It’s very rare to see or to meet someone today who is not on social media in some way. Many people think of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Hike as channels to communicate with friends and family. But social media has expanded to provide networking opportunities for all types of businesses and that allows us to use social media for business.
Below are tips on how to use social media for business and how social media for business marketing can help support your business goals and raise awareness about your brand and products or services.
1. Start with Social, but Plan Bigger
Every good business strategy starts with a good plan. Social media marketing for small business is no different. Since it’s so easy to use and you can get started with organic posts for free, it might be tempting to dive in and just start posting.
But without a plan, you have no way of knowing what you’re trying to achieve with your social media posts, and no way to measure whether you get there. Taking the time to create a social media plan right up front will ensure that all your social efforts support specific business goals.
2.Decide which platforms are right for you
Don’t make assumptions about where your audience spends their time online. Your instinct might tell you that you should skip Facebook and focus on Instagram and Snapchat if you’re targeting millennials, but the data shows that 82 percent of millennials still use Facebook.
Social media for business
We’ve compiled demographics information for all of the major social networks that can help you gauge where your audience spends their time online.
Keep in mind that you can use different social channels to reach different audiences, or to meet different business goals.
And remember that these demographics are just an overview. It’s important to understand how to reach your specific audience. In order to figure that out, you’ll need to make sure that you really…
3. Use Content to Attract Customers
The best way to get your customers’ attention and drive user interaction is to deliver frequent, high-quality and compelling content on your website and social presence, or with a blog post that targets your audience. Here are a few tips:
Have a plan: know what you want your content to do for your business. Are you looking for leads or brand awareness? Your plan will help you see the path ahead, and more importantly, allow you to measure success or failure.
Define your audience: know who they are, what they know, and — more importantly — what they don’t. This can help you form your content.
Play to your passions: your content is bound to be more compelling and attractive if you have a deep and clear interest in the subject matter.
4. Know your audience
Using social media for small business let you micro-target your audience—but first, you need to understand who your audience is. By compiling data on your current customers and then digging deeper with social media analytics, you can develop a solid picture of who’s buying from you and who are already interacting with you online. Then you can revisit your social media plan to include ways to reach more people just like them.
For example, Jimmy Beans Wool clearly understood its core market was crafty knitters and crocheters across the United States and Canada. But when the company first started, it had limited access to this huge group. The company had an email subscription list of dedicated fans, but that was not a large enough audience to sustain and grow the company.
5. Try Paid Advertising to Get in Front of New Customers
Paid advertising relies upon a variety of targeting mechanisms including keywords to put your ads into the paid advertising or “promoted ad” section on social networks where your customers and prospects spend time. Display ads may also appear on the sides of the users’ pages and as they are integrated seamlessly into the user’s experience, they don’t generally feel like typical obtrusive ads. Paid advertising can be an effective strategy and many social platforms have budget-friendly options.
Placing ads on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, can work with any budget, and ad campaigns can easily be set up with just a credit card. You can also target your audience using age, gender, location, and interests, among other demographics.
Consider including images in your ad. Ads with images are more attention-getting, leading to more clicks, shares, likes, and re-tweets.
YouTube offers a variety of advertising options, in some cases charging fees only if users actually watch your videos.
6. Build relationships
The unique benefit of social media compared to other marketing channels is that it allows you to talk directly to customers and followers. You can build relationships over time, rather than asking for a sale right upfront. That’s one reason why 93 percent of people who follow small- and medium-sized business on Twitter plan to purchase from the SMBs they follow, according to a report from Twitter and Research Now.
Using social channels, you can also build connections and relationships with other entrepreneurs and influencers in your niche. Think your business is too small to work with influencers? Consider that micro-influencers (starting with 10,000 followers) can be incredibly effective for establishing brand trust, and they are often not out of budget range for smaller brands.