What You Need to Know about Using
Social Media for Business
With how much people are spending their time online, digital marketing is a necessity for doing business today. But, what makes social media important out of all the different digital marketing channels available? Here are the reasons why it is important to use social media for business marketing:
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Why Social Media is Important for
Your target market spends a significant amount of time on social media.
Your business needs to be in the digital platforms your target market is using if you want your marketing campaigns to be effective. This includes at least one social media platform since the average internet user spends more than two hours of their day on social media. With social media as one of the least expensive ways to market your business online, there is no excuse for your business not to have a social media presence and use it to promote your brand online.
Furthermore, social media marketing is one of the best ways to make your brand relatable. This results in your audience being more to recall your brand when they need what your offer and your customers to remain loyal to your brand.
You can grow a following for your brand on social media.
When people like your content on social media, your brand will inevitably gain followers in it. These followers will see your future posts and are more likely to engage and share your content with their followers. This results in a snowball effect of creating more awareness in social media as you grow your following and continue posting content on social media regularly.
You can communicate your brand’s story to your followers.
Social media gives your brand a place where you can tell your audience the benefits, advantages, and success stories of the products or services you offer. With the average internet user spending a little more than two hours of their day on social media, your brand has a chance each day to communicate its message to its target audience through the content you post.
You can interact with your brand’s audience.
Creating engaging and relevant content for your audience will attract comments to your social media posts. You can reply to these comments and acknowledge their comments in your future posts. You can also use their suggestions to improve your product or service, customer service, and marketing campaigns. Furthermore, these interactions are crucial for building a relationship with your audience and their loyalty toward your brand.
You do not need a big budget to grow an audience.
Setting up a business social media account will not cost you anything. Of course, there will be costs associated with copywriters, graphic designers, and social media managers. However, all of these combined do not cost as much compared to the returns in lead generation, sales, and brand awareness and loyalty it can bring to your business.
You can create a voice for your brand.
Social media makes use of most forms of content from pure text to video. This gives you the flexibility to express your brand voice so that your audience can instinctively associate it with your brand. You can adapt certain keywords and phrases in your content to make it distinct from your brand. You can also use a specific tone of voice, for both written and video content, so your audience immediately associates it with your brand. Of course, this requires some research to create an effective brand voice that your audience finds engaging.
You can target your paid advertisements
Social media advertising lets you target specific users based on their demographic, interests, internet browsing history, and previous interactions with your brand. This makes it possible to increase people’s awareness of your brand by advertising your content to users who have similarities to your existing audience. You can also use it to target those who have an existing need for the product or service you offer.
More importantly, social media advertising can retarget those who are members of your mailing list or previous respondents to your marketing campaign. This helps you make the most of your other campaigns and keep the offer or your brand on top of your audience’s minds.
Social Media for Businesses
It’s hard to argue against the importance of social media for businesses with how established brands on social media are experiencing growth because of it. But, what exactly are the benefits of using social media for business? Read on to find out.
1. Generate more leads
Your posts on social media can generate interest in your products or services. Your audience expresses this interest by asking questions about what your business offers in the comments, which results in them starting their journey in your sales funnel. In some cases, this interest prompts them into action by visiting your website, contacting your business, setting up an appointment, or signing up for your mailing list.
Aside from your content, social media advertising can reach even those who are not following you on social media. Lead generation campaigns in social media are as, if not more, effective at a lower cost than other channels while also being effective in generating awareness for your brand.
2. Increase your sales
Social media companies now include e-commerce solutions in their platforms. This made it possible for your audience to go through product discovery, research, and checkout in one place. This can result in your audience going through the sales journey at a faster rate and in your business having a better rate of converting them into paying customers.
Moreover, you can use your social analytics to identify the posts that are effective in converting your audience into customers. You can then test if having more of its type in your content schedule will lead to more sales for your business.
3. Increased brand awareness
Aside from leads and sales, brand awareness is another area you can use social media for business growth. It can achieve this in at least two ways. First, using social media can build an audience that will share your content with their followers, which leads to more people being aware of your brand. Second, posting content regularly will help your brand remain at the top of your audience’s mind.
4. Builds customer relationships
Relationships are built through genuine interactions. This is the same for relationships between brands and their audience and social media gives your brand a venue to relate with your target market. However, it is not enough to simply post content on social media if you want to build a relationship between you and your customers.
