A Guide to Social Media for Business Owners

Many business owners are hesitant to use social media as a regular marketing tool. We are here to tell you that there is nothing to be scared of. Social media is simple to use, and a great tool for any business – big or small.

According to Slideshare.Net social media marketing has a 100%  higher lead to close rate than outbound marketing. The use of a tool as simple as social media can boost a business faster than any form of outbound marketing.

“At this point in the game, not having an active social media presence is kind of like pulling out a flip phone at a business meeting and then not understanding why your boss keeps giving Brad all the new accounts (contentfac.com).”

There are many different aspects of social media marketing. We are going to dive into few important aspects to be mindful of when first launching your business’ social media presence.

Why should I use social media marketing?

First off, social media allows you to create a relationship with your customers. You can get information on the daily lives of your customers with just the click of a button, and they can get information on your business with the same click. You can also keep a relationship with other businesses. These online relationships are easy to obtain, and even easier to maintain. All it takes is a “retweet” or a “like.”

Because people utilize social media as a network, not a marketing tool, they don’t view the content you are creating as an advertisement. Instead consumers view your content as communication between your business and themselves.

The relationship with your consumer does not stop there. A presence on social media creates a brand loyalty like no other. Think about it – a consumer is obviously going to spend more time with a brand that communicates through the same network as they do, as opposed to a brand that seems more distant.

Another key aspect to consider is your competition. According to AdWeek 91% of retail brands use two or more social media channels. It is much easier to build a strong social media presence now, and allow the competition to play catch up (instead of the other way around).

The objective is simple: use the most clever, attention grabbing tactics and be the best. Too bad everyone is reaching toward the same objective. How will you stand out compared to your competitors? Social media allows you to put the spotlight on your business or product, even when it should be somewhere else. When social media is buzzing with information, it is your time to shine. You can jump in at real time and join in on the conversation. This is something that can not be achieved through traditional advertising.

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An interaction between two businesses who obviously have “clever and attention grabbing” under their belt.

So, what will it do for your sales? Through following keywords on Twitter (which is doable through HootSuite) you can provide consumers with your product or service in real time. You can inform a potential customer of your product before they even close their Twitter App. How marvelous is that?

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Websites and software such as HootSuite can make analytics easy for any business owner to navigate.

Did we mention that social media is free to use? If you are comfortable with creating quality content for viewers to view then you are all set. Certainly if you aren’t comfortable with creating this content, you will hire either a PR agency or a social media manager to create all of your content, but the return will be undeniably worth it.

So how do I do it?

Creating social media accounts and pages are the easy part. Each platform is user friendly and fairly easy to navigate. The typical forms of social media used by businesses are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Some businesses utilize Tumblr, Youtube, and other alternative forms.

Managing social media accounts can be quite the hassle. It is recommended to assign one specific person to creating and sharing the content for your social media pages, or (as we mentioned before) to hire an agency or social media director to do the dirty work for you.

If you will be doing the posting yourself, here are a few tips that will give you a guideline on what to put out there for the world to see.

  • Quality content – By posting quality content, you are giving followers and potential customers the mental image you want them to receive when they think of your brand. For instance, you can tell a lot about a company by looking at their Instagram. Many Instagram accounts follow a certain theme while throughout their profile. A theme as in all pictures following a color theme, such as using a certain filter so that all of your posts tie together, which results in your page having a uniform look.

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Above is an example of great social media content. Browsbykells posts numerous times a day, and has almost 10,000 followers. She gives followers and potential clients a clear understanding of the work she does. She has all of the information you need in her bio if you were wanting to schedule an appointment.

  • Gaining attention – If you are a new business just starting up, it is vital to acquire as much attention to your business pages as possible. A great way of doing so is by having some some type of contest or giveaway on your page. In a giveaway, businesses require people to follow their page, tag a friend, or repost their content as a way of entering to win something that the business offers. In return, businesses get a ton of new online traffic towards their page.

According to forbes.com, an effective way of gaining more attention is by partnering up with like-minded businesses. Partnering with a business that compliments your own businesses is a great way to work together to help promote the two businesses. For example, a bar could tweet at Red Bull or some type of alcohol brand to get their attention, which would lead to exposure of your brand online.

  • Mistakes to avoid – So you’ve gotten your brand on social media. While that is a great start, you need to keep up with your posting to keep your pages relevant. If a potential customer is to look at your Facebook page or Instagram and see that you haven’t posted in 6 months, they’re probably not going to follow you, considering that you are not giving your page frequent updates to keep people interested in your business.

Another mistake to avoid is not having a good website, or no website at all. Many times I will be researching a business to find information on it, and I won’t even be able to find a website at all, which is your first mistake. Another mistake is to have a website that doesn’t portray your brand the way you want it to. There are many companies online that offer website themes for you to purchase to enhance the appearance of your website to make it visually appealing to viewers.

If you have any questions regarding your business’ presence on social media, feel free to contact us via our contact page. We hope we covered the basics of creating a successful social media network that will help your business grow and thrive!

Here are a few instructional videos that have helped many business owners and entrepreneurs with boosting and maintaining their social media presence:

Video 1: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing

Video 2: How to Stand Out on Social Media as an Entrepreneur

Video 3: How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business

 

 

 

 

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