How to Use Social Media for Business
We live in a society that is widely connected via Social Media Platforms. Developing the presence of your business on social media is important for its success. It is not difficult to introduce your business on the social media network. LinkedIn accounts, Facebook profiles and Twitter handles are a common practice for Businesses both online and off line nowadays.
Managing the presence of your business on the social media network is an ongoing occupation. Simply updating the boards on Pinterest is not going to be sufficient. You need experience and the necessary tools to devise a strategy for social media channels so that your business grows and gets promoted.
Using social media networks backed with a Social Networking plan and strategy will help your business increase its visibility and following, regardless of what type of business you are in. No matter whether you are managing a technological firm or a simple marketing firm. The crucial factor in planning your marketing is to link the social media activity of your business carefully to the plan and strategy you have outlined for your business. So do you know how to use social media for business?
Social Media Marketing Strategy
You have to manage it step by step so that you do not lose out on various factors when planning your strategy:-
- Building Trust – You simply cannot push your message to your followers or fans. They are an audience that needs to be captivated and to attract them regularly, you have to build up trust and develop a community sense. When your audience gets to know you better, you will be seen as the expert in your niche industry. When your business becomes an entity that is recognized in the market place, sales will automatically follow over time. People like to buy when they begin to know and trust you and your brand. The chain of marketing for business has to start with building up of trust. It will bring in its wake, loyalty, fans, sales and recommendations.
- Selecting the right practices and platforms – It is not always wise to jump on the bandwagon of hot trends on social media channels. The platform that is being talked about may not be right for your business. You can maximize the impact on your followers by selecting those practices and platforms which suit the core strategy of your business. For example, it may be meaningless for your company to update its account on Twitter every couple of hours. What works for one company may not be effective for yours. A good strategy would be to identify the platform which your customers use frequently and then build your presence with that outlet. You can then achieve measurable and predetermined business objectives. Facebook is perhaps the largest platform among the social media channels but Instagram, LinkedIn and Tumblr also have high growth rates.
- Be a Resource in your Industry – The objective of marketing your business has to be to keep the promotional message brief and concise. Content shared has to comply with the interest and needs of your targeted audience. You can mention some relevant statistics in your blog posts that will be of interest to your followers. You can keep them updated through latest events and breaking news from your business sector. This is a good way of establishing yourself as one trusted source of giving information about your industry.
- Setting up goals for using social media channels – Your business location and its size and main purpose will have an impact on your social media marketing objectives. Social platforms are to be used for driving leads to your site and generating e-commerce purchases. Another major goal is to build up credibility of your business. You have to demonstrate an identity for your business and your brand to project the culture that will motivate people to identify with you as your customers. You have to ensure that you keep a line of feedback open so that your consumers interact regularly with you. Avenues for customer interaction may be encouraged and offered. Your customers may find it convenient to write on your Facebook page or compose a small tweet instead of sending you a mail or calling your customer service department directly.
- Recommending at the right time – You have to recommend your services and products in a timely fashion on the social media channels. Media outlets will make it a point to consider your presence online when they decide on featuring your presentation. The content that you convey will help your business in connecting with writers and reporters who are always on the lookout for interesting profiles of businesses. It will be useful if you could track how your usage of social media channels influences the flow of leads and has an impact on the conversion rate of your customers. Good use of such platforms will always have a positive impact on your revenue figures.
- Use a systemized approach for your web content – Once you take a decision and identify outlets for social media marketing, you can develop a plan for how you can manage your content to fit your promotional strategy. Using a systematic approach is crucial when you start composing your content as it enables you to maintain consistency and it looks organized when you share it on diverse social media channels. You have to fix the frequency of posting and quantify the posting results. This will help you to maximize your reach. You can begin by taking a look at the management tools for social media writing. Hootsuite is a good place to learn this. It can be a very useful as a resource for all social media managers of companies as it allows them to plan their posting in advance and choose only specific channels for sharing particular messages. It goes a long way in not making your content erratic and helps in engaging the audience across all major channels.
- Maintain an editorial calendar for your web content – It is always good to maintain an editorial calendar for your web content. You have to look at a month or a week ahead, ideally, depending on the nature of your business and have a clear vision of when a particular type of content will get published or shared on the social media channels. Following a calendar which stretches over a long period of time will eventually aid your social media strategy.
