No One Cares About Your Product Shots - Target Market & Content Creation for Social Media
We also are brutally honest to those we allow to get close to us. This gets us into quite a bit of trouble as far as relationships go, but it is a great trait when working in business.
With that in mind, allow me to let you know something that all of your Facebook friends and Instagram followers are thinking...
They DO NOT care about your product shots.
They DO NOT care about your sales.
They DO NOT care about your Kickstarter campaign for a new printer.
And, I really want to make this clear....
They DO NOT care about your product shots.
If you haven't clicked off of this post yet, I thank you and I would love to break down:
1. Why your "friends" don't care about your product shots, events, sales, and Kickstarter campaigns,
2. How you can find your real fans,
3. What kind of content you should be pushing out into the universe, and
4. How to ensure your content is searchable and seen
So let's get going!
Your favorite teacher from grade school, your Aunt Millie, your best friend from college, and your favorite first cousin, what do they all have in common? A general disinterest and complete lack of knowledge on what it is that you actually do for a living and/or what you dream of doing for a living.
I say this as your sassy friend - these people, while loving, and amazing, are not your target audience. Anything that you promote on your business page, any events that you invite them to, are of little interest to them. They only like or comment (if they bother) because they love and support you. While this is a beautiful gesture, as a business you want to speak to the people who will be paying you in more than hugs, or, if they're anything like my first few customers, pizza and beer.
Looking through your business pages of Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and beyond can help you delineate who is there as a fan and who is there out of sheer social obligation. The people who love you, love you - not your product. Just think of that Avon or Tupperware lady in your hometown, how many times do you really think she gets repeat customers? You don't want to be the person who is always peddling something.
You're starting a soap making business, you give your friends and family members a great batch of the finest loofah soaps for Christmas, everyone LOVES THEM. A month later, you have a new scent, you are so excited to promote and sell this scent - after all, your family loved the last batch, of course they will support you by purchasing again!
Wrong. For the friends and family who were being genuine, they haven't even finished the first free bar of soap, so why would they pay for a new one? Then there are the rest of them who either don't like handmade soap and were just being nice or were talking behind your back as soon as they got home calling you cheap for making your gifts instead of paying for gifts from the mall like everyone else did.
Your friends and family are not your target market. They simply can't be. A target market is a niche - a small segment of people who are interested in a number of the same things who are most likely to purchase your product. Simply marketing a soap company to "people who like soap" is the quickest way to go out of business.
Which leads me to...
2. How you can find your real fans:
Sit and think about your target market - your perfect customer.
- What are their favorite stores?
- What is most important to them when shopping - luxury, exclusivity, price, value, or something else? Who is their favorite band?
- Are there any identifiable demographics as far as age, gender identity, race, or socioeconomic status that sets them apart?
Once you do the work of deciding who your brand is attempting to reach. You must now think of what problem you are trying to solve. Before you take any major steps in your business, you have to sit down and do your research. There's simply no way around it.
- Why should someone choose your product over a competitor?
- Who are your competitors?
- Are there brands out there already doing what you're doing?
- How are they promoting their products?
- What can you learn from their Instagram feeds to enhance your own?
If you have a Facebook Page or Instagram Business account there are Insights and tools which break down who it is that follows and engages with your posts.
- Without counting your friends and family, who is it that seems to care about your products?
- Do you have any repeat customers or commenters?
- Which posts get the most likes organically (i.e. without you paying to boost or promote)?
- Which posts get the least likes?
I know it seems like an interrogation, but all of these questions will enable you to move on to the next step. So go through and take an inventory of how your social pages are doing, where you may be able to improve and move on to step 3,
3. What kind of content you should be pushing out into the universe:
Once you understand your target market, start speaking to them through posts that speak to their interests, hearts, and minds. Many entrepreneurs find that their target audience is just a version of themselves - a new best friend they have yet to meet.
How do you chat with your best friend? Memes, commentary about your day at work, gossip, hot topics, or, if you're anything like me, what happened on KUWTK last night. So take that approach to speak with your future customers!
