Social media is the cornerstone for many SMEs and MSMEs, but over-reliance, high expectations and lack of preparation inevitably leads to disappointment. Overeagerness to place IG ads which only bring short-term customers invariably lead to neglected longer-term goals and loss of customer confidence.
This list unpacks the assumptions of social media for freelancers, and steps to ensure you’ll have a more fruitful relationship with your customers:
- “It’s easy to set up an IG account.”
Well, yes and no. Signing up with an email and username may only take minutes, but customization and fine-tuning may take weeks. Plan things out first! A potential client makes an impression in a couple of seconds, so make it count.
- “Nobody reads captions.”
Captions can intrigue potential customers and are also a way to inform Instagram how to categorize your image. The algorithm tries to understand your content, first with your hashtags, then the text. A confused, mixed message with a jumble of keywords doesn’t help with categorisation. Then it’s less likely your post gets served to potential customers.
- “Only have IG, nobody uses FB or Twitter anyway.”
The journey someone takes to come across your content takes many different paths. IG only serves a portion of online users. If you think it’s double the work, cross-posting is available in the app itself. Posting at different times of day may help spread out the workload too.
- “Just stay anonymous, hide my name.”
While it’s a personal decision to remain anonymous online, a name or an avatar helps make your social media page look more reliable and personable. If a name or photo isn’t for you, consider using a character (Rabbit? Duck wearing a hat?) or even a fun pseudonym.
- “I don’t have time for social media, it’s too time-consuming.”
Social media can easily take up your day (life), but the native Facebook business page manager can make managing your presence easier. Posting, DMs and comment management can be done all in one interface. A calendar is also helpful in keeping up with when and how your content should be published.
- “I only need social media to find and connect to customers.”
Businesses in Brunei still rely, and are dependent on, face to face interactions. Making a good impression online could reflect in offline sales and a longer-term business relationship. Try complementing your online presence with vendor pop-ups or networking sessions.
- “Posting content is easy. Just repost, share, then it’s done.”
Display your value and importance to your followers. The aim should not be to populate your social media in quantity, focus on quality. A busy social media presence should not replace a focused presence.
What do you think of the points above? If you have any suggestions or comments, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.