From hashtags and tweets, to page likes and views, social media has become embedded in our daily lives. Have you woven it into your greater business marketing plan? Over the past 20 years, social media has drastically changed the way we connect and interact with one another. With over 3.8 billion active social media users worldwide, it’s hard to escape the role it plays in growing your business. It’s a powerful and inexpensive way (unless you pay for social advertising, of course) to stay relevant and stand out in today’s hectic online world.
Why should your business engage on social media, and how do you know how many or which platforms you should utilize?
Benefits of Social Media for Your Business
1. Brand Awareness
You want your company to be top of mind to your customers. With so many people on social networks, a good social presence is key to making sure your audience recognizes your brand, services, or products. Plenty of brands go “viral” with shareworthy stories or funny posts. Every share, like, or engagement with your business increases your reach and exposes you to new audiences for little to no cost!
2. Generate Leads & Boost Sales
As a business, finding qualified leads and boosting sales is top priority. By creating intriguing and clickable social content with a good call to action, you can drive more potential customers to your website. Sharing blogs, newsletter sign-ups, links to your shop, or running contests are all great ways to organically generate leads via social channels—this can be a great complement to your SEO efforts. You could also try paid advertising like running Facebook or LinkedIn Ads to turn new audiences into loyal customers.
3. Manage your Reputation
Social media gives users the power to share their opinion publicly. Knowing what your customers are saying about you online is critical to success. Social media allows businesses to communicate or resolve issues openly and transparently. It’s also a great way to share positive reviews and feedback from customers to build trust and a sense of community.
4. Humanize your Brand
People are more likely to do business with or buy products from brands they know, like, and trust. Social media platforms provide an easy way to connect with your potential customers on a human level. Sharing photos of your employees, funny memes, or asking questions makes businesses feel more approachable and real.
Having a social profile is no longer optional as a business. With hundreds of social media networks out there, finding platforms that work best for you and your business goals is key.
Find A Platform That Fits
The average person has more than 9 different social profiles and spends more than 2 hours and 16 min on social media every day. Your customers interact with hundreds of brands every day through these different platforms, and if you aren’t engaging them, you are missing out!
However, posting quality content across every platform, every day can be extremely time consuming and could actually be hurting you. The good news is, using just a few key platforms can offer huge payoffs if you are able to correctly identify which social media platforms fit your business. Narrowing down which platform(s) are right for your business can help get your company’s social strategy working smarter, not harder.
With over 2.7 billion active users, Facebook is by far the largest social network. Although you may assume younger audiences don’t use it as actively as older audiences, at least 6 in 10 Americans over the age of 12 do. Because of its sheer size and engagement rate, it’s a great starting point to dive into the world of social media for your business. From national brands to local mom and pop shops—a Facebook page offers something for everyone. Let your followers know the latest about what’s going on with your business. Post organic content like photos or videos of your products, upcoming events, and links to your blog or newsletter at least a few times a month. Don’t forget to talk with your audience! Make sure to like, comment, and respond to reviews to build a sense of community.
TIP: Use Facebook Ads to your advantage. Creating a Facebook Business Manager Account gives you lots of valuable insights, including a breakdown of who is interacting with your profile. You can use this information to build effective, low-cost ad campaigns targeted specifically to any audience you choose—like promoting a restaurant to locals in the area or hiring new employees.
Owned by Facebook, Instagram boasts more than 1.2 billion users every month. While Facebook may lean towards an older demographic, almost 60% of users on Instagram are under 34 years old. As primarily a photo-sharing app, this platform is all about aesthetically-pleasing visuals. Upload photos to your page, go live and interact with your followers, share long videos on Instagram TV, or post stories that disappear after 24 hours. Because of its connection to Facebook, you can easily create ad campaigns that run across both networks.
TIP: Instagram is an ideal place for e-commerce, especially for photo-worthy products like those in the beauty, fashion, or food industries. Create a customizable shop on your business page or tag your products directly to your post or story to drive traffic.
If your business is focused on marketing to other businesses (B2B) or connecting with other professionals, LinkedIn should be your go-to social platform. It’s great for networking or finding prospective employees and qualified clients. Post regular content like infographics, presentations, thought pieces, industry news, or research to gain trust and respect in your specific field.
TIP: With more than 100 million job applications posted each month, LinkedIn is an essential part of any hiring strategy.
With more than 500 million tweets posted each day, Twitter is one of the fastest-moving social platforms. Because of it’s pace and 240 character limit, it can be difficult to keep up. Customers expect fast responses to public complaints, and companies have been known for going viral for all the wrong reasons (shrimp tails in your cereal, anyone?). It’s ideal for quick updates, announcements, blogs or pictures—but interaction is key. Don’t forget to engage with other accounts in your industry or customers by retweeting or responding to threads.
TIP: Many big brands like KFC and Netflix have leaned into the funny nature of twitter. Using a unique brand voice can help build a personality and develop a strong following. Use it for events and conferences or to stand out as a leader within your field.
Building a strong, livable community is something people innately crave. NextDoor is a social platform tapping into that by creating a virtual space for real physical neighbors to connect. Users can ask questions, buy/sell items, organize events, or get alerts about things going on in their area. As a business, you are able to join specific neighborhoods and interact directly with your customers. Reputation is everything on Nextdoor—around 67% of members share local business recommendations with their neighbors. Manage your reputation and respond to reviews to understand what certain communities are saying about your business. You can share special offers or deals you are running (called Local Deals), post questions or start conversations, or pay to sponsor neighborhoods to gain visibility in new areas. It’s great for small, local businesses like restaurants or boutiques and home service providers like general contractors or HVAC companies.
TIP: Collecting reviews is key—after creating your business account, share via other social platforms that you have joined the Nextdoor app or send an email notifying existing customers to start racking up reviews!
TikTok is one of the newest players to the social media landscape, but with 689 million monthly active users it is definitely here to stay. The app allows users to create and edit short videos and is hugely popular with younger generations, with over 62% of users between 10-29 years old. Users scroll through videos on a personalized feed. This is where TikTok’s algorithm shows each user different videos based on the types of content they have interacted with in the past. Trends and viral videos change by the second on this platform. As a business, it can be difficult to stay up to date on the latest trends without seeming out of touch. However, with an ad revenue increase of 500% in 2020 on the platform, if you can create unique content that will resonate with younger generations, it can have huge payoffs for your business. Post paid ads, in-feed videos, participate in trends or challenges, or try influencer marketing to promote your brand.
TIP: Need ideas on what to post for your small business? Try a tutorial or how-to video about your business, like a “Day in the Life” or share a success story or meet the team. More so than other platforms, TikTok is about authenticity and fun! Lean into your creative side and give it a try!
Feeling Overwhelmed? Start here…
- Know your audience: Think about who you are trying to reach, this can help you narrow down which platform(s) to use.
- Understand your business goals: Are you trying to reach more people? Drive e-commerce traffic? Target younger generations? Get clear on your goals and leverage social media to reach them.
- Make a plan (Social Media Strategy): Creating, scheduling, and managing social content requires a plan. Start small by focusing on your goals and building out a strategy.
- Have fun! Get out there and try new things. Social media is meant to be fun, so be creative and express yourself!
If you are still unsure where to start, Webspec’s Digital Marketing Team can help you come up with an effective social media plan to get you connected to the right audience and help grow your business. Contact us to learn more!