Social Media and Your Business
Social media has transformed how businesses talk to their customers online. You can use social media to promote your business to new customers and to stay in touch with existing ones. Small firms can get the kind of exposure previously only available to big brands with big budgets.
Of all the new media marketing platforms, social has most thoroughly turned traditional marketing on its head. Both parties can ask each other questions, repost each other’s content and work on forming relationships.
Social media marketing is no longer optional for small businesses.
Choose the Right Platforms
Sharing your content on the right platforms is crucial. When deciding which platforms to use, it’s important you understand your target market. LinkedIn is more beneficial to B2B companies, teens and students prefer Snapchat. For most small businesses though, starting with a Facebook profile is a safe bet as you can be sure your target audience has a presence there. Conduct some research to determine what sites your audience probably uses, and then use them too.
Businesses need to be interactive, so create posts that encourage people to comment and share. Ask questions to start a conversation. Use images where possible for added impact.
You should also carefully monitor feedback and mentions of your business on social media. Thank those that repost, share, like your posts or leave positive comments. Occasionally you may encounter someone who is upset or has something negative to say about your business. DON’T REACT. Engage with them in a respectful manner, apologise and ask them to direct message you so you can resolve the issue. This way, people who see the post know you were responsive but don’t have to see all the specifics of the issue.
Social media is not like regular advertising. The occasional promotional post is fine, but too much obvious selling will turn people off. Consider an informal limit – for example, use a “one in six” rule, which says that for every one directly promotional post, five others should be content-based. You don’t have to avoid mentioning your brand in these posts; just be careful not to sell too hard
Create a Community
Having thousands of followers is all well and good, but what use are they if they don’t engage with your posts? Instead of trying to get as many followers as possible, focus on finding users who are interested, loyal and active on social media. These people are more likely to repost your content, like your posts and become your customers.
When you build a community around your brand, the people within that community will engage with each other and help to promote your content. You could even try reaching out to exceptionally influential social media users and asking them to help you by reviewing a product or mentioning you in a post.
Improve Your Website
Many of your posts on social media will link to your website. Most people interact with social media on a mobile device, so make sure your website is “mobile-friendly” as this will encourage them to visit other parts of your website and interact more.
The most important thing you can do on social media is provide value content to your followers. Create something that your audience will find useful. It could be something that tells them something they didn’t know, makes them laugh, entertains them or anything else really that’s beneficial to them in some way.
This aspect of social media is what attracts the right customers to your business, makes people want to follow you on social media sites and helps your content to spread and reach other potential customers.
Your small business needs to use social media to stay relevant in today’s day and age. Just having a Facebook profile alone is no longer acceptable if you want to maximize your social media marketing proficiency.