Social media for business
Social Media for Business
Let’s face it. It is 2019 and social media means business. If you still aren’t using social media for business then it is likely you are falling way behind with acquiring new business and cementing your brand as a reliable and trust-able brand to purchase from in 2019.
Social media in the business world is so much more than just a platform for you to show off your goods. It is a means of communications and a touch of personality between your brand and potential customers.
Social media statistics
– The world has an average of 4 Billion internet users
– 196 Billion active social media users
– 135 Billion people around the world use a mobile phone
– 95 Billion people use their phone to access social media
– 116 minutes is the average time spent on social media daily
– Internet users have on average 7 social media accounts
– 1 Billion active users on Instagram
– 271 Billion active users on Facebook
– 562 Million active users on LinkedIn
There are more statistics we could go over but I am sure you get the picture, social media is great and if you’re not using it you are definitely missing out. If you aren’t using it effectively though, you’re missing out even more.
Let us go over some top ways of which you can use social media for business, and not just pleasure.
1.Increasing brand awareness and reach
More than half of the world is using social media, so it does beg the questions why wouldn’t you want to be there? Everyone is a customer, right? Hell yes.
Maybe twenty years ago the thought of setting up a business in the UK and having a customer order from California would be daunting, to say the least. But, in today’s digital world your customers are quite literally everybody and everywhere.
Building your brand on social media is a sure-fire way to get yourself cemented in the digital world as a brand to be trusted and to be bought from. The right social media campaign can get you seen in front of thousands of people, daily, all around the world.
Brand recognition will grow with a strong social media strategy. When we talk about brand recognition I like to explain It like this. Check out the below logos and say the company name out loud;
I choose a few different logos representing different niches, yes, they are world famous but the point of this exercise was to show you how brand recognition works. The logo alone is enough to define the company without needing their brand names.
2. Adding a personal touch to your brand
Today people more than ever care about issues facing them and around them. I suppose it is hard not too with everything being constantly bombarded at you from all angles but is this a good thing or a bad thing?
Well if you are trying to build a brand or use social media for business then this is brilliant. You can leverage your brand and social media presence to connect with people and show them what you and your brand represent.
Not only this, but social media platforms are a great way to show off your amazing customer service skills. Consumers in today’s world love to take up their issues directly on your platforms especially twitter. So, this gives ample opportunity to show the ‘little people’ that you represent and have their best interest at heart. Twitter has vastly become known as the customer service department of the people.
3. Building a strong personal brand
Being connected to your brand on a personal level is a great way to show your followers and customers what you represent and how you represent.
A study conducted showed us that 63% of people trusted technical experts, compared to 42% who trusted businesses. More than 80% of buyers said thought leadership builds trust.
What does that mean to us? Well if you are someone really experienced in what you do, why not share your thoughts on LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a huge platform for professionals looking to network and learn daily.
What can be achieved from regularly writing content and expressing your thoughts on your industry is to become recognised as a ‘brand thought leader’. This will drive people to you and will, in turn, result in sales and leads.
Now you don’t have to be the business owner to do this, you could be a salesman or woman in an industry you care passionately about. Share your thoughts, or even start a blog (Yes, like this one) and you will be surprised how quickly it could raise your level.
4. Keep in your customers’ mind
There is a fine line between using social media for business and using social media to annoy everyone on your feed and constantly bombarding them with sales pitches.
The moment you cross this line is the moment people will see you as a company, not a brand. Posting regularly keeps you in your customers’ sights but not too much. You want regular content which is fresh and intriguing.
People who use social media check their accounts multiple times throughout the day so mixing your content up across different platforms is a great way to keep it fresh, maybe one day schedule a few tweets, another day can be a Facebook read with a link back to a once-weekly blog post. Instagram can be posted to daily.
5. Social media can cause explosive web traffic
This is something I tested myself lately with a Pinterest campaign. I used some marketing freelancers to spread a pin and link back to my website. The results? Over three thousand people visited my blog in six weeks all from Pinterest.
Up until this day, I am still receiving traffic from the posts. This works for Instagram and Facebook as well as Twitter and LinkedIn. Writing good blogs regularly can keep your Facebook and LinkedIn fans interested and often leads to click backs to your website.
The results of being spread across social media platforms are regular website clicks and as we all know this often results in more leads or sales.
If you already have a strong reach across your social media platforms this can literally mean you can generate sales leads for free, without the need to boost or pay to have your posts boosted.
If you are still in the process of building your social media platforms then regularly engaging within your comments and on other people’s pages can help draw clicks to your website IF the content you are offering is of quality.