- Present engaging content – People are likely to tune out if you keep posting messages for them to check out your latest deals. You have to vary the posts applicable to your services and products and make them interesting. Content has to encourage the audiences to interact with your business brand. If you are selling shoes, you could post a video that gives them a behind-the-scenes look at how your latest designs are manufactured. All content that you share on the social media has to be relevant to the strategy of your business. Your business may rely on Twitter, Snapchat or Facebook or a combination of any of such outlets; the important key to success is keeping the content relevant to your strategy. By selecting the right platforms and identifying important goals, you can make sure that your penetration on the social media channels will support your key business strategy.
- Customer Service – All your customers will expect you to answer their queries or complaints on the social media channels. Statistics indicate that almost 65% of customers use the social media site of a company for approaching their customer service department, as per J.D. Power. Customers expect brands to be made available on social media. On Twitter, for example, 53% of users expect a particular brand to give them a response within a couple of hours of their queries. A good customer service strategy would be to respond to the questions of customers promptly and meet their needs. You have to be transparent to earn their respect and discreetly shift the negative issues offline as soon as you can. Groups can be created on Facebook where fans may ask questions and feedback could be given through personalized support. You have to make sure that you remain consistent in maintaining the right tone when you respond. A handbook on social customer care would come in handy to maintain a level of consistency. You have to be alert to engage yourself in the art of social listening so that you can monitor your business brand and mention of your products and services on the social media
Tips from Marketing Experts to use Social Media effectively for your business
Marketing experts feel that social media is not a place where you have to push your products and services to convey a message to your audiences. You have to become a source that can be trusted in your industry for sales to follow naturally. When you offer competent customer care services, there will be a growth in your business brand loyalty on a long term basis. Relationships that are mutually beneficial would be formed.
- Demonstrate what you do – Multimedia is integral to social media network. Connectivity will enable you to convey the value proposition of your business in an effective manner.
- The content on your website has to engage – If you want to attract more traffic to your site, you have to encourage your visitors by sharing the type of content they would like to see. An effective way of sharing or promoting your web content is to set up a widget; like AddThis, which automates linking to sites that are popular.
- Be transparent and candid – Transparency will go a long way in attracting and retaining customers in these tough competitive times. You can give your customers or readers a scoop on your business through your company blog. It is a good way to keep the communication lines open.
- Interacting with your visitors – When you put up a company blog or open a Facebook page for your fans, it will not serve any purpose if the visitors find that the conversation flow is going in just one direction. It may be a dead end for your strategy. When you do not allow participation in your content or comments, it would make the page ineffective. You can do a quick search on Twitter, Facebook and Yelp on what is being said about your business and its products or services. This will help you track and measure the reputation that your business brand is building. The feedback and comments on social media will be valuable in enhancing customer service. It will also give you an opportunity is making amends with customers who are not satisfied. You have to act promptly when there is negative feedback on the social media about your business brand.
- You cannot pretend to be someone other than you – In these days of tracking down internet protocol addresses, faking company figure heads can be quickly observed by visitors if there is a case of reputation being fluffed. This may damage the reputation of your business and also put you in a spot of bother with legal trouble.
- Give incentives for customer loyalty – You can run your business promotion frequently with coupons in the mail through social media.
- Establish a connection with potential partners – LinkedIn has been specifically designed as a social media channel for the purpose of professional networking. Your business can locate many valuable contacts at this place. You can use this outlet to locate business partners and identify related businesses of interest. These partners could provide introductions to your business brand as existing contacts. Continuous enquiries may result in eventually successful partnerships.
You have to try and sell your services and products in such a way on social media that does not alienate or irritate your followers. You cannot push your products or your promotions on a constant basis. It may be like the case of `familiarity breeds contempt’. You can offer special discounts or exclusive deals or you may go tutorial and teach some do-it-yourself techniques to your fans. You may use product feature sheets, infographics or utilize rich pins on channels such as Pinterest.
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Do you have any tips that you can share with our readers how to use social media for business? If you do, we’d love to hear from you!