How to Use Social Media for Your Business

Social media can help grow your business and expand your audience. Here’s how to use social media to your company’s advantage.

There’s no underestimating the power of social media. Outlets like Facebook and Instagram offer great opportunities for businesses of all sizes to not only reach existing customers but also reach new prospects and partners. On social media, businesses have the ability to directly interact with their customers. Both parties can ask each other questions, repost each other’s content and foster meaningful and trusted relationships.

Your customers are already interacting with different businesses through social media, and if you’re not yet taking advantage of all social media can do for your business, it’s definitely time to start. Effective business marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your company, creating devoted brand advocates and even driving leads and sales.

Start with a Plan

Before you create a Facebook page or Instagram account and begin sharing content with your audience, first consider your business’ goals. Starting a social media marketing campaign without any strategy will likely frustrate you and not deliver the ROI you’re hoping for. Here are some questions to consider as you define your social media marketing goals:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • How is your target audience using social media? What platforms are they engaging with?
  • What are you hoping to achieve through social media marketing?
  • What message do you want to send to your audience via social media?
  • What is your business type and/or brand?

Don’t forget to research the competition, as well. How are your competitors or businesses similar to yours using social media? While you don’t want to copy them, learning from what businesses like your own have already created is a great way to reduce your social media strategy learning curve.

Create a Profile

There is no shortage of social media sites and the number of outlets continues to increase on a daily basis. But sharing your content on the right platforms is crucial to your success. When determining which channels to use, consider the question we posed above regarding where your target audience hangs out. For example, a women’s clothing store targeting 20-30-year-old females might find their target audience favors Instagram. A landscaping business that caters to families might find out that potential clients scroll through Facebook on a daily basis. Find out what works for you.

It’s important to create accounts on the platforms your target audience uses.

Use a Calendar

Create a social media content calendar to stay on track and think your social posts through. Scrambling to create posts at the last minute can lead to low-quality content. A lack of organization can lead to general messiness or even a lull in your social media presence. Content calendars can help avoid those mistakes and lead to more effective posts. Content calendars also help you create goals and strategies for meeting them and track your progress toward them.

There are various outlets that can be used to map out your social content calendar. Later, for example, is one application that businesses can use to visually plan, schedule and analyze posts for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. Or, if you’d rather make your own content calendar, use a regular calendar for each social media channel and plan out your posts in advance, complete with hashtags, links images and other content.

Build a Community of Meaningful Followers

Instead of trying to get as many followers as possible to up your numbers, focus on finding customers who are interested, loyal and engaged with your business. Quality over quantity definitely rings true here. A dedicated and engaged audience is more likely to repost your content, like your posts and become customers.

Be interactive and engage with your audience. After all, social media is meant to be social. Post content that your audience will want to engage with, ask questions and like, repost and comment on other users’ posts that are relevant to your business or industry. Visual content (photo and video) works especially well on social media. Video content is ideal for grabbing people’s attention as well as conveying your personality and passion to your customers. Content accompanied with photos or a video also stands out as people scroll through their social feeds, so they’re more likely to view and engage with it.

Provide Value

Probably the most important thing you can do on social media is to provide value to your audience and customers. Create posts that will be useful to your following. This might mean posting something that teaches them something new, makes them laugh, entertains them or anything else that’s beneficial in one way or another.

This aspect of social media is what will attract the right customers to your business and encourage strong and lasting relationships.

Once you begin your business’ social media journey, you might start seeing the return of your work. Among other things, social media marketing for businesses can help:

  • Increase website traffic
  • Expand your audience
  • Build conversions
  • Raise brand awareness
  • Create a brand identity
  • Improve communication and interaction with key audiences

The bigger and more engaged your social media audience becomes, the quicker you will be able to achieve your marketing goals.