How do you maximize social media for business? Social media has become a major part of most people's lives, so where do you start when trying to get people's attention?
Nearly half of the global population (45%) actively use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. That is equivalent to a staggering 3.5 billion people using these platforms each day. One key driver for the popularity of social media is its accessibility on mobile devices.
Social media is becoming greatly integrated into everyone's lives. Many start their day checking their phones for notifications and direct messages. People get news updates and gossip in their social circle, and they connect with family, friends, potential clients, and businesses.
Recent figures suggest that a social media user spends an average of 3 hours per day on social networking and messaging apps. Filipinos, the world's heaviest social media users, spend an average of 4 hours and 5 minutes on these platforms every single day.
So it's safe to say that social media is important, although you probably already knew that. Now that we've highlighted the prominence of social media, let's dive into what it means for your business, and how you can harness the power of social media to increase your reach and earn more leads.
The many wonders of social media for businesses
It's no wonder businesses--from global brands to neighborhood coffee shops--are maintaining an active presence on social media. The positive effects of social media on businesses include:
- Boosting brand awareness
- Connecting with customers on a more personal level
- Increasing website traffic
- Generating new leads
- Selling more products and services
- Better management of your brand's reputation
- Improving customer support
Take note that creating a Facebook or an Instagram account and posting updates once in a while is not enough. There are countless businesses on social media vying for the coveted attention of social-media users. You need a solid strategy to stand out from the crowd.
Below is a guide for you as a business owner and marketer on how to use social media effectively:
- Learn more about your customers with social listening
- Choose the right social media platform for your business
- Devise a content marketing strategy
- Implement social media optimization techniques
1. Begin with social listening
What is social listening? This is the act of listening to what people say about your brand. It is understanding what the public truly feels about your brand by:
- Monitoring consumer engagement
- Gathering insights about your brand from relevant content
- Notifying you on possible collaborations, campaigns, and products.
Social listening is a foundation of social media marketing. It is the map that will guide you as you explore social media for your business.
Social listening involves a meticulous process of data-gathering that can help you fine-tune your brand to be more responsive to your customers. Collate data from audience interactions, customer reviews or complaints, and other feedback about your brand or business from online communities. Then, use the data to guide you in developing a social media strategy.
2. Choose the right social media platform for your business
Social media management requires time, resources, and commitment. You have to publish relevant and consistent content as well as respond to comments and messages in a timely fashion. It is not feasible to maintain a presence on every social media platform. Instead, meet your audience where they already are. Here are a few ways to find the best social media platforms for your business:
- A business-to-business (B2B) company should have a LinkedIn account and a YouTube page for webinars and long-form marketing videos. Business-to-consumer (B2C) companies should maintain Facebook Business and Instagram pages for visibility and to engage with customers.
- Match your choice of social media network with your core target audience. Is your audience composed of older or younger people? Are they mostly males or females? What social media networks do they frequently use?
- Know the platforms your top competitors use. Examine each of their pages or accounts and the type of content they publish. How many people are engaging with them and in what manner? You may choose the network that yields the best results.
3. Devise a content marketing strategy
Content marketing is key to effectively branding yourself through social media. Content marketing involves the creation and distribution of quality content to a well-defined audience. This is not simply writing posts or sharing articles from news outlets. Content marketing should drive profitable consumer behavior and improve brand reputation.
“To continue winning the Internet marketing game, your content has to be more than just brilliant — it has to give the people consuming that content the ability to become a better version of themselves.” — Michelle StinsonRoss, Managing Director of Marketing Operations, Apogee Results
Always keep in mind the pain points of your target audience and that every piece of content you create and publish should offer a solution. Start with an insightful content ideation process wherein you build a basket of topics relevant and useful to your audience.
4. Implement social media optimization techniques
Social media optimization (SMO) is the use of Facebook, YouTube, and other social networks to manage and grow your brand online presence. It often directs users from social media platforms to a website where more information about a company's products and services are available. It is one of the social media management tools you should master.
Here are some SMO tactics that produce results:
- Content promotion is as important as content creation. Begin with an initial push such as using the platforms ads manager, then let your followers take the content forward.
- Create shareable content. Write headlines that appeal to emotions. One way of doing this is by using second-person pronouns “you” or “yours.” You should also consider producing more list posts which are the most shared type of post. List posts are skimmable, and they offer mystery and give quick answers.
- Add appealing visuals to your post. According to neuroscientists, the brain can process whole images the eye sees in about 13 milliseconds. Vision finds concepts. This is why photos are more likely to resonate with people than text alone. To make your content more attractive and shareable, include quality and relevant images. You can also use infographics, which makes use of both text and images.
Social media is changing the way people interact, get information, and do business. It is becoming more integrated into human lives as the world moves forward. It is imperative to maximize these platforms for your brand and business. Boost brand awareness, generate new leads, and interact with your customers on platforms they use and trust.
Stand out from your competitors. Make the most out of these social media tips for your business.