Social media can be confusing, frustrating and overwhelming.

It can take a lot of time and it can seem as though it’s not getting you anywhere.

Part of the problem comes down to expectations. Expecting fast results from social media is unrealistic unless you’re investing in paid adverts.

If you’re doing organic social media it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You can gain followers and increase engagement, but it takes time.

And a lot can go wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing.

So how do you understand how to do it right, when there are so many platforms and so much to understand?

That’s the challenge.

And then I realised that there’s one person who can’t be beaten when it comes to challenges. A person who can cut through the clutter and make the complex seem simple.

Someone who was given up at birth, dropped out of college and fired from the company he built. Someone who made a momentous comeback and changed how the world communicates.

That’s right, I’m talking about Steve Jobs. An inspirational visionary able to overcome almost any hurdle.

Who better to explain the complexities of social media, and inspire you to do it well?

Here’s what I think he’d have to say about social media.

The Steve Jobs Guide to Successful Social Media

1.  Know Your Ideal Client

This is critical. Before you start doing any form of marketing you need to get really clear on who you’re trying to attract.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your target audience is anyone with a pulse and a wallet. You need a specific audience for marketing to be effective.

Define your patient by using my Ideal Patient Avatar. If you have more than one ideal patient, that’s fine. Fill out one form for each ideal patient.

You’ll attract people who are outside your ideal but getting clear on the people you’re attracting helps you narrow down your messaging. You’ll see what I mean a little further on in this post.

2.  Narrow Your Focus

Another trap people fall into is believing they need to be on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and the hundred other platforms out there. No, you need to narrow your focus.

“Quality is more important than quantity. One home run is much better than two doubles.”~ Steve Jobs

Yes, some big brands are across a lot of these networks, but you don’t have to do that to have an effective social media strategy.

Start with one platform, such as Facebook, and get really good at it. Once you’ve nailed that platform you can consider adding another one.

It’s better to do one platform well, than doing several badly.

3.  Embrace Brand Consistency

When someone comes to your website or social media page, they need to be sure that they’re in the right place. The internet is a big place and getting around it is kind of like beaming down in Star Trek.

The first thing anyone wants to do when they arrive is to establish where they are and if it’s where they want to be. So be consistent with your branding.

If you have a logo, make sure it’s prominent on your website and on each of your social media platforms. Try to keep to similar image themes, styles and colours.

One website I came across recently was largely black and red, with various photographs of their products. However, their Facebook page had a big promotional image in pink and blue and it really threw me.

This is something you want to try and avoid, as it’s confusing. When you confuse people they tend to click away.

4.  Commit and Persevere

Along with consistent branding, you want to be consistent in your posting. This is hard when you’re time poor, as all business owners are, but it’s necessary.

Think of it like turning up to work. Even part time people turn up according to a schedule.

You need to know when to expect your staff at work, just like your audience needs to know when you’ll be on social media. It’s about reliability and dependability.

While it’s best practice to post every day (sometimes multiple times a day, depending on the platform) you can choose what works for you. Whatever you decide, be consistent.

If you’re going to post three times a week set the days and times that you’ll post, and keep to your routine.

5.  Give Them What They Want

Here is one of the biggest mistakes small businesses make in social media. They think they can fill their feed with information on their products, services and specials.

What they don’t realise the fundamental flaw with this: No one is really interested in that. So what are they interested in?

Themselves. It’s all about them.

What you want to do with social media is to make your page the ‘go-to’ place for the people you want to attract. Be helpful, funny or entertaining to the audience you want to build.

If you’re looking to attract families to your practice , think about posting something on Friday morning about family activities to do at the weekend. If your target audience is middle managers and professionals, then a ‘TGIF’ type post would work on a Friday.

Remember, the best way to engage and grow your audience is to demonstrate that you understand them. Show them that you know their pain points, and give them examples of how you solve their problems.

Show Them How It’s Done

So now you know you have my Steve Jobs Guide to Successful Social Media, you’re armed and ready to take on the world, one platform at a time.

Start by reviewing your ideal patient avatar if you already have one, or completing one if you don’t. Then you can narrow your focus so you’re targeting the people you really want to attract.

Review your online presence for consistency. Are your social media platforms consistent with the branding of your website? Is it clear to people that the social media page is associated with your business?

Then set a schedule you can stick to you and start giving your audience valuable content.

Before long you’ll see more of your ideal clients in your practice.

So what’s stopping you? Say no to the hundreds of other ideas you have and focus on simple social media marketing.

You have the knowledge, the understanding and the ability. So I know you can show ’em how it’s done!

“Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you.” ~ Steve Jobs