You must have personalized and genuine conversations with them in the comments or direct messages. This shows that you care about what they say and want to help them in some way. Moreover, these conversations let your audience get to know your brand and build their trust toward it.
5. Establish your brand’s authority in its niche
When you consistently post high-quality and valuable content, your audience will see you as an expert in your industry. This is the same in social media where you can post photos, videos, and short articles to demonstrate your skill or knowledge in your niche. Furthermore, social media comments are a great venue to address any questions your audience may have about your industry. With these, your audience will treat you as a credible source of information and place a greater degree of trust in your brand.
6. Keep your brand on top of your audience’s minds
Seventy percent of social media users visit the website or open the app daily. Having a presence on these social media platforms and posting content regularly will help your brand maintain its visibility on the feed of your target audience. In this way, they are more likely to remember and choose your brand when the need arises for your product or service.
7. Provides a venue to promote your well-research content
Social media will not always be the best place to share your comprehensive and well-researched content with your audience. Instead, you can lead your followers to your website’s content by sharing it on social media. This helps your new content attract traffic and other content creators in your niche to improve its authority in the eyes of search engine algorithms. Moreover, sharing your website’s content on social media will make it more accessible to your followers and easier to prove your expertise in the industry.
8. Work with social media influencers
You are more likely to believe the words of a person you know than a brand promoting its products or services on social media. This is the same for your target market when they see a social media influencer they follow giving a good review or recommending a brand. Your collaboration with them can attract some members of their audience that find value with what you offer or resonate with your brand’s values.
9. Gain ideas and material for content
You can ask your followers what they liked best about your content and make more of it. You can also ask them about something new they want to see from your brand. Since you are giving your audience their request, they are more likely to have a positive response to it and they will see it as your brand listening to them.
Aside from content suggestions, you can also use the content your audience posts that relate to your brand. This could be simple posts praising your brand or memorable interactions between an audience member and your brand. You could repost these in your social media profile or make in-depth content about them through an article or long-form video.
10. Manage your business’ reputation
Your customers will talk about you on social media whether you have a presence on social media or not. You need to respond to these conversations promptly and doing so will be difficult if you do not have a presence where these take place. Otherwise, a negative comment can turn into a crisis and damage your brand’s reputation. At worst, someone might say something not true about your brand and people will automatically believe it without you explaining your side.
Having your business on social media is not limited to controlling negative conversations about your brand. You can also use it to highlight the positive things your customers say about it. For example, a customer might thank you for what you did to them and a simple thank you will go a long way to communicate that you truly appreciate their words. This will draw your audience’s attention to their praises and this could serve as social proof that some of them need to try out what you offer.
11. Gain information about your customers
Social media platforms collect significant amounts of data about your audience on a day-to-day basis. As a business user, they will provide you some access to this information and the analytics in their platform. You can use this to learn about the demographics and interests of your audience to create content on and off social media that is more relatable for your target audience. Moreover, these insights can help you create more effective copywriting and targeting for your digital advertisements.
12. Learn how people perceive your brand
You can make use of various social listening tools to monitor any mentions of your brand. You can use this to see the current sentiment on your brand. What you find out can help you improve your marketing campaigns, branding efforts, product or service offerings, and customer service for your target market. Moreover, learning what people feel about your brand can help you identify your priorities for your next marketing campaign.
12. See how people perceive your competitors’ brands
If you can track what people say about your brand, you can do the same for your competition. You can look for areas that your competitors’ products or services are not addressing. You can take advantage of these gaps in what they offer by creating new products or services for their customers. Not only will you win new customers for your business but your brand will also appear the better one by addressing their unmet needs.
13. Target specific segments of your audience
Your audience is a diverse group of people in varying stages of the sales funnel. Some of them might not even be qualified to be your customers. With social media advertising, you can target those in the same stages of their sales journey. This leads to better quality leads and a higher ROI on your social media ads spend.
Using Social Media for Business:
Tips for Choosing the Right Platform
There is no such thing as the single best social media for businesses. Each social media platform will have unique user groups and behaviors, and different types of content that do well in it. Moreover, you will target market segments unique to your business and your brand will not do well on all types of content. As a result, the best social media platform is unique to your business.
