My motto… MY SON CAN’T EAT LIKES! This is currently a t-shirt concept I am working on stay tuned.

Nevertheless, many of us in business are striving to provide quality content and turn a profit selling our wares and services. We recognize we need our social media presence but we are struggling to make it meaningful. Bottom line, I need to see a financial return on investment for the amount of time I am posting online, daymmit. I can’t eat LIKES. I can’t deposit nor withdraw LIKES. Last time I checked, I can’t fill my gas tank with LIKES either.

Before, you start saying, “yeah girl”, please know, just like BLACK LIVES... LIKES MATTER. The new algorithms on Facebook and Instagram are making it harder and harder for business pages to get visibility. So here are a few tips I grabbed from trial and error, research and by attending the Blogging While Brown conference I attended the weekend of July 15-16.

Tip #1 MAKE BUYING FROM YOU EASY - Provide links to your store not just photos of your products! I personally DO NOT want to have to contact you and wait for you to email me an invoice to purchase a product.

Some of these online stores need to *queue the music* CUT IT!

I have purchased items like this in the past and I I’m over it. When your business in its infancy, I know we have to cut a few corners, but let’s get real. Get yo ass a website. Period. Invest in yourself and operate with integrity. Let people know how you except payment and express convenience.

Tip #2 BE PERSONABLE – As an entrepreneur and a consumer, I want to know who I am doing business with. You are not the wizard of Oz, come from behind the curtain so I can see you! You are selling a product or a service that I need but show me how it works, how to apply it, let me see it from all angles and all colors, dress it up, dress it down, how much of it and how often should I use what I am inclined to BUY… you get the point. Every social media post should be a mini infomercial of sorts. Convince me that I should buy this product.

Tip #3 BE INTERACTIVE - BE SINCERE. BE PERSONALBLE. BE ENTERTAINING. Social media means being sociable. Reply to inbox messages promptly. Answer questions people ask. Part of being interactive means being consistent. Consistently, at least once a week, upload a video, Facebook Live, Snapchat, or Periscope to the world that you are accepting new clients (if that is the case) or show off the latest delivery of inventory.

There is this thing we YouTubers like to call “unboxings”. Millions of people literally watch other people open their mail, things they purchased online. Yeah, this is a thing. If you are in a retail business, give people a sneak preview of what they will expect online or what will be on shelves in the upcoming weeks. Repurpose your videos by making a GIF or with snippets you can use on Instagram and Twitter. Drive traffic to your website by telling your followers they can view the full video there.

Tip #4 CHECK YOUR ANALYTICS FOR ALL OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS - What time of day are you getting the most LIKES and where are they coming from? When you find out, cater to those people. They are following you for a reason, so sell and market to them on their time, not yours. Analytics are now available through Instagram if you convert to an business account. When their timeline doesn't meet yours, use a content manager like Hootsuite to schedule posts when your followers are looking at your content.

Tip #5 PAY TO PLAY - If you see a post is doing really well and gaining more views, BOOST IT TO A LARGER AUDIENCE. Visibility online is key! Now that Facebook and Instagram are boo'd up, when you pay for Facebook advertising by boosting, it is automatically sponsored on Instagram as well. Trust me, $5.00 on Facebook goes a long way. LIKES drive the posts up the news feed. More views, more potential clients.

Affiliate programs work too. Work with an influencer who is willing to partner with you to promote your products and services. Then break them off a percentage of the profit. Also, offer discounts for referrals you get from people. Notice I didn’t suggest an influencer with a big following. Never minimize humble beginnings. A blogger or socialite with a small following may be just as hungry as you are and ready to copromote so they can eat. They want to grow their followings and their bank accounts just as bad as your do.

Shameless plug: on Minority Report, I have sponsorship and advertising opportunities. Sponsor a blog post or an entrepreneur interview. Have a clothing or accessory line? I also offer product placement opportunities. Yes, I will wear your t-shirt, hat, head wrap, bracelet, pin, button, or drink from your coffee mug AND recognize your business in an interview AS WELL AS on all of my social media networks. I also partner with businesses for contests and giveaways by offering discount codes for their products exclusively to my newsletter and YouTube subscribers. Pop-up adds are available too! Email me if you are interested.

Tip #6 ENGAGEMENT - When people comment on your post, respond accordingly. People buy from people they like or brands they feel like they know or can relate to. Same goes for other social media platforms! Check out the people who double-tap or retweet your content and RECIPROCATE. On Twitter, I like to retweet AND include the username of the person's content I retweeted. This works well with articles. The tweet may be from FASTCOEXIST, for example, but I @SHERRELL_DORSEY so they know I am checking for them and their work.

Tip #6 ASK SOMEONE TO TESTIFY - You don't have to be the only person talking about your business. Get in the habit of adding surveys to your receipts or within 3 days of product delivery. Use those surveys to gauge how well you are doing and where you need to improve. Offer a coupon or discount on their next purchase for returning the survey. Keep in touch with your customers. Shout them out.

This social media game is not easy, but you can see RETURN ON INVESTMENT if you play your cards just right. These are just a few tips I have gotten along the way! If you have a few more, drop them below.

#strategy #businessplan #business #FACEBOOK #SocialMedia #Likes #Conversion #Affiliates #Sponsors #Advertising

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