The number of businesses using social media as part of their marketing strategy continues to increase with the growing dominance of the digital industry. According to a survey by professional networking site LinkedIn, 81% of small businesses are now using social media. With more than 65% of the internet users in EU using the web to make purchases, and 80% of potential buyers more inclined to purchase from a business with a social media presence, the question for businesses is no longer whether to use social media, but how to use it effectively to ensure a return on investment.
When used for business, social media offers a cost-effective and accessible way to market your products or services to a dedicated community of people you create.
Choosing Your Platform
The ease with which businesses can set up social media accounts makes it tempting to establish a presence on all the major sites. Although social media is about reach and visibility, it makes sense to know which platforms your ideal customers use and to focus your efforts there. Depending on your resources, or unless you use the services of a digital marketing agency, keeping content up to date and tailored for a variety of platforms could spread your efforts too thin.
Facebook users, for instance, respond to visual brands that can entertain with glossy images and interesting videos. Businesses in information services often find greater success on Twitter and LinkedIn, where users are not averse to blog posts and other types of written content. The endgame of your social media efforts is to generate more leads, and undertaking a social media analysis that identifies how your potential customers use social media will ensure that your content and paid advertising have a greater probability of reaching the right people.
Taking a Systematised Approach to Publishing Content
Many businesses publish content without establishing how it relates to their business aims and what their potential customers are looking for or are interested in. Content for content’s sake is a mistake, and taking the time to define a content strategy and a content calendar is important for continued community engagement and your return on investment.
Your content needs to educate, inspire and entertain. What do your potential customers need to know about your company and your product/service that will make a difference when deciding on a purchase? Social media can be used to give an audience of your ideal clients a flavour of your professional customer service and the depth of your expertise. Publishing content on a regular, reliable basis gives your business credibility and lets your audience know that they can trust and rely on you. No matter what business you are in, there is an angle you can take that will make it interesting enough to engage a community of loyal followers.