6. Social media for sales
The social media landscape is a great place to sell, customers on a global landscape just waiting to connect with you and your brand. Social media for business is all about image. Essentially your social media accounts as they are a sales funnels to your website.
Social media users aren’t slowing in growth and it is likely we will continue to see growth in the number of people using social media for many years to come. So, make sure your social platforms have the same tone across them and are optimised for user-friendliness (this is also a big tick for Google).
7. Using influencers
The use of influencers isn’t anything new, but the face of influencers I am sure is set to change. What I like to refer to as the ‘first generation of influencers’ is coming to a close. Those who offered content and relatability to their followers will last.
Those who just managed to become an influencer by fluke or with offering little content or opportunity will now start to fade away, ready for the second generation of influencer. People love to feel involved and to gain something when they follow someone.
We are entering a time when people love to be inspired, love to be educated and this is the kind of influencer you want to connect with. Shout outs from influencers can be invaluable. It can draw thousands of eyes to your brand and partnering with someone who represents what your brand is about is a perfect way for the people to now see your brand as a trustable company.
8. Sending content viral
Going viral is like finding the Holy grail when it comes down to social media for business. Viral content or videos are the ultimate in social media growth hacking and it has the potential to take you from 1000 followers to over a million overnight.
Going viral can happen for a number of reasons, you could get a repost from a celebrity like @salif_crookboyz
I came across one of his Michael Jackson dancing videos one day and he was at around 3k followers a few days later I saw the Rock had reposted one of his videos. The result was his Instagram exploded in followers and he hit over a million within weeks.
I realise we aren’t all lucky enough to get a repost from the Rock, but another example I love to share is that of the ‘Dollar beard club’. They created a number of funny videos to promote their new beard brand in 2016. The videos were outrageous and hilarious.
They used Facebook to share their videos and now have millions of followers on their Facebook page and even more, customers paying monthly to maintain their majestic maines.
The point is there is plenty of opportunities to create outrageous and hilarious content which your customers will respond to on a personal level.
9. User-generated content
This is another great way to use social media for business, user-generated content. People love it when their favourite page reposts one of their images. In the real world, it is like being picked first for Football.
Starting your own #Hashtag trend or competition will prompt your customers to get involved for recognition and will often result in you having many, many more pictures to use in your social media campaigns for free.
The #wanderlust campaign by the National Geographic is a brilliant example of this and more than 60,000 posts are now under the hashtag and a lot of them look like they could have been taken by professional photographers!
10. Reputation and customer services
We have already touched on customer services, but we also need to remind ourselves about reputation. If somebody says something mean about your company online responding in harsh words is a sure-fire way to get yourself some negative press and probably lose some more customers.
Make sure when you deal with customers or potential buyers on your social media platforms you respect what they say, turn a negative into a positive and reassure them that your company is on the ball.
If you come across somebody praising your company then give their comment a like and thanks, always stay professional and don’t take things personally. As hard as it may be!
Research conducted from the Harvard business review showed us that brands who don’t respond or are not available on social media damage their trust and future prospects or converting consumers into brand loyalists.
11. Social media for spying
Yup, well not the espionage type. But your social media platforms give you a direct line to the world around you. You can monitor how people are interacting with your posts and comments, how people are responding to your stories or tweets and what the word on the street is about your brand or company.
Maybe at one time, you would need to employ a company to go out and do questionnaires but nowadays you can find your customers in your comments, or in the comments of your competitors and see what they are talking about.
Do they have an issue with a product? Will your product have the same issue? Are they complaining about customer service? Delivery costs? There are plenty of insights to be found on yours and your competitors’ social media.
Don’t forget most platforms offer business pages or profiles, this allows you to learn even more about your customers like what time they are most active, what days, their average age are they male or female?
All this information is a goldmine when it comes to planning your campaigns and engaging with your followers.
12. Know what is going on in your industry
AKA, Social listening. Your social media channels are a way for you to continuously monitor what is going on around you in your industry, this could be monitoring #hashtags about your brand, products, competitors or any keywords related to you.
This information is free and allows you to monitor and analyse what is going on every day or any changes to your industry which may be coming. This allows you to be at the forefront to implement any changes to respond to customer demand and needs.
This is a big factor in what it means to be at the forefront of your industry.
If you have made It this far you can rejoice in knowing it won’t go any further. Understanding how social media for business is different from social media for personal use can make all the difference in success.
Feel free to comment on how you use social media for business, or how you plan to use social media for business.
If you would like guidance to understand which platform is best for you, feel free to drop a comment below or use the contact us page.