Learning Hub | Social Media
How Can Social Media Marketing Help my Business?
September 23, 2016 | Jon Teodoro
In this connected world, the lingo is constantly changing. Hashtag. Lol. Selfie. MCM.
It can be hard to keep up and honestly, it can be hard to want to. But the truth is that, for the near future at least, social media ain’t goin’ nowhere. With “1.09 billion daily active users on average for March 2016” on Facebook and over 300 million on both Instagram and Twitter, you can see that people aren’t tiring of this connected life.
If you aren’t using social media to help market your business, it’s like saying you don’t want the potential for your products or services to reach an audience that could literally have millions of members.
Sure, you’re not targeting every Tweeter or poster, but you can open the door to a much larger audience if you implement some social media marketing into your business platform. And you’ve got many network options to choose from: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn and Google+ just to name the top contenders.
How can Social Media Help my Business Marketing?
“Let me count the ways…”
Social media marketing benefits may seem obvious, but let’s go over a brief rundown:
- Reach more audience members with the cheapest price tag possible.
- Social media accounts are generally cheap to free. As far as a marketing tool goes, you really shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to be able to reach so many people with so small a budget. This is particularly great for small businesses that don’t have much to spend on other marketing channels.
- If your goal is to gain audience members, an active social media presence is one of the easiest and quickest ways to do so.
- Narrow down your target audience (if need be).
- If you are looking to single in on a smaller target audience (a necessary marketing technique at times), social media can also help you with that.
- You know right off the bat that someone wants to be in your audience if they like, follow or retweet you. They have voluntarily jumped in and done half the work for you – no long email marketing build-up to get them in. Now, you just have to focus on strengthening the relationship to create customer loyalty.
- Strengthen your brand and identity cheaply.
- One good thing about platforms like Facebook and Instagram is that they are very visual and allow you to showcase your brand in a visually aesthetic way.
- Put your logo as your profile picture.
- Use software like Canva to design personalized profile banners that look like they were made by a top-notch designer.
- Use Instagram to share photos of products, services, customers, designs – you name it. Share anything that represents your company’s identity and builds your brand.
- Keep in mind fonts, design, color schemes, etc. so that your branding looks the same across different social media platforms.
- Get quick feedback from your followers about your content.
- Share something, and watch it catch fire. You can get almost instant feedback on your sales, blogs, products and content such as videos, images and more.
- People are not shy when it comes to voicing their opinion on social media (sometimes detrimental, sometimes positive). You can scour over tweets, shares, likes and comments to see what people are saying about your company, products or services.
- This allows you to generate feedback without spending time or money on questionnaires and surveys. You can make quick changes if you’re receiving bad word-of-mouth or keep up the good work if people are loving you.
- Advertise for free.
- Since many social media platforms are free, there really is no cheaper form of advertising.
- Let your followers know when you’re having a sale.
- Share links to coupons.
- Share links to blogs, articles or white papers.
- Give followers exclusive offers.
- Share giveaways.
- Share video showing benefits of your product or service.
- Inform and engage.
- **Keep in mind that you can actually post paid advertisements on social media, as well, which can be great for business. But, every post is a form of advertisement in its own way.
- Build and strengthen your relationship with your audience members.
- There are many examples of businesses using social media to do this well.
- For example, retweet or comment back to your users.
- It can be as simple as following them or liking their Instagram pictures.
- If they comment directly to you with a problem or complaint, comment back publicly.
- Use the opportunity to generate good press and loyalty. Say, for example, that a follower comments that they used your skin care products and had a bad reaction. You could make a care package, deliver it to them with a sorry note and post a public apology, along with the story and a video covering the side effects of your product on certain skin types. If you’re lucky, your customer will post about your company’s great effort. Even if not, you created a genuine customer experience for them, and reached past the corporate barrier. Gain 10 human points!
- Share content.
- It can’t get any easier to share with people – can it?
- A few words, some content and a click later, and your message is visible to all of your followers.
- This is an instantaneous and extremely cheap way to share content and generate leads and traffic.
- Increase site traffic and SERP ranking.
- If your posts link to your web pages, then with good social media practices you will be driving more and more traffic to your site. Eyes on your site, shares on your posts and an increase in inbound links all increase SEO and search engine result page (SERP) rankings.
- By using social media to drive traffic to your site, you will increase your chances of moving up higher on that Google results page – essentially for free.
What if I Don’t Know Anything About Social Media?
Fortunately for the “newbs” and laymen reading, there are plenty of software options that can help you manage your company’s social media accounts from one place.
Online resources like Hootsuite, which we often use here at Verde, allow you to schedule posts ahead of time or schedule recurring posts to all of your social media profiles from one place.
You just go into to your account, write up posts for your different profiles (as there are specifications for each, like the 140 character max on Twitter) and schedule a date to publish. Hootsuite takes care of it from there so that you don’t have to remember to post blogs, articles, etc. every time. You can only post to one of your profiles or to all of them.
Aside from using platforms like Hootsuite, you will have to be familiar with social media if you wish to use it properly. A marketing company can help you with that, but there are also tons of how-to guidelines just a Google search away.
It really is fairly simple to use social media with a little practice. You could also stop a 20-something at your local coffee shop or call your kids for some help. Trust this 26-year-old – it’s pretty much a guarantee that they’ll be able to show you how to use social media quickly. It’s like engrained in our DNA now…
In Conclusion: Don’t Forget to Tune Out.
Social media can be a wonderful marketing tool to generate traffic and leads, grow your audience, and increase site traffic and sales. Being that it is so cheap (many sites are free!), it is perfect for small and large companies alike.
Connection is so simple yet so vast that one can very easily get a sort of social media addiction, if you will. It is great to check in personally on your profiles and to post as much as you want. Regular posting is extremely beneficial, but don’t forget to tune out at times.
Software like Hootsuite that we mentioned above is great for automatic posting so that your profiles can stay up-to-date without you always having to be involved. You can schedule posts on there for an entire business quarter and then just check in every now and then to reply to comments, see what your followers are saying and manage aesthetics.
Automation software can be great for people that don’t want to be connected all the time. You can gain the marketing benefits of social media without having to constantly search for a power outlet. Balance is beneficial to business.
Whether you are a social media dummy, an unconnected introvert or a neophyte just trying to catch up on the ever-changing lingo, social media can greatly benefit your business. And with all of the resources out there, you can be as involved as you’d like to be.
One awesome example of how social media can help grow a business comes from the local Detroit bakery Sister Pie. With an extremely loyal and growing Instagram base, it has boosted its reputation and audience a ton through funny, informative and frequent posts. Check them out for inspiration.
Do you have any questions about social media platforms? Do you have any examples of awesome social media marketing practices? Please share them in the comments below!