When it comes to social media for business, the options can be overwhelming. What do you focus on? Where do you start? How do you use it? Social media has the biggest impact when it’s used intentionally and different platforms can help you connect with your audience in different ways. In this post, I’ll help you understand three different ways social media can and should be used for business and show you what you can do to get started.
1. Brand Awareness
Let me begin by saying that everything your business does (online and off) contributes to your brand’s identity. Sometimes your brand can be influenced by things outside of your immediate control like a bad review. By using social media to purposefully distribute curated content you can help control and build the brand you want for your company.
While most social media platforms can be used to do this well, visual platforms such as Pinterest, Snapchat, and Instagram are particularly useful when your priority is creating brand awareness.
What To Do: Use these platforms to share company photos, positive service stories, and customer testimonials. Used correctly, social media can highlight your place in the community, the culture of your workplace, and support your company’s mission and values.
Regarding Social Media, SEO and Search Engines: Whether or not social media is a direct ranking factor has been debated over the years. What we do know is that at the time of this writing is that social profiles can rank in search engines, social platforms can be considered search engines in themselves, and they can help you build an audience (which in turn helps increases the effectiveness of known SEO factors, such as click-through-rate (CTA).
Regardless of whether or not your business is solely online, a brick and mortar location, or a combination of the two, your customers are online and on social media. Being online to engage with your customers is important. You can start conversations, share knowledge and information, answer questions, and find out what your audience is looking for and talking about. If audience engagement is your priority, consider platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which are especially social.
What To Do: Encourage your audience to follow your profile and join in on conversations. Ask them questions, tell them stories, give them useful information, and be there to answer their questions.
Social media engagement also includes responding to reviews. Whether positive or negative, responding to reviews is important and the engagement you have with customers, in either case, can make a difference in how prospective and current customers perceive you.
Speaking of sharing knowledge and information, social media is often used to establish and increase your industry authority. Use platforms like LinkedIn and Google+ to share long-form articles and blog posts from your website. Audiences on these platforms are often looking for answers to specific questions and to engage in discussions about industry-specific topics.
What To Do: Share valuable content! Staying up-to-date on news in your industry is important and you can use the knowledge you acquire to help others. Create and share content that answers questions or share your unique take on something going on in the industry. Ultimately you want to show your audience that you are knowledgeable about your industry and can help them when they have questions or need your services.
Consumer behavior has certainly changed how businesses interact with their customers. Online users want answers to their questions immediately. When customers need support, some companies are making sure they’re right there when questions come up, creating support accounts on social media for easy access and engagement. At this time, Twitter is the most popular platform for quick and immediate customer support. Other options are emerging, such as integrating Facebook’s messaging app with company websites through a plugin option.
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