In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of utilizing social media for business as well as some strategies that you can apply.
As of 2017, there were 2.46 billion people using social media across the world.
This means, your brand has the potential to reach out to over 2 billion people.
By constantly posting and updating your social media accounts, you can reach out to potentially a third of the world’s population.
Imagine what that kind of reach can do for your brand.
If you’re still clueless on how to use social media for business, then you’re missing out on the action.
According to a study, at least 80% of all users on Instagram follow at least one brand or business.
Just on Instagram alone, there are 25 million businesses with business profiles.
What’s interesting about this is that almost half of these businesses aren’t linked out to their own websites.
This means they’re using Instagram as their main platform.
Based on these figures, there’s no denying the impact of social media on businesses.
But why is social media so important in today’s business landscape?
How To Utilize Social Media For Business
The Importance of Social Media in Business
According to experts, social media is one of the most influential and fastest-growing industries right now.
If you want your brand to become more visible, the best place to start is on social media platforms.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter may have all began as a communication tool.
Nevertheless, these days, businesses are using them as another marketing avenue.
Just like content marketing, social media marketing provides you with the opportunity to communicate better with your target audience.
Gone are the days when businesses have to pay a hefty sum on television and radio ads to promote their products and services.
The ability to utilize social media for business has taken over.
By using social media, you can reach out to a targeted segment of your market without spending a fortune.
Additionally, with internet technology constantly evolving, it looks like social media is here to stay for a very long time.
The good news is, if you’re still not using social media for business at this point, it’s never too late to get into the game.
Here are just some of the benefits you can enjoy when you use social media in business.
Benefits Of Utilizing Social Media
Helps Increase Brand Awareness
With a huge chunk of the world’s population on social media, it’s a great place to reach potential customers that would be interested in your brand.
People these days are not just joining social media networks to connect with people they know, they’re also using it to discover new products and services.
Because of this trend, many brands have already jumped on the social media bandwagon, using different social media websites to sell their products and services.
The great thing about social media is that you can use it to target potential clients, no matter where they are in the buying process.
For example, you can post awareness content on the same day that you’re posting your call-to-action content.
With 2.27 billion monthly users on Facebook alone and the knowledge to utilize social media for business, there’s no limit to how far your brand can reach with a solid social media strategy.
Establishes Your Brand As An Authority In Your Niche
Apart from brand awareness, another benefit of using social media is that it establishes your brand as an authority in your niche.
When you post high-quality content that is targeted to your audience, it builds consumer trust, which helps develop your reputation as a thought leader.
Most traditional business owners underestimate the power of thought leadership when marketing their products and services since it doesn’t outright sell anything else but ideas.
However, more and more business experts are starting to see the relationship between authority and trust.
The more authority a brand has in a niche, the more people will trust it.
Also, we all know the driving power that trust has on the buying decision process.
So, when you utilize social media for business, instead of aiming to become more popular, try becoming the go-to source for information related to your niche.
This way, more people will trust you enough to do business with you.
Humanizes Your Brand
It’s no secret that people buy from brands that they feel at ease with.
Before they decide to buy, they need to feel like a brand understands them.
They also need to see real-world proof that the brand is capable of keeping its promises.
You have to show your clients that you’re not just a business with rigid standards, you’re also a brand with a heart.
That’s one of the ways social media helps a business become more relatable to its target market.
It connects with potential customers through posts and updates about the company, and that ultimately builds trust.
Whether you’re posting behind the scenes videos of your company events or sharing blog articles that talk about your brand values, the more you humanize your brand, the easier it will be for your target audience to trust you.
Increases Traffic On Your Website
One more way to utilize social media for business is to drive traffic to your company website.
When you share branded content from your website through your social media accounts, you’re in effect inviting people to visit your website.
Consequently, you’re also sharing your brand values.
Participating in hashtag campaigns, for example, is a great way to get your brand noticed by potential clients and future influencer partners, provided that it has a compelling call to action.
If you post uninspired content just for the sake of having something to post, you’ll have a hard time directing anyone anywhere.
We all know that the more traffic your website gets, the more leads you can expect.
As much as you would like to ignore the numbers, if you really want to utilize social media for business, that’s just how it works in the online marketing game.
But how do you play the numbers game in generating leads?
When you use social media for business, it’s not just about getting your brand message out there to a limited number of people.
It’s taking the opportunity to make your target market an offer they won’t be able to refuse.
Generating leads through social media may involve trial and error.
However, once you understand what your target market really wants, it’s guaranteed to help you boost your business revenue.
It doesn’t matter what product or service you’re selling, using social media for business will help you sell it.
Your social media accounts play a critical role in your sales funnel as it helps turn spectators into paying customers.
Posting relevant and informative content that your target audience is interested in is one of the most effective ways to put them in a buying mood.
With more and more people going on social media to connect with brands, now is the perfect time to align your social marketing goals with your sales goals.
Connects You To Influencers
Another way to utilize social media for your business and drive up sales is to get influencers to talk about your brand.
When you get people to talk about your products or services on social media, it doesn’t just build your brand’s credibility, it also sets you up for more sales.
Since you can easily reach out to just about anyone on social media, it will be easy for you to partner with influencers who have the same target audience as you.
Working with influencers will give your brand a wider reach at a lower cost than working with celebrities.
Helps You Promote Your Branded Content
Content is still king in today’s digital marketing landscape so if you want people to pay attention to your brand, you need to create content that speaks to them.
