Social media sites for business can have many benefits. Business networking, letting your customers get to know you and your business, and reaching people you wouldn’t otherwise are all benefits of using these sites. However, using social media for your business can be overwhelming, especially if you aren’t sure where to begin.
There are two ways that you can use social media to grow your business. The first is to bring customers to your website through your social media accounts. The second is to use social media for networking. Both of these are a good idea to help strengthen your business. We will look at both types, starting with the ones that can bring you new customers.
SEE ALSO: 10 Most Popular Social Networking Sites in 2017
Advantages of Using Social Media to Interact With Customers
What should you post to your social media accounts? Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that everything they post must be directly related to their business. Some posts should relate directly to your business, but you should post other things as well to keep potential customers interested. Things like humorous or interesting quotes, pictures, and videos are a good way to reach out to your customers, especially if they relate to your business in some way. If you are in the media, the local paper, or win an award, you should post about it. This helps increase your credibility and inspires trust. Questions are a great way to engage your customers. Ask a question about something that pertains to your business in some way. The owner of a hardware store could ask, “Do you prefer to use a hammer or a nail gun? Why?”. A jewellery store owner may ask, “Necklace, ring, or bracelet. Which one do you wear the most?”. The most important thing you can do on your social media account is to cater to your audience. Share content that’s informative and has value for your audience. This can be previous blog posts or content created specially for your social media account. The owner of the hardware store could post “How to choose the right paint for your home.” The jewellery store owner could post “The Four C’s of buying a diamond”. These posts could all lead to a CTA, like “use this 10% off coupon for paint.” or “shop sapphire rings online.” Both examples would lead to more sales. Keep in mind that when customers share your content, they are promoting your business for you. That makes it a good idea to create posts that will get lots of likes and shares.
Over 1.5 billion people have an active Facebook account. 71% of adult internet users in the United States use Facebook, giving you an incredibly wide audience. You can use your personal account to create a business page. This is free, and your personal Facebook is kept completely separate from your business page. When you are setting up your page you’ll need to choose the type of business you own. You can choose a local place, company, brand, public figure, entertainment, or cause.
Your page can display contact information, business hours, and what your business is all about. You can include photos and videos as well as status updates, and you can place links to your website or blog in your posts. Facebook allows you to interact with your customers, because they can comment on your posts. They can also post to your page. This opportunity to interact makes your business feel more personal and inspires customer loyalty.
Twitter is one of the top ten websites in the U.S. To take advantage of the Twitter audience, you’ll need to be able to create engaging posts in 140 characters or less. You can also post photos and videos, and you can create polls. Interesting tweets get lots of retweets, which give you a greater reach. It’s also easy for customers to tweet to you. Twitter is specifically suited to businesses who are marketing to a younger demographic. 19% of adults between 18-24 and 20% of adults between 25-34 who use the internet use twitter. Only 5% of online adults between 45-54 use twitter. Twitter changed its name to X.com or X in August 2023, in another change from new owner Elon Musk.
80% of Pinterest users are women. This makes it a wonderful site for your business if women are your target audience. Pinterest doesn’t distinguish between personal and business accounts, but you can easily connect it to your business Twitter account. Pictures are a large part of Pinterest, so you’ll want to post a photo with your pins. Pinterest is a haven for DIYers, so if you can create pins with value for them you’ll go far. Take the jewelry store, for example. They could post how to create a homemade jewelry cleaner, with a before and after picture of a piece of jewelry. You don’t want to be too promotional on Pinterest, so it’s best to get creative and create pins that your audience will find interesting.
Business Networking Sites
Business networking sites are a great way to meet other professionals. Networking used to happen at dinners and cocktail parties, but exchanging business cards has taken a backseat to using social media sites for business networking. Here are a few of the top social media sites for business networking.
LinkedIn is the third most popular social networking site. This makes it one of the best business networking sites. Your LinkedIn profile will centre around your career. LinkedIn actually helps you network by recommending people that it thinks you know based on your profile and mutual friends. You can click on Add Connections to add your email contacts and see recommended connections. You can also connect with Alumni from the school you attended. You can connect with business partners, other professionals, and even potential employers.
