We could say the very name is now a misnomer. Social media is no longer merely a platform for greeting and exchanging information with loved ones and acquaintances. The applications of this versatile tool have blossomed and branched out into many diverse fields of human activity. It is no longer a mere medium of social interaction as the name implies. One of these new applications is in business, in business marketing to be more precise. We highlight below some of the best social media tips for your business. This article is focusing on the formal business sector; how businesses, be they small, medium, or large can build and grow their social media presence.
Emphasis is being made not only on any one particular sector but on social media presence in businesses across the whole business spectrum- retail, services, manufacturing, and marketing. Two significant things should be borne in mind when we talk about social media.
- It is a relatively recent innovation developed only in the last two or three decades. This makes it very different from say, the motor industry which has been around for much longer
- It is high-tech based and therefore undergoes a rapid change in terms of new applications and devices. No business today can be said to have absolutely nothing to do with social media as a communication tool. Even the street side vendor has a mobile phone with a WhatsApp platform or some other form of a social media application.
Starting the Building Process
You want to reach out to your customers and clients. There is a multitude of platforms on the market which you could use. The most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, WeChat, and so on. Each is unique in its way with certain features and applications none of the others have.
Understand your Clients First
- However, before even setting your goals, or selecting which particular platform to utilize, the first thing is to work on your mind. It is simple really. What is meant here is, use your mind to understand your customer's and clients' minds. A solid, fruitful social media presence is not built merely on the fact that your business has the latest and most expensive high-tech equipment. Rather, it is about you making a deliberate effort to build and grow. The first step becomes how your mind understands the minds of your customers and clients. Understand them as human beings.
- Try and understand how their minds work. Their weaknesses, their vice, and their prejudices. What your customers crave for and what makes a lasting impression in their minds. You are in business to boost sales and revenue, and most importantly to grow. The only way to boost sales is by convincing the customer that your product is better than the competitors'.
Deciding on the Best Social Media Platform
Having decided on what your target market craves for, the next question becomes which social media platform you are going to use to sell the idea or product. For example, your business makes and sells ladies' shoes. Do you make an audio sales pitch on Facebook or Twitter, appealing to their reason (comfort, durability), or do you think the ladies would more likely be swayed by visual impact; beautiful pictures of models wearing your shoes. Would a combination of both work best? Only if you have the answers to those questions would you be able to make a sensible decision on the platform to use.
Whatever Social Media Platform you Choose – Consistency is Key
Whether you choose Instagram or Twitter to advertise and market your product or service, you need to be consistent. The strengths and good points about your product being brought out on one platform should be the same ones being brought out on the other, expressed differently of course.
Consistency Breeds Recognition
Linked and related to brand consistency is brand recognition. The ads you post on Facebook should be done professionally and be of uniform quality. This way, they become imprinted in customers’ minds who will therefore recognize them anywhere. That is step one towards creating brand loyalty.
Look before you leap
Use only social media platforms and methods that are relevant to your needs. To do this requires a careful appraisal of the methods and techniques you intend to use before you implement them. Are the hardware and techniques appropriate to your business? Social media is a business tool, and any money spent on it is a capital investment that must produce returns. It should never be acquired as a status symbol.
Who is your Target Audience?
Know your target audience. Know your customer's preferences and tastes so that you have a better idea of which social media platform to market your services and products. Customers are human beings who share information on social media. Analyze the videos they share; this gives you a clue about their preferences. Also consider direct inquiries about potential customers' preferences through the use of emails, surveys, and online questionnaires. Alternatively, you could make it a game or set quizzes and completions on your social media page.
In addition to increasing awareness about your brand through them, such competitions can provide useful information. For example, asking competition participants to fill in details about their age, sex, marital status, and income, and then reconciling them to their responses. That way, you will get a good insight into how to design adverts for particular target groups.
Set Realistic Goals
Whatever social platform you are going to use, always set goals. The goals should be realistic; do not set them too high or too low. Goals should be specific and where possible, measurable, and quantifiable. For example, you start a new ad on Facebook for a certain brand. Having a goal means you anticipate, say a 5% increase in sales attributable to that ad. If its higher or less, you know whether the whole thing was worthwhile or not, and decide whether to continue with the ad or to stop it and try something else.
Lastly, network with others. Always try to learn from others, their previous successes, and failures. Share experiences. Social media is here to stay. Move with it, adapt to changes, embrace innovations and you will never go wrong.