Successful brands and projects are derived from passion, recognizing a need or a niche, and hard work. My company “Social Business” was no exception to this formula. I started Social Business while working as a Social Media Coordinator, and seeing the light bulb go off when I told people what I did. While many people have successful and established brands and businesses, that doesn’t always translate into their online presence. Some clients want to learn and manage their own online growth, while others are happy to relinquish complete control and hand over the reigns to their social media profiles. Whatever the level of involvement, working with every client is  a fun, exciting experience.

The Social Media Challenge

Planting the social media seed can be the most difficult and intimidating part of growing your online presence. The beauty of social media is that once you’ve planted your seeds, a field of followers and engagement soon bloom. With some TLC from you, a little bit of time and passion, you’ll soon have a self-sustainable online community of followers, nurturing and watering your brand, and deepening your businesses roots through an online presence. Here is a break down into digestible snippets of the most popular social outlets demonstrating advantages of each and how they can be best utilized.

Social Media Comparison Infographic

Infographic Courtesy of this site

Timing, timing, timing…

Simplify your business into 3 sections. Content creation, content management and analytics. I do everything from build a startup website, to create your Instagram posts, write your blogs, manage your social profiles, and then study the stats and performance. What many people don’t know (or do, and realize they might not have time for) is that social media isn’t a 9-5 job. It’s a 24/7, plugged in and refreshing, time consuming job. Most posts perform best after 5pm, therefore most work is done after hours. Some posts may even be beneficial to a specific demographic, at a specific time, in a completely different time zone. This means you’re setting alarms just to post your Instagram, and ensure it’s hitting the right timelines.

Being Authentic is Key

My love for content creation, organization, management and analytics came together to form a business that came organically. I’ve come to realize, even more so since starting Social Business, that this isn’t the case for everyone. The issue behind some businesses lack of online presence isn’t necessarily a lack of knowledge but rather a lack of desire and that’s okay! The biggest thing to remember if you’re managing your own social media profiles is to be authentic. Be yourself, write what you think, and don’t worry about being correct all the time, politically or in life. People respond to authenticity and can tell if you’re posting just for the sake of posting or being phony to build a following. Take the time to curate your photos and posts, plan them in organizational app, edit them and take pride in what you’re posting. The way that your brand appears online should be no different than how you carry yourself in person.

Focus on Social Media Over Traditional Marketing

Just like the thought of math makes me cringe, tweeting may be the equivalent to you. While hiring a social media manager may seem like an unnecessary upfront cost, the price paid in lost clients and marketing is much higher if you have a low engagement on your social media platforms. The first place consumers or potential clients think to look and research is online. If your business doesn’t appear reputable they’ll move on to someone who does. Frankly (and to some, unfortunately) a family brand’s 50 year establishment in a community will not succeed in modern business unless they are just as established online. In 2018, not having a social media presence for your brand is equally as detrimental as not having a business card, pamphlet or flyer once was. Business as a whole has changed worldwide and while not everyone is on board just yet. The tides are definitely turning.

Batteries Required

Of course, not everyone always has time to weed, let alone manage their brand’s social media following. That’s where we, the gardener’s, come in. You might call us by different names i.e. Social Media Consultants, Developers, Experts etc… But we’re here to do the same job: build, grow and maintain your business’s online social presence. I post on your blog, your Instagram, your Twitter and your Facebook, your LinkedIn even, and YouTube too. I can update your website and produce your content. I study, record, and organize your data analytics in a simplified manner. At the same time, I can be half as involved. Some clients like producing their own content and even learn to love managing it. However, if you’re not passionate about posting and if you don’t take the time to put energy and thought into your content, your followers can tell and your numbers will reflect it.

Get Help

Social media is a jungle and some of us have learned to navigate the vine(s) and walk the paths more confidently. Other’s are still new to the wilderness and rely on their Social Media Gardeners for success in their journey. The true beauty of this new media is all the unchartered territory. The internet as a whole is still young, still evolving, and still changing, rapidly. There’s so much potential for app’s, for content, and for your business and ideas to live on forever, thrive and inspire others. Post, cultivate and share your thoughts, art and knowledge. Social media can teach us all one thing that applies to all corners of life. The more you put out into this world, the more you’ll gain.

About Guest Blogger

Mirna Mastilovic is a freelance Social Media Gardener who works in the Greater Toronto Area. She runs Social Business and helps small businesses grow their online presence through social campaigns.

Here is what her top 3 favorite tools are:

“UNUM because it’s great for content management. Google Drive because I like to have all my documents in one organized, and easy to share, space. WordPress because it’s a great platform for blogging, website hosting and even e-commerce”

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