Just like with other social networks, you’ll want to maintain a presence on LinkedIn and share relevant status updates. You can let your LinkedIn posts do double duty by connecting your Twitter account to share your LinkedIn updates on Twitter easily. You also have the ability to mention other users or companies in your status updates. This can be a good idea if you want to be sure that someone sees a particular status update.
Affluence is a networking site for affluent professionals. You must have a yearly income of $200,000 a year or a net worth of $1,000,000 to become a member. The site allows you to connect with other successful professionals. You are encouraged to make new friends, share and give advice, and engage in meaningful conversations. The exclusivity of the site limits the amount of people that you can connect with, but it’s worth joining if you meet their affluent standards.
These are the top social media sites for businesses. It’s recommended to maintain a social media presence on at least two different platforms for marketing purposes and at least one for business networking.
Making Your Social Media Marketing More Effective
The previous article provided a helpful introduction to key social media platforms for businesses. To build on that foundation, here are some additional tips for making your social media marketing efforts as successful as possible:
Optimize Your Content Strategy
When publishing content to social media, make sure your messaging aligns with your brand while also appealing to each platform’s audience. Share behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram, crowdsource opinions on Twitter polls, post inspirational quotes on Pinterest, and promote case studies showcasing client success on LinkedIn. Tailor content length and style to each platform. Analyze performance data to double down on what resonates.
Measure and Track Performance
Leverage each platform’s built-in analytics to track impressions, engagement, clicks, follows, shares and conversions. Use UTM campaign tags to measure traffic driven by social media. Consider investing in more robust social media analytics software to uncover deeper insights. Set KPIs, benchmark against competitors, and optimize efforts over time. Common metrics to monitor include reach, engagement rate, click-through rate, follower growth and ROI.
Refine Your Approach Over Time
Social media marketing requires continual optimization. Schedule regular reviews of performance data, audience engagement, competitive landscape and platform innovations. Keep iterating on content formats, posting cadence, messaging tone, visual aesthetics and audience targeting. Be prepared to shift resources towards platforms and tactics that deliver results. Stay on top of algorithm changes and new features.
Expand Your Platform Presence
While it’s good to focus on one or two platforms at first, explore expanding your presence over time to access wider audiences. This may include YouTube for video content, Reddit for community discussions, Snapchat for ephemeral storytelling, TikTok for viral short-form video, Pinterest for visual discovery, NextDoor for neighborhood outreach, Yelp for reviews and reputation management, and more.
Streamline Multi-Platform Management
Managing multiple social media accounts can be smoothing by using social media management tools like Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Buffer. These tools allow you to schedule and publish content across multiple platforms from one dashboard to save time. They also provide helpful analytics. Just be sure your messaging remains tailored for each platform’s vibe.
Develop a Comprehensive Social Media Marketing Strategy
An overarching strategy helps guide your social media presence and integrate it with other marketing channels. Clearly define your target audiences, goals, resources and metrics for success. Maintain brand consistency while allowing some personalization for each platform community. Formalize processes for creating, approving and scheduling content, engaging with followers, managing crises, and measuring ROI. Let your strategy shape your social media use, rather than reacting post-by-post.
Amplify Your Reach
Once you’ve built a following on your owned social media channels, explore ways to expand reach via paid advertising, influencer marketing and strategic partnerships. Promote your best-performing owned content through each platform’s advertising tools. Identify and collaborate with relevant influencers and brands to access new audiences. Participate actively in hashtags and groups resonating with your niche.
Actively monitor and promptly respond to reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook and industry-specific review sites. Thank happy customers publicly, apologize for negative experiences, and show you’re listening by improving based on constructive feedback. Proactively solicit positive reviews through follow-up emails to happy customers.
By taking a strategic, data-driven and audience-focused approach, businesses can maximize their social media impact. With regular optimization, it can become an invaluable channel for cost-efficiently driving brand awareness, engagement and sales.
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