Since we're just starting out on this journey, choose 3 aspects of your life that you think would be engaging to your audience. Sharing small pieces of your personality like perhaps your faith, vacations, love for music, favorite shows, favorite art, your culture, your heritage, etc. - opens the doors for your future customers to care about YOU and, by extension, YOUR PRODUCTS OR SERVICES.
You see, just like with the One Hit Wonders of the world, audiences want to see new facets of YOU in every post. So choose 3 aspects of your life to share, create content that fits into those three categories, and drop in a post once a week about a new sale or a behind the scenes of your process and you'll have the captivating and engaging feed that attracts the customers you want.
You have a fashion show at the end of the month where you are dropping your latest line of swimsuits. You want it to be the best event yet! You start a marketing campaign of all the hard work you are putting into the event plus some fresh and fun things to shake it up. Your post schedule may look something like this --
Mon - Lifestyle - Images of your morning coffee or routine or something that helps you relax
Wed - Behind the Scenes - Hard at work in the office/studio; can't wait for my event!
Fri - Music - Workflow Songs that you cannot work without
Sun - Formal Event Announcement
Tues - Behind the Scenes - Sneak Peak Images
Thurs - Lifestyle - Favorite TV show, current season hot topics
Sat - Music - On the way to get more materials for the event, my favorite song is on the radio!
Mon - Event Announcement, different from the first highlighting what special offers will be there
Wed - Behind the Scenes - Finalizing the fit on the models
Sun - Music - Sneak peak playlist for the runway
Mon - Lifestyle - Man Crush Monday, so thankful for my significant other
Tues - Event RSVP Reminder - Don't forget all who RSVP get a free gift and 30% off their order!
Wed - Behind the Scenes - Finishing touches on organization, hang cards, etc.
Thurs - Final Reminder of Event - Hint at a special surprise for one lucky audience member!
Fri - Behind the Scenes - Keep everyone up to date throughout the day of everything that is going on via the Stories feature; send out a last minute post when it is showtime
Sat - Event complete, send a post out to the world with a huge thank you and highlight video or pictures from the show
If the above schedule seems impossible for you right now, build up to it! Even if you have nothing going on, you still have plenty to share with your future customers. Think of it as a pageant with you parading all of the reasons they should love you - please note: I did not say all of the reasons they should buy from you.
Content creation is a deep topic that we'll go over down the road, but for now let's focus on the final step of getting you ready to go in this fresh direction...
4. How to ensure your content is searchable and seen
For the rest of this post, you'll need to know a couple new terms:
- SEO - Search Engine Optimization
- The Algorithm - Common term for the way that social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Etsy, Youtube, and more) categorize and push content to the millions of individual newsfeeds around the world
The two above terms seem scary and there are so many great resources out there to give you tips on how to "beat the system," but I'm going to let my Sagittarian nature explain these for you.
If you want to be seen online, use hashtags on the right platforms and use keywords or alt text everywhere that you can.
Hashtags are the only way your content will show up on places like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook - the hashtag is what "The Algorithm" looks at - not the content of your posts. Hashtags serve as a way for the fancy computers to "read" what your post is all about - computers cannot "read" images so these algorithms rely upon you to give them the gist of what your posts are about.
Keywords and Alt Text are the way that search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. "read" your webpages, product listings, and images to make sure that when a Searcher types in something, the search results match what they were actually looking for.
If you have an Etsy site, there are great tools out there like Marmalead and eRank to help you create listing titles and descriptions which will make sure that you are getting to your target audience when they search for products just like yours. These sites allow you test your keywords by researching how popular or unpopular they are.
If you are just trying to ensure that your webpage and/or products are visible on all the major search engines, working on your SEO through research on trends.google.com and inputting all the Metadata and Alt Text on your images is a great way to boost your ranking in search results.
Remember: YOU are the best part of your brand. Your products and services are only special because you are the one making the magic. YOU are the special sauce!
Your brand should be easy to explain and understand: The best ways to do that in the digital world is by learning about your target audience and reaching them through the correct keywords and hashtags that will attract them to your pages.
That wraps up this topic, I'll be delving more into each individual topic over the course of the next few weeks on my new YouTube Channel as we discuss how to become a FEARLESS & BOLD ENTREPRENEUR!
Subscribe and check out this ALL NEW SERIES here: RRD | creates