Social media has transformed the way we live our everyday lives. For most people, it’s the first thing they do when they wake up and the last thing they look at before they go to bed. So how can you leverage this as a business?
New companies can be faced with a number of challenges and hurdles to overcome, but most people in the business world now recognise how social media marketing can have a huge influence on their company and how significant it can actually be. Social media has become an essential marketing and communications network that a startup or reputable company can’t afford not to get on board with.
In this article, we’ll be looking at just how your young business can make the most of social media. Read on to find out more.
Why focus on social media?
Social media allows you to connect with your audience on a friendly level — but at the same time, you are spreading knowledge of your brand, increasing brand authority and answering customer questions and queries.
Despite the tremendous potential of social media, lots of new companies often fail to successfully use it to expand their reach and grow sales.
Irrespective of the size of your establishment, you can use social media marketing as a low-cost and strong marketing tool by following simple practices. Social media can increase website traffic significantly — whether you prefer to tweet, post messages on Facebook, or share an image or inspirational quote on Instagram, you can use all of these to build traffic from your social media platforms to your website.
In fact, research has found 73% of marketers find going social raises website traffic to some degree or another. But each platform is different, so check out this guide so your startup get a better understanding of the major social media brands.
Build a personality for your business
Advertisements don’t give you much time or space to tell people about the company or your business story. At the most, you get to tell potential customers about the products or services that are on offer.
With social media, it’s possible to create a likeable — even lovable — personality for your business. This will attract more people as they will feel like they are getting to know the business and will also help build trust.
And social media does more than just help you find potential customers — it can also help you connect with other industries and entrepreneurs. The most used platform for these types of connections is LinkedIn, which helps you connect with businesses and professionals. Making those connections early on could really benefit your business in the future.
Capitalise on what’s trending
Facebook and Twitter offer you ample insights about the top trends on social media. Keep an eye on all the latest trends — post a tweet or status about one if it’s relevant to your company or something that you think your potential customers would be interested in looking at.
You could use popular evergreen hashtags, trending topical hashags, or even make your own personalised hashtags to promote your social media and company.
Jumping on trending topics or national holidays will help you to read more people outside of your regular audience. For example, if you post about #ValentinesDay or #ChristmasDay in your Instagram copy, the post will come up on newsfeeds of social browsers who don’t already follow you, reaching a wider audience of prospective customers.
Use social media to improve customer service
Social media is a great way for customers to contact a company if they have issues with products, due to the fast and easy response that it enables you to give.
If they are really unhappy, customers may not always directly complain and may post it on your page or newsfeed instead. Responding publicly back to the comment will prove that the customer’s complaint or concern is serious to you. If other customers see that you reply rapidly to a criticism and try to resolve the problem to the customer’s gratification, your audience will see you as a business that cares and values their customers.
Identify the best timings to post
It is important to understand that there is not a specific time to post content.
Obviously around lunchtime 12-13:00, most people tend to be on their phones, but it’s best to vary the times you publish posts. If you are constantly posting at the same time, this can come across to customers that you aren’t putting much thought into the posts and have them on an automated scheduling system.
Some social media platforms do offer built-in analytics (like Facebook) that allows you to understand the preferences of your audience and when they’re online which you should use to your advantage.
Follow the top businesses in your niche
It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your competitors.
Following the top accounts from the niche you are in will allow you to understand your strengths and weaknessesm, which will help you establish the ways you could improve. By following industry influencers, you will have a clear image of your competitors.
If you’re going to do social media, then you need to do it properly. Remaining quiet on social media won’t benefit your business at all, and you may lose out on valuable customers.
It’s a good idea to remain active on the social media accounts that you’ve created for your business. If you don’t, existing or potential customers will notice that you haven’t posted in weeks or months, and will lose trust in the company. This can have big consequences. They may question your reliability or legitimacy as a company, be deterred from buying from you, and unfollow your account.
You don’t have to post every day, but at least once or twice a week is preferable — just to maintain your online presence, stay visible, and make sure your customers aren’t getting bored.
Keep faithful customers engaged
It’s important to keep loyal, returning customers engaged while you’re actively trying to bring in new customers. Here are a few ideas:
- Offer promotion codes and discounts through social media to get to your clients — make it creative and fun for them.
- Ask open-ended questions that give your audience the chance to answer or have their say.
- Give away low-cost items such as stickers, pens, and lanyards. Fun giveaway are cheap but will make a long-lasting impression and will spread your brand through word-of-mouth.
Increased engagement means that your content is appealing to your audience. A study found that people find visuals and videos the most engaging. Another way that you can get people’s attention would be by simply adding questions, a fill in the blank or stimulating challenges. Don’t be afraid to branch out and interact creatively with your customers.
We understand that social media marketing can be a bit tricky at the beginning for startups but with perseverance, you will begin to see the benefits it will have on your business.