These days it’s not enough to have a website for your business – your digital storefront extends to social media marketing sites like Facebook and Twitter, so it’s time to start capitalising on it. So lets take a quick look at social media for your business.
As a business owner, you are most likely aware that social media is becoming more and more integrated into how we connect with customers and prospective customers. However, you may be unsure of how to use social media for your business and how it can help you connect with your customers. Here are some insights into how to use social media for business along with a few tips for getting your social media strategy up and running.
Why use social media?
Sharing content with your followers all at once isn’t the only benefit of social media for business. Small businesses everywhere are discovering the many ways social media can contribute to success and growth. Here are some of the benefits:
- get more online exposure and become more visible to your target market for little to no cost
- showcase your brand and build credibility and a good reputation.
- learn about your audience and gain better customer insight
- create a better customer experience – connect on a personal level with customers and
- prospects and hear what they have to say.
- find new customers and expand your audience
- encourage loyalty with rewards and promos.
- improve your search rankings (the more active you get online the more searchable you become).
How to use social media for business
The key is to figure out which features will work best with your business and focus on the platforms that your target audience uses and that best reflect your business’s mission.
1. Set your goals
Firstly, think about what you want to achieve with your social media. Social media marketing can help with a number of goals eg:
- Increase traffic to website;
- Drive lead generation or online purchases;
- Improve company credibility;
- Build brand awareness
- Build a corporate identity and culture that makes people want to work with you and buy from you;
- Increase feedback from customers and leads;
- Offer an additional avenue for customer service.
2. Choose the right platform
While it’s always tempting to follow the latest trend, getting the most out of social media means choosing the platforms that best suit your business and strategy. Start off by selecting one or two that work for you. Look at where your target audience hangs out – it makes the most sense to choose the platforms your target audience uses.
Furthermore choose ones that you can easily maintain. Some networks, like Facebook, are more low-maintenance and work for many types of business, while others, like Instagram, require a bit more commitment, and work best for businesses in particular niches. With twitter on the other hand people expect a quick response so only use twitter if you will be on it a lot.
3. Plan your content
Once you’ve defined your goals and chosen your social media platforms, you should develop a plan for the content you will be posting. The best way to do this is to have a calendar so you have a clear view of when and what will be published.
Most importantly, content must be relevant and engaging. Try to have posts that are applicable to your product or service, provide valuable information to your customers and that are interesting. In addition to classic text-based content you can utilise images, videos, links and infographics. You can also ask questions to initiate interaction and encourage a response. Asking users questions – whether general or business-related – sharing users’ quandaries with others, putting feelers out for advice and solutions, and posting inspirational quotes are all good ways to interact with your customers and potential customer. Remember social media is about sharing useful information relevant to your followers, showing how your brand can assist and be of good use to them. Consequently, it’s also about showing that you are knowledgeable in your relevant industry by sharing other reputable industry information.
The bottom line
Marketing is about getting the word out, engaging in conversations, taking suggestions, educating your audience, and promoting your business or product. Therefore, one of the easiest and cost-effective ways for small businesses to do this is through social media. By identifying your key goals, choosing the right platforms, and planning your content, you can harness the power of social media for your business.