By Sydney Tyler
Earlier this year, online influencers, Tahira Joy Wright of The Cut Life and Shay McMillan of Shay Budgets, joined the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute (ENI) for a Fireside Chat to discuss how to best leverage social media for entrepreneurs and their business.
They begin by reminding entrepreneurs that there is no one path to success, and before you embark on your journey, it is important to expose yourself to different experiences. Internships are a great way to gain background knowledge on a desired field and build meaningful relationships that can help guide you later. Wright says to “observe and absorb” experiences like sponge to take full advantage of the lessons you are privy to learn.
Once you have gained some knowledge about your field of interest and have a plan to enter the social media space of content creation, maintaining authenticity is key. Wright notes that “people buy into people” and want to know who is the face behind the brand. Putting yourself at the forefront let’s people know you are intentional and genuine about the content you are creating. Within that content, Shay says that picking a specific topic or industry and homing in on your focus is essential. This will also help “please the algorithm” and align you with like-minded content and creators.
When it comes to boosting the visibility of your content, collaboration with brands can go a long way. Consider the space you are in, and what brands align with your values and niche. Also, don’t be afraid to take the first step by creating relevant content and tagging a brand you want to collaborate with. Create organic relationships that are built around authenticity.
As an entrepreneur, you want to make a profit off your brand. Simple tools like Google Ads and built-in app resources (creator tools, boost, insights, etc.) can help increase monetization and help you keep track of engagement. Consumers will let you know what content they like and want to see. By leaning into consumer wants (like taking part in trends), you can ensure you are making content that aligns and will create a return on investment. Creating a content calendar and planning ahead will also help you to stay organized and ahead of the curve.
SOCIAL LISTENING – With any social media, it is important to beware of nasty or negative commenters, as there will always be people that are working to discourage your vision. Shay notes that an entrepreneur must understand the difference between criticism and trolling. Constructive criticism can help refocus your content, but intentionally rude and harmful comments are not beneficial, as some people are simply looking for a reaction. The block and delete buttons can aid in decreasing the amount of negativity surrounding your brand; don’t be afraid to use it.
Both influencers leave those hoping to enter the social media and influencer space with words of advice. Shay encourages entrepreneurs to do research about their niche and find resources or services that will help build your brand at the forefront. Tahira indicates that consistency is key in promoting your brand, as well as building community with creators by commenting, liking, and sharing similar content. Following these tips can build success and set your niche apart in any entrepreneurial content creator.
The Entrepreneurship & Innovation Institute exists to help you develop your ideas, build your business, and seize opportunities. Visit eni.gsu.edu to find out more.