SERIES 1/3: Using Social Media For Your Business: Understanding Social Media
Many businesses still carry the mentality that social media is just a ‘nice-to-have’. But in reality, social media is no longer an optional communication channel. Even if you have an established and steady customer base, using social media effectively will grow your revenue and increase your market share. This is key when you pause to consider that your competitor is already out there on social media, so really by ignoring social media you’re at risk of watching your reach decline and seeing your customers go elsewhere.
What is social media marketing?
Social media is a form of digital marketing that harnesses the power of social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. People use various social media channels to learn about, shop from, educate themselves, and enjoy different brands and their offerings. These channels have been optimized to help brands get closer to their customers and offer a variety of digital tools like optimizing profiles and providing a platform to showcase what brands have to offer as well as allowing brands to engage with their followers and build a rapport. Each tool is measurable and can be aligned with your brand objectives. Social media for business also offers paid media advertising where you can pay to put your brand right in front of your desired target market.
What are the benefits of marketing on social media?
Social media builds relationships: It allows you to make your brand an active participant in the market. You can customise your feed and profile, engage with followers in a personal way and connect with your customers. When done successfully you will then be able to network, have discussions, gather feedback and connect with individual clients in a meaningful way.
Social media drives traffic: The goal is to drive users to move between your profile, blog, advert or social media profile. More traffic ultimately means more chances to convert visitors into paying customers.
Social media generates leads: Using built-in features like Instagram / Facebook shops, call to action buttons, appointment settings and direct messaging you can generate leads and convert customers on these platforms in a very direct and measurable way.
Social media increases brand awareness: The visual nature of these platforms supports the building of a visual presence and helps build engaging brand awareness.
Key aspects of a successful social media marketing strategy
While this will look different for every business, there are some essential aspects of any successful social media marketing strategy, including:
Content strategy: While this can be largely spontaneous, it is also important that you structure your content so that your voice is consistent and you produce high-quality content on a regular basis.
Audience knowledge: Each platform will have a slightly different market and it is important to select the one that aligns best with your brand.
Analytics: Utilize the back-end business tools to ensure you are reaching your desired target market.
Posting regularly: It is important that you post regularly and remain active in order to enjoy a successful campaign.
Take an inbound approach: Instead of pitching your business outwards, rather focus on adding value with really well-considered content that helps your followers in some way. This will ensure that you promote your business organically as users will share content and be drawn to what you offer in a more authentic way.
The bottom line
While you may not be used to using social media to build your business, it is essential that you get on board and begin promoting your business through this worthwhile channel. If you are having trouble and don’t know where to start, lookout for the next installments of this three-part series “Ways To Use Social Media'' and empower yourself with slick and selective ways to build your social media strategy.
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