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You would have to live under a rock to not believe that Facebook can grow your audience for your marketing messages and increase awareness of your business. It has been proven time and again. In fact, many businesses do not even have websites anymore but rely solely on their Facebook page for their online presence. If you are among those who are still unsure of the financial benefits that Facebook and other social media networks can bring, then let us provide you with a deeper understanding of the power of social media for business.
How To Build Your Business Using Social Media
Before we go too far, I want to say that you cannot apply a “one size fits all” approach in social media for business. Depending on the type of business you have, your social media platform will vary. So first, it’s important to decide which platform is best for you. Here are some tips on the most common social media platforms.
Is Facebook The Best Social Media Platform For You?
You may think that Facebook is the most important or the only social media platform that can help grow your business. While there are many other platforms that may work better for your business, Facebook is often a good place to start. Seriously, everyone and their dog is on Facebook. Literally, read about Tuna the dog on our sister site CanineJournal.com — he has nearly one million followers!
So, if your business consists of posting articles, hosting events, ads or other forms of online content then Facebook is a great choice for you. If you have the money in your budget, consider spending some to promote your page on Facebook. But limit your spend and be sure to test to make sure you are seeing a return on your investment (ROI). While doing this, you want to make sure you are starting up conversations, sharing things and being “social” in general. Ask your followers questions and respond to questions they ask of you.
Don’t go overboard though. You don’t want to post too much in one day and annoy your followers. Be sure that you are adding value to their day, not annoyance. I suggest posting 2-3 posts a day. If you’re wondering when you’ll get the most interaction, outside of typical work hours (9-5) is the best time to post. Read more articles that we have written about Facebook including how to create a custom URL.
Business Success On Instagram
Instagram is great for businesses revolving around lifestyle, fashion, food and personalities. It’s purely visual content that you share, so it’s quick and easy. You can also share videos as long as they are 15 seconds or less. For this platform, I’d say posting no more than 4 times a day is best. Be sure to take advantages of hashtags (e.g. #socialmediatips) so that when others are searching for specific types of content they find your post.
At time of publish, there is no way to link to your site from Instagram outside of one link in your account profile, so keep in mind that you are limited with what you can do to drive traffic to your site. This platform is more about building awareness and a visual story of your brand. You can, however, tag other businesses, people or brands in your images and mention them in your posts, which is a good way to interact with others.
Some companies successfully use this platform by encouraging their fans to share photos of themselves using the company’s products. This is done by using a Hashtag. It’s a great way to make your customers brand advocates for you and spread the word by word of mouth. So, if you are hosting an event or have a new product line, try creating a unique hashtag to encourage others to share their memories and excitement as well. You can also use hashtags to do a contest like this university apparel store did. Since Instagram is such a visual platform, it can be incredibly powerful with how it drives business for your brand.
We recently interviewed some top users on this social media platform and shared their learning’s in our Instagram Tips article.
Pin Your Way To Success On Pinterest
Pinterest is often used for fashion, design, DIY, travel, food and other creative activities. The majority of “pinners” are female. This platform is perfect for creative content that is displayed visually. Unlike the other social media platforms, Pinterest use can be unlimited (as long as it’s good content). You can pin multiple times a day and if another user likes it, they can then re-pin to their own Pinterest board. Pinterest is all about sharing. Keywords are important to title your post accordingly so that people can find you when they are searching!
Like Instagram, keep in mind that this is a very visual platform, so the bigger and more beautiful the images the better. But unlike Instagram, Pinterest can be a huge traffic source for your business. We Rock Your Web has been using this platform and we have seen Pinterest become one of our top social referral sites. You can either create a business board by starting from scratch, or; if you are an individual who is successfully using Pinterest and already have a large following, consider making boards for business. This would be highly recommended for people who offer services like hair styling or photography.
Many brands also use a Pinterest “Pin it” hover feature on their website – especially if they have a lot of visuals worth sharing. It’s a quick and easy way to encourage visitors to share. You, the reader, can simply hover over the image and a “P” or “Pin it” icon appears. Then, with one click, it allows you to pin to your board without leaving the website you are browsing. Pinterest also offers a plug-in that you can install on your web browser to easily pin things from the site you are visiting.
Read more about using Pinterest to drive traffic for your business.
Using Twitter To Grow Your Business
The great thing about Twitter is that anyone can use it. It’s perfect for keeping up with breaking news stories and seeing what is trending – globally and locally. Whether your business is big or small, Twitter is a great platform to initiate, join and lead conversations. You can interact directly with anyone, whether it’s a potential customer or another brand. Be sure to use a hashtag when you can. Hashtags make it so others with similar interests can find you. Plus, there is no limit to the number of times per day you can post since it is a of the moment, real time communication tool… so tweet away! (Follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with the latest tech news).
FourSquare, Google Plus, YouTube and Other Social Media Channels
There are so many social media tools out there, it’s hard to keep up with them all. New sites like SnapChat and Whisper are entering the market every day. It will be interesting to see which ones will be effective for business and will stick around for the long run to make them worth investing in. FourSquare and Google Plus have been particularly successful in the local search arena with helping businesses with brick and mortar stores to be found and offer specials to drive retail sales.
Video: Social Media Tips for Business
Why Your Business Should Use Social Media
There are so many positives to using social media for business. And, it’s free to use! The only investment you have to get started is time. With a little effort on your part, your business can grow with the help of these marketing platforms. Here are some pro tips to using social media for your business.
If your business is active on social media you will not only be posting things but you will also see what others are posting and commenting. Some of those comments may contain information about what a customer wants or is looking for. This is a great way to see where the development of your product is heading and what the audience needs. You can also see how you’re stacking up against the competition and where you can improve. It’s also a place you should actively monitor to stay on top of consumer complaints. Being proactive vs. shying away from these requests can only lead to a more honest and authentic relationship with all of your customers.
Boost Your Reputation
If a customer comes to you with a complaint on social media it could turn bad. However, it you respond openly and resolve the issue it could have a good outcome. Others can then read the posts between you and the customer and see how well you handled the problem.
Improve Your Customer Service
Many customers turn to social media when they have questions about a product or service. By not answering these questions you are making yourself look disengaged and careless, which is very unprofessional. It’s important to remember that you are in the public eye and you are there to offer help when your customers need it. Be sure to monitor all your accounts regularly and answer all of the questions you receive. No matter what it’s about. Even if someone tweets you saying thank you, it’s important to always give a response. This will demonstrate to your customers that there’s an actual human behind that computer who cares and not just automated posts being sent out.
A customer doesn’t have to buy anything from you or even visit your site. There are plenty of other businesses today that can probably help them just as well as you can. It’s important that you are visible and active on other platforms as well. If a customer sees that you are active on social media, it helps them to trust you, to understand that you are responsible and to have confidence that you stand behind your product or service. It also shows that you care about your customers and want to help them if anything goes wrong. Social media is an easy way for your company to be accessible to customers by meeting them where they are.
Promote Your Content… For Free
Social media is a free platform you can use to spread your content to others. If one person finds it useful they may like, re-share or comment on it which results in others seeing your content as well. This is kind of like an online version of word of mouth.
Drive Traffic To Your Website
An uptick in website customers is what most people want when they are putting their business on social media. More traffic to your site equals more potential customers equals more potential purchases. When others are liking, commenting and sharing your content it shows that your business is popular. In return, Google sees your site as being more authoritative which helps your site rank higher in SEO (which means even more traffic!).