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How To Use Social Media Effectively For Your Online Service-Based Business (UPDATED)

Love it or hate it, social media has been completely integrated into our society.

No matter where you turn, nearly every person -- from your next door neighbor to your favorite band -- has a presence on the internet as a social media account.

But social media doesn’t stop there. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok are powerful tools you can get started with today (for free!) to move your business in the direction you want it to go.

Let’s take a closer look at a few things you need to effectively use social media for your business.

Have a plan to use social media for your online business

Dog grooming, Italian food, trendy hairstyles, book reviews… No matter what you’re looking for, you will find it on the internet (and so much more!).

Social media is a vast and endless ocean of people, ideas, and creativity. It’s vital to remember one important thing that will serve as a lifesaver when you take your first step into the social ocean: The amount of followers you have doesn’t determine the success of your social media account.

So what determines success? The effectiveness of your social media plan.

What makes a good social media plan for an online business?

Having a plan for your social media gives you a purpose for every word and image you post on your account. You aren’t left each day begrudgingly saying to yourself, “I know I need social media, but I don’t know what to post.” Social media will become more of a chore than a tool for your business success, so start with a plan.

What is your goal in 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days? Try to avoid the trap of vanity metrics such as, “Gain 500 followers.” Focus on business goals, such as "get 100 new people subscribed to your newsletter" or "Get x new sales".

Write down a few goals to begin with, such as:

  • End every post with a call to action: What do you want your followers to do with the information they just read? Do you want them to like, comment, or send a DM? Let them know at the end of every post.
  • Make your audience the star: Your social media account is yours, but you aren’t the star of the show -- your audience is. Make them the center of every post by giving valuable information, encouraging words, or inspiring content. What do you want them to feel, learn, or be inspired to do? Define your purpose for every post.

Research competitors that are using social media for their online business

Don’t let competition be scary -- use it to your advantage by doing your research. There is plenty of room in any market for your unique business, so don’t fear your competitors. They actually make your job much easier.

Look at your competitors’ social media pages and determine what sets you apart. If you have a light-hearted personality in an industry that can seem boring or traditional, use it to your advantage and let your brightness shine through your social media account.

Check out what kind of posts are working well for them, and find a way to put your own spin on that type of content.

If you’re more knowledgeable or you take an entirely different approach to your business than other business owners, highlight this in your posts. Educate your audience on who you are and what makes you different from everyone else in your industry.

Be consistent when using social media for your business

Your business social media account is more than just an online advertisement or an online presence -- it’s the place where you begin to nurture, grow, and create blossoming relationships with your clients.

There’s one thing a relationship depends on for growth, and that’s consistency. No matter how great your content might be or how valuable your offers are, your social media audience will not invest their time or attention without seeing consistency.

Consider creating themes for your content, such as “Tip Tuesday” or “WordPress Wednesday”. This can help set the stage for consistent valuable content for your audience. Additionally, decide what times and days will be your regular posting schedule, and adhere to it as closely as possible.

To avoid unexpected interruptions and ensure your consistency, pick a day or two during your week when you can create your weekly content in one batch. During the week, you can simply upload your content at your scheduled times, or use a social media planning app.

Use social media in a way that works for YOU

There are a lot of social media ‘gurus’ out there that prescribe all kinds of different strategies. I know because I’ve tried them all! But through trial and error the one thing I’ve learned is that, while these strategies are well founded, they don’t work for everyone.

You have to make social media work for you and your online business otherwise you’ll grow to resent it. If you only want to use one platform, great! Choose the platform where your ideal client hangs out and be consistent there.

You don’t have to show up everywhere all at once.

If you don’t want to share pictures of yourself or personal content, don’t. It’s your social media so you get to decide what you do and don’t share, how often you share it and where you share it to.

By all means, listen to the advice the ‘gurus’ have to offer but interpret it in a way that’s going to work for you and your long term business goals.

Join our strong community of 37,000 women who are making their dreams a reality through empowering skills training.

Social media is a powerful platform for building relationships, and when used with specific goals in mind, it can change the entire direction of your business.

Look beyond the client search and search for other relationships through social media that will benefit your business, such as bookkeepers, social media managers, and virtual assistants.

Nurturing relationships with other business owners can create many opportunities for networking, bartering services, or simply learning. Don’t fear the social media ocean -- dive in and discover what’s waiting for you!

Join over 37,000 fellow freedom-seekers in our FREE Facebook community, Screw the Commute, and learn how to start (and grow) a successful online business with support from like-minded people!

About the Author:
Some people look at the sky and see stars; others see constellations. Some people look at lines of code and see a website; Julia saw a path to empower women in building their dreams. As a (former) military wife, self-taught web developer, and lover of location independence, Julia has taught over 3,600 women to say “YES” to any WordPress request, but not only that, “YES” to themselves, and “YES” to creating life on their own terms. Empowering women and seeing others succeed is the biggest motivator for Julia. And so, she created a program to teach others the skills that allowed her to take back control of her life and start living on her own terms.
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