Social media is a very effective way to make a connection between your business, customers and potential clients. More than that, social media offers the following benefits:
- Gaining followers/an audience
- Increasing brand awareness
- Building relationships
- Increasing website conversions
- Building a subscriber base
- Finding out what your competitors are doing
- Run targeted ads, with real-time results
Social media has the potential to provide your business with so much more return on investment than you are currently experiencing; the time of thinking that social media is a passing fad is long gone. As business owners, we need to understand the different types of social media platforms, and how we can effectively use these platforms to promote and sustain our business.
Before you start using social media, you need to consider the following:
- The right platform for your business.
It is a common thought to feel the need to have a business presence on ALL the social media platforms out there. Unfortunately, this is not always the best thing for your business. Think about your core business strategy, and use the social media platform that will best suit that. For example, if your business requires you to send notifications out every hour, perhaps Twitter will be better than Facebook. Or, if your business grows more on personal posts, perhaps Facebook or Instagram would best suit your social media strategy. However, it is also good to note that while Facebook may be the largest social media platform, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram have the highest growth rates. And, while Twitter is very popular, it often expects near-immediate responses. If you do not have the resources to answer quickly, this may not be ideal for your company’s social media strategy.
You need to decide which platforms are likely to benefit your business most, both in terms of the users you’ll reach and how you do business?
- Set goals for your social media use
It can be useful to look at social media as a long-term project. All projects have goals, and so should your social media strategy. Ask yourself the following questions: Why does my business need social media? How can I use this to the benefit of my business? What do I want to achieve through my social media accounts? These questions will help you set the goals you need for your business – remember, what works for another, may not work for you.
You can download various content calendars online that will assist you in planning your content goals and strategies. But, ultimately, the main goal for your social media should be to impact your revenue, increase your return of investment, generate leads and increase your client base – and you need to then decide WHAT content you will use to achieve these goals.
- Be intentional about your content
Social media is ALL about the content you share! If you can generate unique, consistent, and effective content, you will gain a following, and ultimately, customers…paying customers.
There are several types of content that are extremely effective: Visual, Video and Blogging.
The use of visual aids (pictures, memes, quotes, etc) in posting content is the best way to engage your audience quickly. Visual content is easily consumed, and is effective in informing people and enforcing your brand. It is important to use words with the visual, as your choice of words used to describe the image will enhance its effectiveness.
Video is used to inspire conversions and generate return on investment – who doesn’t want that! The use of ‘How To’ videos and ‘Demonstrations’ are very effective in getting your message across – for example, if you are a restaurant owner, and you post a video showing someone how to make something simple. However, the one difficulty with video content is that is not easy to produce, and takes lots of time to shoot and edit it into the perfect post.
Blogs are very effective in driving engagement and informing your audience about your business values, ideas and promotions. Blogs are great for building your brand and building trust and reliability between yourself and your customers. Your posts don’t always have to be long or highly informative, but they do need to be posted consistently. This doesn’t mean every day or even every week; you need to decide how often you can blog, and set the dates and times they need to be written and posted.
While social media seems daunting, it isn’t! You just need to create content that people want to read and look at; be consistent and; have an engaging social media presence! Have fun experimenting with the content on your social media platforms, and enjoy seeing what works and doesn’t.