Why social media is essential for business
Social media is an essential part of any business today. At its most basic level, social media permits the use of free marketing platforms. However, the breadth of opportunity far exceeds just basic marketing opportunities. It opens a space for your consumers to connect and interact personally with your brand. Social media is deeply embedded in the everyday lives of millions of individuals today. Because of this, it facilitates marketing and interaction in an environment that feels ‘natural’ and authentic to consumers, who are then more likely to form a positive association with your brand. It goes without saying that it also boosts brand awareness, provides free data on customer demographics, and supplies vital information such as consumer opinion of products.
Smart Insights reported that at the start of 2020, over 4.5 billion people have access to the internet. More importantly, 3.8 billion of these people actively use social media. Furthermore, the first place that millennials and generation Z go for brand information is social media. Not using social media for any brand or business would be a big mistake.
Step 1: Identify your audience
Decide exactly which demographic you are aiming to reach, connect, and interact with. This encompasses age and gender at the most basic level, but depending on your product could be as specific as height or hair type.
Step 2: Research and understand your audience
After identifying your audience, conduct some in-depth research into what kind of content this demographic will respond best to, and how to catch their interest.
Step 3: Identify goals and objectives, KPIs
Identify specifically what you want to get out of your social media platform and how you are going to gage progress. Common and measurable KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) range from the number of likes per post, the number of followers your page has, to the number of interactions per post.
Step 4: Establish a long term content plan and strategy
Create a content plan which extends at least two months into the future. Include how often you are going to post, as well as which times and which days you are going to post. N.B, Early evening on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays are peak times for social media use on many platforms.
Benefit your audience by hosting product giveaways or contests. For example, ‘tag 3 friends in this post for a chance to win’. In addition to warming consumer opinion towards your company, this will grow your platform and increase follower engagement. Higher engagement levels work with social media algorithms to increase your visibility, so more people will see your page.
Include visuals, always
Always include attractive and eye-catching imagery in your posts. Platforms such as Pexels are excellent for this.
Engage and respond
Always engage with your audience. This facilitates longer-lasting relationships and the feeling that your brand is interested in its consumers. Tools such as polls are also great for this.
Create hashtags for your brand or for specific products and encourage users to use them. Also, encourage tagging photos of your product.
Explore paid ads
Paid social media ads are an excellent way to promote your product. They are also often very affordable and offer high returns on investment.
Never ever buy fans
You end up with a large number of fake accounts, bots, and individuals who are not interested in your product. You are far better off having a lower number of fans who are more engaged and actually interested in your product.
Stay active, post and interact consistently
Use trending hashtags. Post about recent news events. Show you are a brand with good people behind it and a brand with a conscience.
Hire a Social Media Manager
Change cover and profile pics often and carefully choose the right platforms for the right things.
Social media is a fantastic opportunity for any business. Although social media may initially seem daunting to those not accustomed to using it, it is incredibly user friendly and comes with a very clear set of instructions.
As with anything business-related, research, informed strategy, and planning is key. Create a content plan for at least 2 months in advance and stick to it (but do tweak it and review it).
Interact with your audience constantly. This builds a personal rapport and incites loyalty and longevity with your consumers.
Hiring a social media assistant or manager is a tried and tested way of growing your accounts.