- Jessica Hawks launched her virtual assistant business in 2020 and organically grew her social media to 861,000.
- Martine Cadet, content marketing coach, spoke at the Small Business Expo on social media strategies.
- Social media marketing experts share their tips on creating account bios, captions, and more.
When Jessica Hawks threw it virtual assistant business in March 2020, she relied solely on social media to build her brand. Today, she has 133,000 subscribers on instagram and 861,000 on ICT Tac. Just five months after its launch
Hawks was making $9,000 a month in sales through social media partnerships, according to documents verified by Insider.
When COVID-19 shutdowns forced many business owners to turn to digital operations, Hawks emerged as a solution: it could help them navigate change, grow their businesses, and find customers using social media.
Meanwhile, Martine Cadetthree-time speaker at New York City’s Small Business Fair, also lives from quality content on social networks. She acts as a full-time content coach, helping other businesses market themselves online.
As social media remains a crucial marketing tactic for any business, Hawks and Cadet share 5 strategies for building a social media presence to boost your brand and net customers, from building your profile to building meaningful connections. .
1. Write a bio that explains your business
Entrepreneurs should create clear social media business profiles focused on marketing the business and attracting customers, Hawks said.
Virtual assistants should use their bios to introduce themselves and define their ideal client, she added.
When Hawks was a full-time virtual assistant, her Instagram bio read, “I provide support and strategy for wedding planners looking to scale their business and free up their time.” Hawks said writing a simple but effective bio was crucial to identifying her ideal clients and explaining her purpose as a virtual assistant.
2. Create content that explains why and how your business
Once Hawks created her Instagram account, she posted a photo with a caption expanding on her bio. Photos, videos or other content should be used to explain the why and how of the business, Hawks said. Hawks’ content included advice on how to run a successful business and why she could help a client do so.
Whether your business promotes a service or a product, each message should clearly explain the purpose of the brand. To do this, entrepreneurs must use the TERA method, which stands for Trigger Emotion, Reliability and Action, Cadet said during a social media marketing session at the Small Business Expo.
“Ask yourself, when I post on Instagram, am I really creating content that tells my audience ‘I care about you’?” said Cadet. “We don’t want to be those robots and not have that human side to us.”
3. Use features like geotags and legends to leverage the algorithm
Posting a variety of content is essential to a company’s social media strategy, Cadet said. On Instagram in particular, businesses should post feed images with longer captions to drive engagement and connection with followers.
“We have a 2,200 character limit on Instagram: use it,” Cadet said, adding that breaking down the caption into a title, body and call-to-action makes longer captions easier to digest.
Other social media features should be used, such as geotags, which make it easier for customers in a targeted area to find the account, she said.
4. Leverage market research to understand industry issues
Market research can be invaluable to business owners by highlighting information such as going rates, competitors, and industry experts.
Hawks said the most important research she conducted focused on the specific pain points of business owners she wanted to work with. She based her content strategy on those findings, including solutions to the problems her ideal customers were facing and insights into the conversations they were having.
“Find commonalities or pain points so you can then give them the solution,” she said.
5. Find customers you connect with
A lover of photography, cosmetology and art, Hawks found wedding designers to be her ideal clients. So she introduced herself as a virtual wedding assistant and reached out to business owners and potential clients in this space.
“A big part of it is getting out there and finding people you’d like to work with,” Hawks said of her service-based business. She suggested using search tools on Instagram and other social platforms to find potential customers.
At the same time, making connections is also crucial for product-oriented businesses. Videos are among the richest forms of content because they generate unorganized connections between the company and its customers, Cadet said.
When sharing video content, Cadet encourages social media users to take advantage of auto-generated captions. The viewer will stay and watch, or keep scrolling based on that initial text, she added.
“Your audience will give you three seconds of their scroll time,” Cadet said.
6. Value your soft and hard skills and your personality
While some business owners look for strong skills in partners, “the majority of us are looking for people who are resourceful, proactive, ready to work, committed and loyal,” Hawks said.
“My way of attracting clients was my work ethic,” Hawks said, adding that these traits can show up in conversations with potential clients and in social posts. Make sure your profile shows your personality traits along with your resume.
Hawks said while it can be intimidating to post your personality online, showing up, being relatable and showcasing your personality is what will lead to real relationships and business success.
Cadet shares similar thoughts on the importance of authentic content and how it contributes to his TERA method. Sharing the personality or ethos of a business or entrepreneur is a surefire way to generate loyal customers, she said.