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How to use social media for your business

How to use social media for your business

Year on year social media platforms are increasing in active users every month, whether that be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Social media channels each have their strengths and positives that could help your business, therefore a tailored approach is needed with each social channel. It isn’t as simple as one size fits all. It is likely some social media platforms may suit your business more over another.

In this blog post we provide social media tips to help you build your social media marketing strategy and make the most of each social media platform for your business goals.

Gemma Headshot Author

Gemma Finch

Social Media & Paid Ad Specialist at 1PCS Creative. Love engaging and impactful social content, family time with my little girl and helping companies grow and build their presence online. 

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Perhaps you haven’t yet created social media business profiles or currently only post now and again when you get a free moment onto your social media. Therefore firstly let’s look at why it is important as a business to be using social media.

Think of social media as another arm of your marketing, in fact multiple arms if you are using multiple platforms. It is an extension of your brand identity. Social media marketing can have a huge impact on building a relationship with your current customers and a higher sales conversion for new customers.

To put this into context, a recent study found when a person follows a business on social media they are 57.7% more likely to buy from the brand. Impressive statistic right!

Plus 1 in 5 people look at a business to see their social media presence before making their first purchase. Hopefully this can begin to show the importance of how social media can help your business.

Social media can be impactful and beneficial to small businesses and large businesses, and in any industry or sector. It is worth noting though, there are many goals and focuses you can have with your social media marketing, so before creating a business account on all the social channels.

Firstly your goals for social media and look at which social platforms would work best for your business. Social media can be used to build brand awareness, create a brand identity and build customer loyalty, drive audience engagement, increase website visitors and be used for lead generation and to increase sales for your business. There are other focuses too, but the ones mentioned above are some of the main goals businesses set to achieve.

Goals shouldn’t be set purely on vanity metrics such as number of likes and followers. For example you could be a small business which is a local business. Therefore having a lower amount of followers from the local community who are engaging and excited about your content, will driver higher success for your business then simply having thousands of followers who may not be relevant or interested in buying from you in the future.

With that in mind we don’t recommend buying followers! This is a short term tactic with limited long term success. Building followers organically or with ad spend will have better results for your social media campaigns.

Take the time to decide your business goals for social media (with a cuppa!)

Like you would with any other advertising, we would recommend understanding with your team your target audience for your business, for example relevant age groups and interests. This will help to choose the best social media tools and social media networks to put your efforts behind.

By deciding on your goals will enable you to decide your social media marketing strategy. For example if you want to increase sales and focus on lead generation. Delivering both organic and paid ads reaching your target audience will be beneficial to achieve this goal.

Or if you are looking to create a brand identity, then create content that showcases how your business can add value to your audience and focus on being authentic on social media to increase trust and create a personality online.

If you have previously set goals for your social media, it is worth completing a social media audit to analysis how your own strategy currently is performing and if you feel your goals need re-aligning or if you need to make adjustments to your content strategy.

Every business is different and that is why it is important above to understand your goals for your social media marketing. This in turn will support deciding which social channels will be of the highest benefit for your business.

A good starting point is to look at your competitors (the ones you might be jealous of!) to see which social platforms they are present on, along with looking at their type of content and seeing if they are getting a good level of engagement.

For example if your top 5 competitors are posting frequently on Facebook then this is a platform you should also use. As clearly your audience are present on this social platform.

This research aside, to help decide the right social network(s) for your business, let’s have a look at each channel to understand their differences.

Facebook

It is probably of no surprise to read Facebook is the largest social media platform. Facebook was founded in 2004 and has over 2.9 billion monthly active users! With newer social media channels launching since then such as Twitter and Instagram, it has been questioned if Facebook is still relevant. It very much is!

Facebook is a fantastic channel to build relationships and brand loyalty. Most businesses take advantage of being able to interact directly with Facebook users who could be potential customers.

Facebook is an excellent tool for posting organic content with the ability to share photos, videos, create groups and even live stream videos. Facebook can also support your business goals to boost engagement and reach potential customers who may not already be interacting with your business, through delivering social ads.

Paid adverts can be targeted to your chosen demographic, interests and location so you can reach new audiences with quality content. With such a targeted audience, social ads are a great additional to your social media strategy, whether that be to increase brand awareness, lead generation or increase sales.

Instagram

This has been a popular channel with a younger audience, however with its impactful visual approach to the channel, it has grown in popularity across all age ranges. Founded in 2010 with 500 million active users and also now affiliated with Facebook, this is an impactful social platform to include in your social strategy.

Instagram works particularly well for brands with a visual focus such as homeware, clothing, cafes etc. which can be featured with video content and beautiful product imagery.

Instagram is structured into permanent posts but also Instagram stories which only appear for 24 hours. This is also a feature Facebook has rolled out too.

Instagram allows for including links to products or your website, along with the ability to encourage interaction with your audience through polls and open ended questions. Allowing businesses to build relationships and create a personal brand showing their fun side, story and personality.

LinkedIn

Whilst typical social media users think of Facebook as the ‘original’ social media channel. LinkedIn was actually founded earlier back in 2002. This platform has 250 million monthly active users.

This social media channel makes the most sense for companies with a business to business focus, as this is the most used social channel to share content for B2B companies.

This is a professional network therefore it is important that any social posts have a consistent voice with relevant content that will support building trust and authenticity with your audience. Examples would include providing relevant tips and insights into your business or industry.

Reputation management is an important element for social marketing, being professional and helpful in your content calendar and direct messages will give your audience a positive experience and likely increase engagement with your business.

Twitter

With 5,787 tweets sent on average a second with their 320 million monthly active users, it is easy to notice that Twitter has a fast pace! It was founded in 2006 with the character limit increased from 140 to 280 back in 2017, giving businesses more copy to share their brand message.

Twitter similarly to Instagram benefits from lighter content, rather than professional style content that is better suited to LinkedIn.

Due to the high level of tweets it can be hard for your voice to be heard, in order to cut through the clutter to give the best odds for engagement with existing customers and new audiences, this marketing channel works best for those happy to post more frequently than the other social media platforms.

Social Platforms

Share engaging content for your audience which is relevant to your business & social platform

Social tools are constantly changing and therefore there is a learning curve to discover which of your content is driving the best results for your business. This is where reporting comes into play.

There are various social media management tools or social media management software which can support with reporting to stay up to date with the performance of your social media channels.

There are different metrics which can be tracked. The main ones businesses typically want to know in order to optimise their social content includes: impressions, followers and engagement which includes likes, comments, mentions and shares.

Looking at how individual posts perform can help you to analysis if it was a good time to post and if the content was impactful or helpful to your social media users. Reporting can lead to changes and improvements to your social media calendar and social media advertising plan going forward.

We hope this blog post has been helpful to show how to use social media for your business. However you will have noticed each social media channel needs a different approach for the customer journey. Social media is an extension of your marketing campaign.

It is important to be posting frequently and constantly engaging with your audience and responding to incoming messages, like you would if the office phone rang. If you are finding you don’t have the time or unsure how to create quality content on a regular basis for your social content calendar, this is where our team can help.

We would be more than happy to discuss how outsourcing your social media marketing could benefit your business and free up your time to spend on other areas of your business instead. Feel free to get in touch with one of the team who would be happy to discuss your social media with you.

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Gemma Headshot Author

Article By

Gemma Finch

Social Media & Paid Ad Specialist at 1PCS Creative. Love engaging and impactful social content, family time with my little girl and helping companies grow and build their presence online.

Need some help? Pop me an email [email protected]

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