speak briefly about paid followers vs. organic. Is there a trade off?
I highly discourage entrepreneurs from investing in paid followers. The largest social platforms (like Facebook and Instagram) use algorithms to determine what viewers will see first. The algorithm content that account followers have interacted and engaged with. If your account has a lot of paid followers (who are usually unresponsive, unengaged, and fake), they won't leave likes or comments. As a result, the algorithm deems your content as irrelevant and doesn't show it more leveraging organic reach. Paid followers hurt your relevance, so I suggest staying far away from it!
9. What is the biggest mistake brands and businesses make with their social accounts?
So many companies use their social media platforms as commercials for their business. And this is the worst way to grow social platforms. If you want more followers, your content must create value. Your endeavors should position your business as a helpful authority in the field, and produce fun, engaging, and visually compelling content. Your social media endeavors should be all about your customers.
10. Which analytics tools do you recommend to gather and analyze data? What should we be looking for when studying these numbers?
Facebook has a great built-in analytics tool (let's be honest, they want businesses to know their reach and impressions to better understand how to create advertisements).
On that note, I've created Instagram ads on the Facebook ads platform to better understand my data. Even if you aren't paying for ads, understanding reach, click-throughs, and likes/comments is beneficial to knowing what type of content resonates most with your customers.
Photo Credit: afewgoodclicks.com
In 2016, Renee Wang sold her home in Bejing for $500,000 to fund her company, CastBox. Two months later, she landed her first investment. Just a half hour after hearing her pitch, she was offered one million dollars. By mid-2017, CastBox raised a total of $16 million in funding. CastBox's user numbers at that point? Seven million. Fast forward to today. Renee Wang of CastBox announces a $13.5 million Series B round of financing, bringing her funding total to a tidy $29 million. CastBox is now serving more than 15 million users.