Social media is continuing to grow as a form of advertising for your business and is well worth incorporating into any marketing strategy.
It shouldn’t be the only form of advertising, but it is definitely one of the channels you can be exploring to reach your customers; it may even be the only way to reach some audiences.
Yes, it can be daunting, and yes it can be time consuming, but with three billion people using social networks across the globe now, can you really afford not to take advantage? You can guarantee your competitors are!
Whatever you feelings about social media, there’s no denying that it’s a quick, cheap and yet effective way to reach thousands of people at a time.
If you followed our last article on identifying and creating a profile of your ideal client, then social media is a great way to target them. This should also help you when deciding which platform is worth investing your time in. There are so many out there, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat – just go where your customers are.
With Facebook, for example, you can target them very specifically, as you can select particular groups of people to see your adverts.
If done correctly, going social could be great for increasing brand awareness, leading people to your website and, ultimately, making more sales to grow your business.
If you’re already using social media, and you’re not seeing the results, you might need to review your approach.
What to post on social media
Social media needs to be human, engaging and fun. It’s where you go deeper than showing a picture of a product with a price. This is more advertising as an aside, rather than out and out promotional material that will soon have people unfollowing your page.
This is where you show things like behind the scenes videos of your products being made or prepared, where you show the difference the product has made to someone, feature interviews with people in your business.
You can also establish your business as a thought leader – a ‘go to’ for information on your industry sector. Think about your most frequently asked questions and create content to answer them. This could take the form of an infographic, a ‘how-to’ instructional video, or a blog article, for example.
If there’s some big development in your industry – maybe the Government has announced funding or there’s been a technological advancement – then why not video someone in your operation commenting on it and giving their thoughts? This way people will start coming to you for information in your field.
Engaging your customers
Social media is also a great way to engage with your customers. Ask them for their thoughts on something and find ways of encouraging them to post. There’s a whole calendar of national days and events you can tap into by using the hashtags that accompany it. Look out for what’s trending in the news and on Twitter and get in on the action. For example, on national coffee day, you could take a picture of your team with their coffee mugs and encourage your followers to do the same. If you run a coffee shop, then even better! If you sell cameras, you could encourage people to share their favourite photographs – the opportunities are endless with a bit of creative thinking.
You can even create groups for specific purposes, link with influencers, or partner up with other businesses you might have an affinity with, or whose products you sell.
Social media for customer service
While some may see social media as a bit of a double-edged sword reputationally, as any complaints or negativity can quickly take hold, this will happen whether you are present or not. Responding in a polite and professional manner shows that you take complaints seriously and are there to listen and react.
Many people now also expect to be able to engage on social media. They want to message a business through Facebook, or book a table, or request information. By being accessible in this manner you’re opening yourself up to new opportunities.
Gaining valuable insight
Social media is also a valuable insight tool as well. You can use it to find out about your customers, what people are saying about your brand, what time of day is best to post, when people are talking about your industry, how many people are clicking through to your website as a result of your social media content and so on. There’s a whole host of free or paid for platforms you can use to help you analyse this data. You can also use these to help manage your social media strategy by scheduling and planning content in advance.
If you’re looking to grow your business, and you either haven’t gone social yet, or you haven’t taken full advantage, it could be worth giving it a real good go – you could even incorporate it into your 90-day business planning, to see what results you get.
For more help and advice on growing your business, contact your ActionCOACH today.