Using social media for business is not a new concept. However, there are still many companies who do not fully understand its value.
To some, they can’t see past the selfies and life updates to find real value. That’s where they’re missing a trick!
Using Social Media For Business
Every single minute there are meaningful conversations happening on social media, and to exclude yourselves from these conversations would be a massive missed opportunity for the business. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks are not only appealing to your customers, but your presence there makes you easier to find and communicate with.
Getting started with a brand new social media account seems like the hardest part of the entire process.
Nobody wants to send their tweets to four followers. It feels as though no one will see your message, and you’re not likely going to get any engagement. Some also find speaking to an empty auditorium embarrassing…
It’s time to get past that!
Every social media account in history has started off with zero followers, no subscribers, and no likes. Building a following can be tedious and time-consuming, but starting the process now is undoubtedly worthwhile. It’s like the ancient Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Except, in our case, it’s a little less profound.
The best time to start a social media account was five years ago. The second best time is now.
Whilst you are growing your following, there’s one vitally important point to keep in mind: Don’t buy followers. It might help your vanity by being able to point to a follower count of 10,000, but if none of them interact with you, or buy your product, then what’s the point? It’s a waste of money. We’re also constantly seeing crackdowns on fake & bought accounts. Honestly, it will not help you grow your user base, and a likely scenario is that all your bought followers will eventually be purged, causing you to have to start all over again. (Not to mention the embarrassment and loss of credibility at being found out).
Use relevant media (photos and videos)
According to Kissmetrics, content with images gets 94% more views than those without. While that’s true, we need to clarify exactly what that means. It’s not enough to just attach a photo to a tweet, sit back and watch it flourish. The image needs to be relevant to what your message is about.
If you see a Tweet with the text “Here’s how you can take advantage of social media” with a photo of a bushel of apples, chances are, you’re not going to click on that link.
However, finding a photo that perfectly matches your message is easier said than done. With Pixabay, Kaboompics, and other high-quality image sites, it’s likely that you can find something that’s related to your topic. Of course, there are paid alternatives that will open up a treasure trove of images, but if you’re stuck under a tight budget or none at all, it feels as though you’re left without an easy solution.
Fortunately, there are other alternatives!
If you find yourself having trouble nailing down that perfect image, why not try creating it? While that might sound like a tall task, with Canva, a site that provides you with easy and intuitive tools to design your own images, it’s simple. They have numerous pre-designed layout options, and thousands of photos, grids, frames, shapes, illustrations, icons, and charts for you to incorporate into your design. Long story short, don’t settle for a photo that’s somewhat related to your topic. Create one that connects to your brand and message.
An active social media account = increased customer loyalty
Having a social media account accomplishes a range of things, but out of all the benefits, there are two that stand out.
The first is that it informs people that your business is an active member of their social space. Without a way to connect with consumers and potential partners online, people may dismiss your company altogether.
When it comes to dealing with a business, I look for their channels on social media. If they don’t have a social presence, I don’t consider them serious in business. – Maria Johnsen
The second reason is that having an active account creates loyalty between your company and your (potential) customers. According to a study done by Texas Tech University, “companies who effectively use Twitter and engage in conversations with their followers were most likely to gain brand loyalty from those individuals.”
Simply engaging with your customers will have a dramatic payoff. Just five-to-ten years ago, it was fairly difficult for companies to speak with individual customers. While you could always call the support line, wait times could range anywhere from one minute to over an hour. Those waits, which haven’t gotten better, are hardly a way to grow customer loyalty and satisfaction. But now, with 280 characters and the click of a button, a consumer can reach a company in seconds, and have their specific issue addressed.
Be a HUMAN
Let’s do a quick experiment. Check out Microsoft’s official Twitter account and compare it to Starbucks’. Both offer products and services that have become integral pieces of everyday life, yet their timelines have vastly different looks.
For the most part, Microsoft’s is full of their own tweets, and retweets of articles that either mention a revolutionary product they’ve created or those that mention their CEO, Satya Nadella.
On the other hand, Starbucks’ Twitter feed is filled with retweets of satisfied customers, as well as their own content. They interact and engage with their user base, which allows their customers to connect with Starbucks in a way that you can’t with Microsoft.
Social Media users want to feel like “there are actual people behind the accounts they are interacting with.” Unfortunately not every company understands this and simply refuse to interact with the customers who populate their mentions.
You CAN convert!
The idea that you can turn tweeting, Facebook posts, and LinkedIn shares into tangible sales might seem like a fairytale, but it’s not far-fetched at all.
Social selling is a way for you to engage and connect with customers on an individual level, in ways that weren’t available ten years ago. If this concept is new to you, Tenfold have put together a five-step process on how to “jumpstart your team’s social selling.”
- Optimize your social media profiles
- Research your target audience
- Listen to what people say about your brand and industry
- Initiate conversations and make connections
- Be a source of excellent content
Social selling is not going to disappear anytime soon, and it would be in your best interests to start learning how to use it to your advantage – like right now. Just like building a following on social media can’t happen overnight though, and neither will the results from social selling efforts. It will take time and effort, but once you’ve broken through, the results will be worth it.
If you’re unsure of which tools to use to help you manage your social media, check out this blog on My Top 5 Social Media Management Tools.
If you’re a lone-wolf social media manager looking for tips and tricks on how to deliver great results – join my FREE Facebook group: bit.ly/socialwolfpack