Using social media for business

It has been a little over a decade since its inception, but using social media for business has had a massive impact on how businesses market their services and products.

Social media platforms are now integrated into virtually every facet of our daily lives for most people, with users spending an average of two hours and 27 minutes a day on social media platforms.

Using social media for business must play a key role in your everyday tactics to engage more strongly with your current customers, attract new customers among your target audience and increase brand awareness.

By developing your own strategy, it will allow you to make the most of your social media presence by:

  • TALK DIRECTLY TO YOUR AUDIENCE.

    One of our favourite aspects of social media for business is audience engagement and the conversations that you can have with your followers. Talk to them, share useful information, and establish a relationship with your audience. They are the ones who will purchase from you so meaningful engagement on social media channels is vital. But remember to maintain a consistent voice.

  • BUILD BRAND TRUST.

    Trust is absolutely essential to encourage followers to buy from you and so should underpin your marketing strategy. Great content and engagement through your social media channels will help create those key trust signals and enable you to strength customer loyalty and attract new customers.

  • INCREASE BRAND AWARENESS.

    People need to know you exist before they can buy from you. Social media can help you get in front of potential audiences and develop your brand personality.

  • GENERATE SALES OF PRODUCTS AND SERVICES.

    Platforms such as Facebook, TikTok and Pinterest can invigorate your marketing strategy and facilitate sales with eye-catching images and informative, nicely presented content. You don’t need to be an award winning writer to hit the spot.

  • DEMONSTRATE THOUGHT LEADERSHIP.

    Show your social media followers through your social posts that you really do know your stuff by sharing interesting content which people will find useful as part of your marketing efforts. Talk about it, show them your knowledge and why you are an expert across your professional network and beyond with quality content.

  • MANAGE YOUR REPUTATION.

    Reputation will make or break a brand. A good online reputation promotes trust and boost sales but it needs to be built gradually over time through diligence reputation management. Digital accessibility means it is relatively straightforward for potential customers to discover more about a brand online but a Google search may reveal more too much about your business. That is why reputation management is so important.

  • REACH A TARGETED AUDIENCE.

    Meet with those who are interested in you and what you offer. Social media can be highly targeted so you can reach existing customers and those who are most likely to be your new audiences. You can build relationships with people who by sharing relevant content that will cater to their needs.

Our online habits changed during the Covid-19 pandemic with people spending more time online than ever before on the likes of Facebook and other social media platforms.

Life switched to a digital one and that trend has, as expected, continued post-pandemic with hybrid working now part of everyday company culture at most businesses and content on every company page of your website a key touch-point.

Meeting via Teams and Zoom is now very much the norm in commerce and the same applies to social media for business which is why the role of chief digital officer is so important to companies.

It is no longer an add-on to your B2B PR and marketing strategy. Developing your social media network should be a central part of your plan as you build brand awareness.

Choosing the right social media platforms 

According to the 2022 DataReportal report, Facebook is the world’s most popular social media platform, with more than 2.912 billion monthly active users.

It is followed by Instagram and TikTok, which boast two billion and one billion monthly active users, respectively, and so is a great place to promote content.

But before you begin posting on social media platforms, carry out market research and decide what the ultimate goal of your social media strategy is. Each social media platform is used slightly differently and people have different intentions when they visit.

There are multiple platforms at your disposal to boost online marketing activity and here is a quick overview of the major social networks used:

This is the best social media platform for B2B business, building your network, generating leads, finding new employees, creating connections with potential partners and building relationships with your peers.

Social media users head to this platform to catch up on news and content from their connections, and they’ll also source news and information from the groups they follow. It’s the biggest social media platform in the world. While it doesn’t seem a likely place for B2B content, it’s good to have a presence here as your audience will be active on this platform.

This social media site is generally used as a place to source and communicate directly with brands.  It is also worth considering paid ads. This platform is often used as a customer service channel by your audience – for B2B and B2C companies. Have a presence here and monitor for feedback from your fellow Twitter users as your audience will expect quick responses to their queries.

A social platform which is great for companies that want to inspire and engage with their audiences directly. Instagram stories also provide the option to sell services and products, which can work well for B2C brands in particular but also small businesses.

This video-streaming platform isn’t just there for entertainment, it’s also a place for your businesses to show off their services and products by regularly uploading video content. If it’s watchable it will generate views and sales but it must educate and provide solutions to perceived problems.

  • TikTok

There is no stopping the phenomenon that is TikTok which has become the fastest growing network according to the 2022 Reuters Digital News Report which has found it is now reaching 40% of 18–24-year-olds.

By its own definition, Pinterest is a ‘visual discovery engine’ and has introduced several innovative merchant features to help retailers prosper through this platform, offering so-called ‘Pinners’ an ‘expansive shopping experience’.

 

You’re almost spoiled for choice when it comes to popular social media platforms but carry out your due diligence before deciding which of the social channels works best for you as part of your overall content strategy.

Do monitor industry trends because you will need to make sure your social media marketing strategy keeps up to pace with the fascinating and fast-changing social media landscape so you don’t miss a trick when it comes to all forms of business social media.

Creating targeted campaigns

Start by deciding what the ultimate goal is for your business. It might be, for example, to raise brand awareness or increase leads.

Your ultimate goal will impact how you use and the content you create per platform. Using social media for business can ensure success with careful planning ahead of posting.

Decide which social media platform(s) will be your focus, and start by reviewing your Google Analytics to understand which platforms are driving traffic to your website.

Then check the social media platforms’ analytics to understand engagement, including what content is getting more likes and views? Which posts are being shared?

Most importantly, according to your analytics tools, which ones are driving the most traffic – and most potential customers – to your site?

For increasing views and engagements, you will need to create content that resonates with your audience. The same applies to ad campaigns if they form part of social media strategy.

Social media campaigns should reflect your values, and brand, and ideally, show off your services/products. Consider:

  • their pain points
  • their needs and wants
  • what they expect to see and hear from you.

Don’t forget to add relevant hashtags as hashtags will help your content be found.

Using social media advertising for business

A targeted social media advertising campaign will place your content directly in front of your target audience.

Your social posts are a great means of securing leads and getting traffic heading to your company website. Most social media platforms can get very granular with audience details, perfect for businesses.

Using social media ads for business means you can also get granular when it comes to analysing the results which will provide very valuable insights.

They will need something of value to capture their interest and be useful to them. Use social media to direct them to useful resources such as white papers, graphics and videos.

Offer them a snippet of the insight they can get from the content in your social media posts.

Personal touch

We may live in digital-first media world but it is vital that companies maintain a human connection with social media users to establish the most effective forms of communication for varying types of demographics to increase audience engagement and boost loyalty, strengthen trust and increase spending.

Your next steps

Carry out an audit of your social platforms to measure success. Make sure they are delivering optimum results for your business and use proven social media management software to establish the appropriate evidence.

Keep up to date with social media industry news not only to gauge how other businesses are harnessing social media whether you want social platforms to act as a marketing channel or to boost brand identity.

Competitor analysis is important but – even to small businesses – and so too is overall awareness of your social media networks because the landscape seems to be forever changing so you need to keep on your toes as the next big thing could be appearing on the social media horizon.

That said it is vitally important to make the most of social media for business and take steps to transform your social media presence and turn your social channels into a social media powerhouse that works hard for you so social media traffic generated by your content pays dividends.

Contact us at [email protected] and see where your PR and marketing could take you as assess your marketing strategy, build relationships and sharpen those vital social media management tools.