Magazine ads are optional. Television ads are optional. Radio ads are optional. What’s not optional? Social media!
Social media platforms are free tools all businesses can and should be on. Compared to the paid advertisement options mentioned at the beginning of this post, social media is an accessible, cost-effective way to spread the news about your company to millions of people worldwide.
In this blog post, you’ll learn about the importance of social media, how to start actively utilizing it as a business resource, and why it’s no longer optional – but required for businesses.
The Importance of Social Media
There are a variety of benefits associated with social media participation as a local business. Here are five reasons why social media is a critical aspect of your digital marketing plan.
If people don’t know about your brand, they won’t become customers. “Out of sight, out of mind” is the cliché but that’s exactly why brand awareness is so important.
Social media is a modern (and free) way to inform the world about your business, your products, or your services, and it’s a fantastic platform where prospective customers could learn about your company.
You want the accounts you use to act as a showcase for both new and existing clients, users, and current clientele.
People portray their brand on social media by adding posts, videos, photos, and other multimedia that reflect the company’s values, goals, and offerings (and occasionally a meme or two.)
The personality of your workplace attracts audiences. Some clients, customers, and users want to align with the vision, culture, and overall image of your business. Social media is a great place to showcase those aspects of the company.
Portraying a trustworthy company can win over prospective clients, as well as entice your current users to remain loyal to your business.
Customers also want to know about what happens behind the scenes. People like knowing where ideas, products, and services originated. Not only does your story illustrate the journey you took to get your business in the position it is in now, but it urges audiences to join the journey as the business progresses.
Social media is extremely accessible because we are surrounded by technology that allows us to interact with others.
Our cellphones, tablets, watches, and laptops give us the opportunity to connect with people wherever we are. People can even access social media from airplanes 5 miles in the sky!
Wherever your user chooses to contact you, social media is a channel in which they can reach out with questions, comments, and concerns. Plus, people can do this 24/7 - 365 because social media is always accessible.
We live in a world that’s fast-paced, and business owners – or social media managers/digital marketers – have the opportunity to assist customers quickly and efficiently with this popular technology.
Helping customers with their needs, even over a digital platform, can reflect a positive connotation of your business for the person being granted assistance, too.
Grow the Business
The more you interact on social media, engage users, and create enticing content for them to share, the more your business will grow.
One of the main reasons to join social media platforms as a business is to turn user impressions into valuable actions, for example, purchasing a product or service, signing up for a company newsletter, etc.
Search Engine Visibility
Part of your digital marketing strategy should include social media participation because your business’ social media profiles have the potential to rank in search listings.
Ultimately, social media is a no-brainer if you want to improve your SEO strategy.
How to Get Started on Social Media
We understand – social media can be daunting. We’re here to help you get started and aid your business in gaining visibility for increased revenue.
Determine a Goal
You need a reason for joining social media; we talked about a few in the previous section. Choose a goal that backs up your decision for creating a business account on social media.
Here are some goals and ideas on how to reach those goals for each of the previous sections.
- I want to gain at least 50 followers per month for the first six months of our social media involvement on Instagram.
- I want to join local Facebook groups to share our business’ page on.
- I want to share why our business is unique with the audience on Instagram.
- I want to give a behind-the-scenes look to our followers on Facebook.
- I want to turn on the Very Responsive badge on Facebook.
- I want to respond to every comment on our LinkedIn posts.
Grow the Business
- I want to increase my sales number without spending on paid advertising.
- I want to hear someone tell us they learned about us from social media.
Search Engine Visibility
- I want to rank higher than our competitors on search engines.
- I want our links to get more traffic by posting blog posts on LinkedIn.
Deciding on Platforms
The platforms you participate in using are unique to your business. Most elderly people don’t use Snapchat. So, it’s not the best idea to spend time trying to reach that target market using that specific platform.
Conversely, you should research which platforms your audience(s) are members of.
To get the most out of what the platforms offer, you should also find out what features are offered for each platform regarding analytics, post scheduling, etc. Each business differs in needs, so check out which one could benefit your business the best.
Fill Out Your Profile
When you sign up on a platform, the site prompts you to input your business’ information. The site could ask for contact information for followers to reach you aside from social media, to choose a username, and more.
It’s important to ensure the information you enter here is accurate so people trying to reach you are given correct information.
You can write a bio that describes your business, or you could write a catchy or inspiring message that is reflective of your brand’s personality. Whichever you choose to do, remember that everything on your profile is representative of the company, so keep your choice of content classy.
What’s the point of social media if you don’t post regularly? Uploading content daily will keep your audience engaged, as well as keep your brand at the top of their mind.
Be creative with what you post. Look around your workspace and community for ideas, too.
Here are some content ideas for the first week of your social media presence:
- Introduction status update stating your business’ vision, mission, values, and/or history.
- Video of a current project.
- Photo of a new product arrival.
- Introduction blog post announcing people and their roles within the company.
All businesses need to use social media content calendars when participating on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Scheduling planned and strategized content is necessary for consistent participation. Unengaging and mindless content is considered taboo in the digital marketing industry – if you’re posting simply to post but your content is not being well received by your user base, they will be quick to unfollow your page and/or cease all future business. Make sure your content is engaging, thought provoking, and relevant to your target audience.
Content upload schedules with the designated date, time, and platform will help you consistently post interesting content that will aid you in your business’ social media goals.
Hootsuite is an awesome tool to use for businesses with numerous social media accounts across platforms. It aids users in scheduling and posting content seamlessly, as well as offering analytics for posts, but we’ll talk about that aspect in just a moment!
Responding to Users
Some people choose to ask questions and share information privately by sending direct messages to a company. Other times, information requests and opinions are shared publicly.
Whichever route your users are choosing to take, it’s important to engage with them actively by quickly responding to questions and comments. These could concern anything from the quality of your products or services to the latest experience your user had when interacting with your business’ representatives in person or online.
Remember to always use a positive tone when replying to users on social media.
Offer assistance by directing them to message you with their information (phone number, email, etc.), so you can reach out to them privately. If the comment is negative, you can also acknowledge their comment by mentioning your intentions to improve and learn from the situation along with inquiring their information to looking further into the situation.
There are a variety of analytics tools that business owners and associates choose to track the performance of social media posts with.
One tool that was mentioned earlier was Hootsuite.
Hootsuite is a digital content scheduling platform that helps you determine when to schedule your social media posts for business. It also helps you visualize the content before it is posted, which is a plus for people who want to see the layout of the post before it is shared. The social media management tool supports all of the social media accounts you might have for your business from Facebook to Twitter.
At Code Authority, we highly recommend this program to track engagement and schedule posts because it is very user friendly.
Are you convinced that social media isn’t optional for modern businesses?
To recap what you just read, you need social media for five reasons:
- To raise brand awareness
- To show authenticity
- To support customers
- To grow the business
- And to improve search rankings
Social media platforms are free, accessible tools that can benefit your business monetarily and socially. If you’re not using social media as a business, you are falling behind your competition.
Stay ahead of the game with Code Authority’s comprehensive digital marketing services including content creation, scheduling, analytics and more.
To schedule your digital transformation consultation, contact us today.