It’s rare to meet someone today who is not on social media in some way. Many people think of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as channels to communicate with friends and family. But social media has expanded to provide networking opportunities for all types of businesses.
Below are tips on how to use social media for business and how social media marketing can help support your business goals and raise awareness about your brand and products or services.
1. Start with Social, but Plan Bigger
Whether you have a website or not, there are several benefits when you use social media for business to help establish an online presence including:
- Simplicity and speed: easy-to-use interfaces mean your presence can be up and running in minutes.
- Cost-effectiveness: a social media page can be developed for little or no cost.
- Built-in base of members: social networks are a place to reach and engage existing and potential customers.
If your business already has a website, you can use your social media channels as marketing tools to amplify your company brand, message and content in order to drive visitors back to your main website.
But if a website isn’t in your strategy or budget (despite the fact that you can actually create a great website today for free), your business can still benefit from registering a unique, descriptive domain name. Two primary ways to use a domain (or multiple domains) in support of a social media presence are:
1. As a branded Web address that points to your social presence.
2. As a branded email address to reinforce your social presence while giving your business added credibility.
2. Use Content to Attract Customers
The best way to get your customers’ attention and drive user interaction is to deliver frequent, high-quality and compelling content on your website and social presence, or with a blog post that targets your audience. Here are a few tips:
- Have a plan: know what you want your content to do for your business. Are you looking for leads or brand awareness? Your plan will help you see the path ahead, and more importantly, allow you to measure success or failure.
- Define your audience: know who they are, what they know, and — more importantly — what they don’t. This can help you form your content.
- Play to your passions: your content is bound to be more compelling and attractive if you have a deep and clear interest in the subject matter.
3. Try Paid Advertising to Get in Front of New Customers
Paid advertising relies upon a variety of targeting mechanisms including keywords to put your ads into the paid advertising or “promoted ad” section on social networks where your customers and prospects spend time. Display ads may also appear on the sides of the users’ pages and as they are integrated seamlessly into the user’s experience, they don’t generally feel like typical obtrusive ads. Paid advertising can be an effective strategy and many social platforms have budget-friendly options.
- Placing ads on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, can work with any budget, and ad campaigns can easily be set up with just a credit card. You can also target your audience using age, gender, location and interests, among other demographics.
- Consider including images in your ad. Ads with images are more attention getting, leading to more clicks, shares, likes, and re-tweets.
- YouTube offers a variety of advertising options, in some cases charging fees only if users actually watch your videos.