One of the benefits you get when you use social media for your business is that it provides you with a platform to promote your content to new people.
As people start liking, sharing, and commenting on your social posts, your content will reach a wider audience.
The more engaging your content is, the more it will draw people to your brand.
Inspires The Creation Of New And Exciting Products And Services
Not many business owners are aware of this, but another way you can utilize social media for business is for sourcing and curating content.
You can get inspiration for social posts by checking in on the competition or asking your followers what they want to see.
This way, you’re sure to create content that your target audience will naturally want to read and share.
You can also create a contest to source user-generated content that you can post on your social media accounts.
All you have to do is come up with an engaging hashtag and create a buzz to get your followers to tag your brand in their posts.
Provides An Avenue For Customer Engagement And Support
One of the main benefits of using social media for business is that it gives you the opportunity to directly reach out to your customers.
You don’t have to second guess what they’re thinking because you can set up your social media accounts as a means for customer engagement and support.
By simply responding to comments and answering questions posted by your followers, you’re providing an avenue by which they can easily reach you.
People expect companies to be visible and available on social media.
In your quest to utilize social media for business, when you fail to respond in a timely manner, it will affect your brand’s credibility.
Even with the impact of social media on business, most companies are still clueless about how social media helps businesses thrive.
Many brands randomly create and post content on their favorite social media platforms, without considering their marketing goals.
This is why if you want to maximize your efforts, you need to learn how to utilize social media for business.
Business leaders need to realize that social media marketing is different from traditional marketing in so many ways.
You simply can’t discredit the importance of social media in your target audience’s daily life.
So, here’s how to utilize social media for business?
Here’s an 8-step plan for creating a social media strategy that your target audience will respond to.
The 8-Step Plan For Creating An Effective Social Media Strategy For Your Brand
1Set Your Goals
You can’t have a social media strategy without setting goals.
Before you can get to work, you must first identify your desired outcomes.
Ask yourself these questions;
- What is it that you want to achieve with your efforts on social media?
- Are you aiming for increased brand awareness?
- Are you using social media as a means or generating leads?
- Or are you looking into managing your brand’s reputation?
Once you set your social media goals, it will be easier for you to choose which platforms to exert your efforts on.
2Develop Your Brand’s Personality
Take a look at the brands that you follow and think of just one reason why you decided to follow them.
Looking beyond the popularity of the brand, you probably followed the account because it had personality.
Developing your brand’s personality is crucial because it makes it more relatable to people online.
It makes your target market want to check out your brand because they feel like it speaks to them directly.
When developing your brand’s personality, think of the kind of voice that you want to project.
Is it friendly, informative, sassy, or classy?
Whatever personality you eventually decide on, make sure that the whole team knows about it.
This way, you can make sure that the brand’s voice and personality are showcased across all the social media platforms that you use.
3Understand Your Target Audience’s Mind
Since information overload is rampant on social media, you need to differentiate your brand by creating content that is specifically designed for your target market.
Marketing to everyone doesn’t work at this point.
You have to look for ways to get into the mind of your target audience to understand what they want, need, and expect from your brand.
One way that you can know your target audience more is to practice social listening.
This is when you check on what your target audience is talking about on social media.
Take a few days to look around different social media platforms to listen in on their discussions.
4Identify Where Your Target Audience Hangs Out
In your bid to utilize social media for business, it’s not enough that you know what your target audience wants.
You also need to know where they hang out.
Traditionally, companies used to segregate markets based on location.
These days, it’s more important to know where the action is happening online.
For example, if you’re targeting B2B businesses, you’re more likely to find your target audience on business sites like LinkedIn.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to target people in their early 20s, then you’ll find more success on popular sites like Instagram.
5Know Who Your Influencers Are
As mentioned earlier, influencers have more power than celebrities when it comes to word of mouth marketing.
To make an impression on your target market, you need to reach out to the influencers that inspire them.
Luckily, there’s a lot of influencers who are more than willing to help out brands for a small fee.
The bad news is, some influencers can get out of hand with their demands.
The key to a healthy brand-influencer relationship is to work on developing relationships with them.
Show them just how people will benefit from your products and services and ask them for their insight.
Once they’re invested in your brand, they will naturally want to talk about it with their followers.
6Create A Social Media Strategy, Complete With Metrics
When you utilize social media for business, your strategy always needs to have metrics.
Because without it, there’s no telling if your efforts were a success.
Some business owners make the mistake of developing a step by step plan, without setting the right metrics.
With so many social media activities involved in one strategy, it’s important that you know how to measure them all.
Because at the end of the day, your efforts are meaningless if they don’t produce the desired outcome.
7Plot Your Content Calendar
Once you have your plan, it’s time to plot your content calendar.
Having a well-organized content calendar helps you stay focused on your marketing goals.
It gives you an overview of how different posts are working together.
That way, you present a coherent story to your target audience.
A content calendar helps you stay organized and ensures consistency in your operations.
This is particularly true if you have a team of people working on your social media accounts.
8Check For Value
Posting viral content tends to get your target audience’s attention.
However, it’s more important to post content that will benefit your followers in the long run.
Make sure that you maximize your social media post by providing value.
Whether it’s best practices tips or voucher codes to special deals on your website, you always need to offer something of value.
Engage your target audience by sharing knowledge, asking questions, and giving away prizes and special deals on special occasions.
Implement this 8-step plan and you are well on your way to achieving the social media sales force your business deserves.
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