Running a small business requires a good deal of marketing to get your products and services out to potential customers. Whether you’re looking to sell specific products, gain followers, increase your subscriber base or develop your database, social media has the power to help you with your business objectives.
But getting into the minds of readers requires them to get to know more about your business in the first place. While social media is a powerful tool to get your brand out to users, you need to ensure you follow the right strategies to make sure you’re reaching the audience you want for your business.
Building Brand Authority Through Social Media Using The Right Networks
One of the best ways to engage with users on social media is to build the authority of your brand by using the right networks available. People use social media multiple times a day, which is why it is one of the best ways to develop brand engagement. But with hundreds of networks available, what is the best one for your particular business? Consider the following factors:
- Conduct a review of existing online platforms: Take a look at all of the platforms available and check which ones make the most sense for your particular type of business. For example, if you sell products, then visual social platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook may be worthwhile.
- Review the platform that increases traffic to your website: Your website analytics will help you determine which social platform is increasing website traffic the most to your pages. If you notice that particular platforms have greater traction, commit more time to improving your social media efforts on them.
- Review your existing social media profiles: If you have already undertaken some form of social media engagement, review what you have currently so that you can determine which networks have the best engagement rates for your business. Profiles performing poorly can then be cut out from your business strategy.
- Pay attention to existing followers and engagement: Look at the way you’re engaging with your audience. The best platforms are always the ones with higher engagement rates, even if your follower base is low. If you’re finding low engagement on all platforms, perhaps it’s time to re-look at your overall social media strategy.
- Talk to your customers: Sometimes the best way to determine the right social media platform is to simply listen to what your customers have to say. For example, if you’re in the B2B domain, your targets may prefer to read content from Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. But if you’re more B2C focussed, then platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest may be more valuable.
- Pay attention to conversion rates: Look at which platforms are converting click-throughs into genuine leads for your business. If you find that users aren’t spending too much time on your website after clicking through, you may have to improve your overall strategy for social media marketing.
Popular Social Media Platforms For Businesses
With the myriad of social media platforms available for business networking, it can be hard to choose the right one for you. Take a look at some of the most popular social media platforms for businesses here:
- Facebook: Facebook is perhaps the most popular social media platform for building brand awareness – both in the B2B and B2C domains. The sheer number of worldwide users is enough to explain why this platform is a must for all social media strategies.
- Twitter: Twitter allows brands to engage with their customers in real-time, which can be effective for business success. Almost like a text messaging platform, Twitter works in the moment, so content is always fresh. If you have major updates and breaking news for your followers, then Twitter is the ideal platform to reach out to people.
- Instagram: Instagram is a fabulous platform for brands that rely on images for selling their business. For example, retail stores, gadget sellers, fashion brands and other product-related businesses will find Instagram especially valuable for promoting their products visually.
- LinkedIn: For businesses that rely heavily on B2B marketing and thought leadership initiatives, LinkedIn is the perfect platform. It not only connects brands to other business leaders, but also promotes them as industry thought leaders through opinion pieces on relevant topics.
- Google+: Google+ hasn’t gained the kind of following it wanted, but it is still a good platform to get to specific types of users. For example, engineers and technical experts tend to use Google+ quite extensively, which makes it a good platform for certain kinds of businesses.
- Pinterest: Pinterest is a great social network if you’re in the business of promoting products and ideas. Predominantly women driven, brands selling clothing, jewellery and food items will find this a particularly valuable social media platform.
- Snapchat: If your business targets young millennials, then Snapchat is perhaps one of the best platforms for you. Companies releasing sneak peaks into new collections and interviewing well-known figures can use Snapchat to reach out to their audience and gain a good following.
- YouTube: YouTube is a visually impactful tool that can help you better connect with your users. Not only does it allow you to engage with users, but it also helps enhance your SEO efforts in Google.
Every business is a different one, some people might use only Facebook and some Instagram as the main social media network. Depents on your niche you might find your own ideas on what to post on your newtork. Wyatt Kane has some good ideas:
Every social media platform has a purpose based on the type of business you run. Consider what makes the most sense to you and create your social media campaign accordingly.
Delivering Content That Is Both Shareable and Valuable To Users
Businesses able to deliver content that is both shareable and valuable will be able to gain more effectively in social media traction. There’s absolutely no point in delivering content that only you think is worthwhile because you will not be able to garner the kind of user engagement you need for a successful social media strategy. Consider the following factors to create share-worthy content:
- Identify the type of content related to your business that users tend to share most.
- Engage with your users by seeking their opinions so you create content they want to read, and not what you want to deliver.
- Consider incorporating images and videos into your content because the visual medium is far more impactful than just words – even in the B2B domain.
- Assess your competition to see what’s working best for them, and replicate tried and tested models – or do it better.
- Use available online tools to determine content pieces that are performing well in your particular industry.
- Use statistics and testimonials to resonate your message with your audience more effectively.
- Leverage the power of influencers by tagging them or citing their content on your social media pages.
The ultimate objective of all these actions is to get users to share your content, which they will only do if they find it valuable. While it can take time to build a strong social media strategy, it’s important to get your fundamentals right, so that you produce quality content that gets noticed on multiple levels.
Is Organic Reach Dying?
Brands should keep in mind that organic reach is no longer as easy as it once was. In fact, most brands see little to no traction when relying solely on organic reach to promote their social channels.
Whether you like it or not, a paid campaign run through social media advertising platforms is one of the best ways to build your brand online. So what can you do to promote your brand on social?
- Consider contests as an effective way to engage with your audience.
- Run opinion polls and give your audience the chance to air their views.
- Offer valuable incentives to encourage user participation.
- Make sure you have strong visual branding to create recall.
- Speak in a way your audience understands best.
- Post as regularly as possible to ensure your users don’t lose interest.
These strategies will help you create a social media campaign that helps you gain visibility and leads for your business.
Social Media Engagement – The Key To Success?
While it’s important to create content that is share-worthy, businesses should keep in mind that engagement is just as important if they want to stay relevant in the long haul.
Every small brand is relatively unknown at the start, so getting your name out there is a key part of building a brand. Social media engagement is a key strategy to get people to interact with your business. So how can you engage with your users online?
- Create two-way communication with users by responding to questions, replying to Tweets and commenting on posts.
- Deliver content that drives engagement from your users – and respond to this engagement for an enhanced user experience.
While social media is a powerful way to build your customer pool, it’s easy to lose people when you don’t use it effectively. A good social media strategy can help you eliminate the chinks, helping you create campaigns that work best for your users.
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world.