Here are some tips for choosing the best social media platforms for marketing your business:
1. Use the social media platform your audience uses
The most important consideration when choosing a platform is whether your audience uses it or not. It does not matter if a platform has the most users compared to the others you are considering. If your target audience is not there, it will not have any effect on your brand if you decide to create an account on that social media platform.
2. Choose the platform where your brand can completely express itself
The social media platform must fit your brand, the products and services you offer, and the type of business you have. For example, if you have products or services that have visual appeal, Instagram is a great platform to consider. On the other hand, if you are a B2B business, LinkedIn might be a better choice for your brand.
3. See what other brands in your industry are using
You don’t have to go in blind if you are having trouble choosing a social media platform for your business. Just see what your competitors are doing. From your research, you will see what is working for them and what is not. You can also see which platforms have the best engagements for them. What they experienced will more likely be the same for your business if you use the same social media platform. So, you can use what you learn to help with choosing the best social media platform for marketing your business.
4. Understand the uses of the platforms you are considering
When choosing a social media platform to market your business, you must understand how its users use it. This will clue you in on what kind of content attracts the most engagement and followers on the platform. Aside from this, you must also keep in mind what kind of content is posted on a platform and if your business fits the content expected by the users.
5. Use a social media platform in line with your goals
You should also consider your business goals for using social media. Not all social media platforms are suitable for the goals you have in mind. Of course, you can use multiple platforms to meet all your social media marketing goals. But, since social media requires commitment and some investment, you need to choose the platform that can help you meet your prioritized goal.
For example, if you want to show off your product or the results your services can provide to attract new customers, Instagram or Facebook are two of the best platforms for your business. On the other hand, if you want to network with potential business clients, the best place to do this is on LinkedIn. Lastly, if your purpose is to use it for customer support, the best platform for you will be Facebook or Twitter.
6. Consider your resources for social media marketing
Although social media is free, you will still need some resources to use it for your business effectively. Because of this, you must also consider what resources you have before choosing a platform. For example, you need a good copywriter for written content; and a video editor or graphic designer for visual media. Depending on the content you plan to create, you might even need some equipment to produce photos and videos for your content.
What to Post on Social Media for
It is evident from the benefits of social media marketing that it can help grow your business. And, with the right social media platform, your brand has the potential to create a following of loyal fans. So, what should you post to achieve a positive and significant impact of social media on business? Below are some examples of how businesses use social media for marketing their brand, products, or service:
1. Engagement posts
As the name implies, engagement posts stimulate your audience’s interest by communicating a message that elicits a reply from them. This should be your default post with how effective it is in creating a relationship between your brand and your audience. Moreover, your audience’s response provides you valuable insight that can help improve your brand, operations, product, or service.
Engagement posts do not have to be complicated. It can be a simple question for your audience that will encourage conversations in your community. It could also be an AMA (ask me anything) post where you will reply to questions in the comments within a specified period. Or, it could be a poll to learn your audience’s preferences on a certain topic.
2. Product or service promotions
Product or service promotions are technically advertisements for what your business offers even though you are posting it on your profile and not paying for any clicks or impressions on the platform. These are great for telling people about the benefits and features of your product. Aside from promoting the benefits of your products or services, these types of posts include:
- Photos and videos that show off your products or services
- Before and after photos or videos
- Pricing of your product or service
- Limited time and seasonal offers
However, remember that posts about your product are not what people want to see on their social media feeds. People spend their time on social media to entertain themselves. Therefore, unless the benefits and features of what you offer can provide entertaining content, it is better to limit product or service promotions to no more than 10 percent of your total posts per week or month.
3. User-generated content
User-generated posts are those created by other users (usually customers and audience members) and reposted in your brand’s social media profile. Since you only have to watch out for great posts related to your brand, it is one of the easiest ways to increase your brand’s reach and engagement in social media. Moreover, user-generated content engages with a member of your audience directly. This gives an impression to your audience that you care about their experience and opinions about your brand.
When using their content, you must tag the original content creator on your post. This will not only credit the original creator of your post but will also notify them that your brand featured them in your content. This results in them engaging faster with your post, commenting on it, and sharing it with their followers.
4. News and trending topics
People like to know the latest news related to their interests. You can spin these events in a way that ties into your brand to ride the popularity of the current trend that has caught your audience’s interest. By doing so, your brand appears relatable to your audience, and you can create temporary interest for your brand by association.
