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    Social media is the love it, hate it, gotta live with it—a thorn in our side. We have to do it because everyone is doing it. We have to show up, serve, engage, and then serve some more.

    To put it plainly: As much of a headache as social media can appear to be, once you get clear on some things, it opens up and becomes way easier to navigate. It no longer sits in the “chore” section of your business, but rather, it becomes an exciting tool that will bring you closer to your goals. Ready to master the good ‘ole gram? Let’s dive in.

    #1 Define Your Business

    First things first. Let’s talk about social media bio’s:

    Is it clear who you are?
    Is it clear what you do?
    Is it clear where you are?

    Defining your business to anyone who lands on your page, whether by force of accident or intentional search, seeing who you are, who you serve, and where you are located is the first step to engagement.

    Take us for example, our Instagram bio reads:

    We have addressed who we are: A digital marketing and web design agency

    What we do: We help businesses grow through building websites, driving traffic, and converting users into consumers.

    Where we are: Well.. this is a little vague because, well, we are anywhere. Our agency is online, and we work with clients across the nation and even internationally.

    However, if you are a tech company in silicon valley… and you are looking to work with other businesses in that same area, including “Based in Silicon Valley” at the end of your bio would answer any questions your potential client may have about where they can find you.

    #2 Define Your Audience

    Speaking of potential clients: If you aren’t using your social media to talk directly to your ideal client, you are missing a big opportunity.

    A few really easy ways to determine your ideal client:

    Client Personas! Do you have them? Do you use them? Read more about personas here.

    Who is the client you would hire over and over again? Break that down and figure out why. Is it their willingness to invest in your product or service? Is it how laid back and relaxed they are? Is it their trust in you to execute your proficiency? Lay it out, figure out why and then figure out how they found you, connected with you, and ultimately hired you.

    Can they afford you? I know this is overly simplistic. But if you are talking to an audience that can’t afford you, you need to change your tactics and get in front of clients who can afford you.

    #3 Research Pays off in the End

    With your ideal client in mind, go to your competitors’ pages. Take a deep audit of everything they have laid out on their social media, from their bio to the links embedded. What types of posts are getting high amounts of engagement? What types of posts are getting little to no engagement? How do their captions read? Do they use emojis, or are they straightforward and serious?

    By doing this, you’ll be able to inform what is speaking well to your ideal audience and that is a dang good place to start when you get into the creation of your posts. (Please, don’t think that we are encouraging you to rip off your competitors’ feeds… Inspiration and plagiarism are two vastly different things.)

    Taking an hour a week apart from posting, responding to, and engaging with your community, to research what hashtags are thriving and thinking about strategic uses for geotags, is another really important tactic to mastering social media.

    It’s really easy to use hashtags that have hundreds of thousands of posts associated with them. Take #WebDesign for example: It has 7,456,942 posts associated with it. However, it’s important to realize that when you add your 1 post or 100 posts to that pool, you very quickly get buried and no one really sees your content.

    If you narrow your focus a bit and use #WebDesignAgency, that dials in the pool to 93,511 posts. And even further #WebDesignCompany has 64,533. The smaller the number, the more the likelihood that your posts will be seen by people searching for your services. There is a balance here that should be noted: Hashtags that have fewer than 500 posts, is a danger zone. They aren’t relevant enough. The exception to this rule is if you have, or want to use, a specific hashtag to be exclusively associated with your business. Here at gravitate, we use #GravitateDesign to create a pool of posts for anyone who might be looking exclusively for our company, and the work that we’ve done for our clients.

    Hashtags aren’t the only tags that are important. Tagging relevant people, brands, or companies to your post, and utilizing geotags is equally important. By tagging, your content gets spread across multiple places on social media. For example, we feature companies we work with on our newsfeed and in our stories. We tag them so that our post lands in their feed as well as putting us in front of their audience, while also giving them an opportunity to share our content. We tag all relevant parties to the post too, so say photographers, brands, and team members who worked on the project.

    Using geotags to land your posts in markets that you are already in, or are moving into, or want to move into is just plain smart. It puts you right in front of people who are already there.

    To wrap up. . .

    Mastering an ever-changing platform is at times very frustrating, but ultimately 1000 percent worth it. Come back for part 2 where we talk about the importance of curating your feed and writing captions that engage and convert.