Social media is an invaluable tool to your business.
It becomes an extension of your website, your physical locations, your brand and your personality.
Just a few of the things you can accomplish through social media include:
- Connecting with customers
- Mass marketing on a small budget
- Gathering customer feedback to help improve your products and services
- Providing inexpensive customer support
- Launching new products
Social media lets you effectively and efficiently reach out to current customers and market to potential clients.
You can research and gain information about your competitors, and keep up with news and trends in your industry.
Social Media Platforms
There are dozens of social media platforms, and new ones appear regularly.
Business just starting out with social media should focus the outlets that closely aligned with where heir customers are.
Want to talk B2B? LinkedIn. Have a fashion brand? Instagram.
A good rule of thumb is to select one or two platforms to start with and post regularly.
If you find you have the staff time to handle more than two channels, great, but don’t have an account that you aren’t updating regularly.
An inactive social media profile is much worse than simply not having one at all.
The world’s largest social media outlet, Facebook is a must for connecting with customers.
It may also help your sales team close deals if you use it as a tool to look for possible personal connections with top prospects.
Facebook allows businesses to advertise to their 1.2 billion active users using the highly advanced "Ads Manager" tool to aim ads at your exact target market. Facebook can be used by all businesses regardless of industry type, audience size, or B2B v B2C models.
Facebook is the ubiquitous social network and claims that Facebook's popularity is down amongst millennials may not stand the test of time.
It is still the go-to network for keeping in touch with friends and family, organising parties and creating community pages.
Twitter is an especially good way to connect with customers instantly.
Twitter allows users to connect with businesses via unique hashtags and "tagging" the business - If customers rave about your product or have a complaint about their experience, you can respond and let them know how much you value their business.
Like Facebook, Twitter also has had an ads platform, however this platform is not nearly as developed or advanced as Facebook's and the cost per engagement is (generally) higher.
Because of Twitter's large user base (300 million) both B2B and B2C businesses should aim to have an active and engaging Twitter account.
Instagram is a versatile visual media tool with a lot of marketing potential.
Advertising is now widely available on Instagram, and testing of sponsored posts has been hugely successful.
It's easy to create a free account to post photos of your products, any "inspiration" posts (like quotes, or images that inspire your business aesthetic) and connect with customers via hashtags and even sharing their posts to your page.
Instagram is best suited to B2C businesses and should be used once you've gained some experience and confidence in using Facebook.
LinkedIn is geared towards professionals and industry experts.
It is a good place to connect with others in your field and can be very effective for B2B marketing.
When B2B companies are considering a major purchase or a new business partnership, they want to find out all they can about the company they will be working with.
Blogging on LinkedIn provides your company a chance to establish credentials in your field and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
These blog posts can be promoted to your target marketing or existing companies through native advertising and is a great way to gain awareness about your brand.
Companies are spending a larger percentage of their marketing budget each year on digital outreach.
Social media is a smart way to reach a large audience than can run independently or in conjunction with traditional ad campaigns.
It offers a way to engage existing and prospective customers and create an open dialogue with them.