Aside from riding trends, your audience will also want to know the latest news about your brand and industry. You can post on social media the latest news sourced from trade publications and websites that relate to your audience. If you are sponsoring organizations, teams, or clubs, you can also share the latest news about them.
5. Content promotion
You can use social media to promote your content on your own or third-party websites. Examples include:
- Blogs or articles posted on your website
- Articles about your brand on third-party websites
- Videos that you posted on YouTube
- Industry research and findings related to your business
Aside from these, you can also post on social media about the white papers, guides, and e-books your followers can download from your website. However, similar to product promotions, avoid overdoing these kinds of posts since these types of content are longer forms that rarely do well in social media.
When posting this kind of content on social media, including a short paragraph to describe the content will give your followers an idea of what they will get when they click on the link. Even better, you can adapt the content in a form that is native to the social media platform and includes the link for the original content. This will give them an alternative to going to another website while also creating a more engaging post than a simple content promotion post.
Competitions are a great way to build engagement, gain new followers, and create interest in your brand. Most businesses use this to expand their following by encouraging their existing followers to share a post in their profile or tag their friends in the comments. As long as you provide a prize that your target audience will value, a competition can help your brand attract users that you want to be part of your audience.
7. Photos, screenshots, and infographics
Visual media can help your content grab the attention of social media users since it stands out on their feeds. This is why it is best to accompany your text posts with a photo. This photo can be a simple stock image related to your post or a screenshot or professional photo that will help communicate the point of your content. You can also use infographics to make it easier for your audience to understand complex data at a glance.
Like photos, videos can stop your audience from scrolling and make them pay attention to your content. It also has one of the highest engagement rates since users have a greater chance of giving a like, comment, and share on a video post.
You can use videos in a variety of ways on social media. You can use it for promotional, educational, entertainment, and instructional purposes. Plus, you can have it in short (less than 2 minutes) or long format (more than 2 minutes).
9. Personal photos and videos
Personal photos and videos give your audience a look at the more relatable side of your business – the people who work behind the scenes. Sharing personal content makes your brand more relatable since your audience sees those behind the brand are just like them. You can even highlight an individual and share with your audience how their job makes a difference in the product or service your brand offers.
Aside from members of your team, sharing the stories and results of your customers is great content for social media marketing. Technically, these are testimonials. But, with visual media, their stories are much more powerful in convincing your audience of the benefits your product or service can provide.
Of course, you should only share appropriate content with your audience. And, more importantly, the people in it should consent to you sharing their story and image on social media.
10. Live streams
Live treams are a great way to engage your audience in social media. It gives your brand a more personal face since the interactions are in real-time and the conversations are much more natural. Moreover, you can save the livestream on your profile so it can serve as video content, and those who missed it can watch it later.
Memes are a great way to liven up your social media posts. They give your audience entertainment and a way to engage your brand beyond promotions and marketing campaigns. By sharing something not business-related, your audience will more likely perceive your brand as a relatable organization.
12. Inspirational quotes
Quotes are effective for marketing your business on social media if done right. The best way to go about this is to use quotes related to your industry and the solution you offer to your target market. For example, if you are in the health industry, you can use the quotes of industry and thought leaders in your niche that can give your brand or your offer a positive light.
You are not limited to your profile when using social media to market your business. You are free to collaborate with other social media users to expand your reach and increase people’s awareness of your brand. You can work with an influencer in your niche to do a review of your product or service that they will share with their followers. Alternatively, you can work with another brand to make an announcement, re-share one another’s content, and promote joint events.
Get Started with Using
Social Media for Business
Given the impact of social media on business, it has become a critical element for promoting your business and connecting with your target market. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Managing your business’ social media presence is equivalent to at least one full-time position, and doing it yourself can take you away from running other areas of your business. This is why it is important to consider hiring a digital marketing agency, like Big Market Solutions, that can take care of it for you.
With us helping you with social media management, your brand will have no problems communicating its message to your audience on all platforms. Our services include creating eye-catching and engaging social media content, building people’s awareness of your brand, and growing a following of engaged followers and customers for your business.
Do you want to know more about how we can help your business? Contact us today for a free consultation with our digital marketing professionals.