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The 5 Key Elements to Social Media Success

What are the 5 key elements to social media success?

When you start using social media for your small business, there is a lot to consider. You will need to think about setting up your business pages or groups, which platforms you want to use, how to gain followers and of course how to get them to engage.

It can be daunting and often it’s difficult to know where to start but that’s the key. Just start.

There isn’t much you can do wrong on social media. Unless you are taking a particularly controversial route or planning on breaking the platform guidelines, you will be hard pushed to damage your business through the power of online marketing.

We like to make it easy for start-up’s or those who are just starting to embrace social media marketing for their business, so we’ve created our Social Star.

The star outlines the 5 key elements to social media success.

How do we know this works? Put simply, we’ve tested them. And then we’ve tested them again and just when we were feeling confident, we tested them some more.

So, what are the 5 key elements to social media success? Let’s break them down one by one.

1 – Value

If there’s one mistake people will make when they start to use social media for their business, it’s that they use their pages to sell. Of course, the end game is to sell your products and services, but social media is a long game and the first thing you need to do is build trust. Until your followers trust you, they will not buy from you.

You can’t build trust by trying to sell to your followers. You need to show your expertise and give them an enormous amount of value before you even enter their buying orbit. This is called ‘social selling’.

We have a saying at IMC Social, ‘Show them how to do your job so they don’t need you’. We haven’t lost the plot, we are not trying to do you out of business, we are giving you some valuable advice. For example, in this blog, we are telling you how to effectively market your business on social media despite the fact that we could do that for you.

Remember when YouTube first came into our lives? It was full of videos showing us how to solve a problem. Every single one of those videos is owned by a business that ultimately wants your business, but they are prepared to share their knowledge and expertise with you before you buy.

Everyone loves a freebie. We all want to try something ourselves before we call in the experts, so we search for advice on platforms like Google and YouTube before we finally come to the conclusion that we don’t have the time, inclination or expertise to fulfil this requirement.

What type of content adds value?


  • How-to videos
  • A day in the life of your business
  • Top tips
  • Blogs
  • Step by step guides
  • Answer questions
  • Go live
  • Offer advice
  • Why you do what you do
  • Explain your mission statement


Where can you go to find content ideas?


Top tips and advice are the best ways to add value. You can use websites such as which allow you to put in keywords, then generates the most popular questions that have been asked on Google.

You can also listen to your existing clients. They ask you questions all the time; you’re just not registering it because you can do the job with your hands tied behind your back. Start writing down the questions you get asked and then create the posts around them. If one person has asked, there are another hundred people that want to know the answer.

2 – Engagement

It’s tough to get engagement on your pages and groups when you first start out and the reality is, you just have to keep plugging away.

Asking questions or sharing memes (check usage rights) can help.

Some great questions to ask your followers are,

  • What’s been your biggest win this week?
  • What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given and why?
  • What’s your biggest challenge right now?
  • If you could add any subject to the National Curriculum, what would it be?
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?

Don’t forget to answer your own questions. Share your own thoughts with your followers as this will encourage them to do the same with you.

These questions don’t have to be related to your business. It’s just a bit of fun. It’s a great way to get to know who’s seeing your content and who’s paying attention.

3 – Personal

When we start out in business, we assume we need to be professional at all times but actually, times have changed.

Now we are more invested in the people we work with, and we genuinely want to get to know the people behind the business so don’t be afraid to share a little bit of vulnerability and let them know something about you. For example,

  • Share random facts about yourself
  • What’s been your biggest win recently (personally or professionally)?
  • Who inspires or motivates you?
  • What book have you read recently?
  • Why do you do what you do?
  • What do you do in your spare time?

The great thing about this type of content is that they often open the opportunity for you to ask your followers the same question leading you back to engagement.

4 – Visual

This is a challenge for many. We now live in a time where video is huge. With platforms like TikTok taking the world by storm and Instagram putting such a focus on reels, there really is no escaping it. Even YouTube which was traditionally about long-form video content has introduced YouTube Shorts.

If you don’t want to get behind the camera then find a way around it. For example, share top tips in a video document or share a how-to video showing how you do something but stay behind the camera.

This needs to be embraced if you want to be successful in 2022. It’s not going away. Remember, no one sees you the way you see yourself so forget your insecurities because they are your thoughts alone.

For images, use a platform such as Canva. This is an easy-to-use fantastic tool that allows you to create templates that represent your brand perfectly. Just play around with it until you find the templates that suit your needs.

5 – Social proof

Social proof is all about sharing what others are saying about you. We struggle as a nation with this. We have a stiff upper lip attitude that makes us feel as though we are bragging when we share feedback.

But you must share feedback. When was the last time you bought something on Amazon without first reading the reviews? It’s rare. We want to know what others say about us because it validates our purchase choices.

Ask your customers and clients for feedback. You can send them links for your social media pages or ask them to review you on Google and once they’ve done that, lift that review and put it into a Canva image to share on your pages. What’s key here is that you express your gratitude towards the review. Make sure you don’t forget your manners.

And that’s it. If you start with these 5 key elements to social media success it will set you in great stead for the future.

Don’t rush in by spending hundreds on social media advertising because you need to create a strong presence first. Focus on your organic content and watch your follower’s flock.

Have fun and happy content planning.

Verity Wilkie
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