According to Hootsuite, there are more than 3 billion people in the world using social networks. What do you think these people do on social media?
And no, they aren’t just sharing updates from their own lives.
They are connecting with brands, searching for certain products/service.
What do you do when you first hear about a certain brand or product? Okay, You probably refer to Google for more information.
If you’re like 3 million other people in the world, you probably check out the product reviews, brand mentions etc on channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram etc.
If statistics are anything to go by, 80% of people on Instagram follow at least one brand. 60% of Instagram users discover products on the platform.
According to Constant Contact, Facebook alone has around 2.32 billion monthly active users in the world!
If this isn’t the jumping point for you to start using social media for your business, I don’t know what is!
Social Media is a goldmine of prospects!
If you still fail to leverage the advantage of social media for your business, let me tell you this – You are missing out on a fast, effective yet inexpensive way to reach almost half of world’s population!
Let’s dig in……
Social Media for Brand Building:
Here’s how social media can help you build your brand.
Increase Brand Awareness – With nearly half of the world’s population active on social media, it is an entire goldmine of prospects. Your posts have the potential to reach thousands of people. Higher the number of people seeing your brand, higher will be the engagement i.e number of likes, shares, comments etc.
People will only connect with your brand if they find your product interesting, if they like what you have to offer. As the number of followers increase, so will the popularity of your brand.
Establish yourself as an authority in your niche – No matter what industry you’re in; social media gives you a platform to propagate yourself as an authority or a thought leader in your niche.
That doesn’t mean you need to literally tell people you are an expert. Instead what you should do is post valuable information about the industry/products you are concerned with. Give people the information they would normally look for. Become a go-to source of information for them. People trust experts. It will add credibility to your brand.
strong>Offer a Human Connection – People like to connect with a brand, they can identify with in their real-life. Showcase your brand values, tell them how you are looking to solve problems of customers through your brand? How real is your product? How does it work? Introduce your prospects to people who already love and use your brand. What do they have to say? Social media offers you a platform to share such information.
Social Media for Growth:
Social media can help you grow your audience manifold.
Grow Website Traffic – Social media posts are a great way to drive traffic to your website. Sharing great interesting content that people would value on social channels is a great way to showcase it to the world. This will help you gain visibility, attention, showcase your expertise and ultimately drive traffic and increase sales!
Lead Generation – Social media is an effective way to collect leads. Share interesting content that people like and want to know more about. Share content with a link that takes them to the main page where they can get full information along with a small form asking them to subscribe. If they really like what they read, chances are they wouldn’t mind subscribing.
Brand Advocacy – Everyone these days is on social media. Social media can be a great driver of referral sales and referral traffic. Word of mouth works wonders and what better platform for it than social media. Also social media is a great place to connect with influencers. Connect with well known figures like bloggers etc and tell them about your brand/product. They generally have a massive following and if they advocate for your brand, it will very likely give your business a boost.
Social Media for Content Distribution and Promotion
Create interesting content and get them in front of thousands of users on the internet.
Get Content Ideas – Social media is an interactive forum where you can participate in real conversations, get feedback, get comments etc. This communication can often give you a sneak- peak into trending topics, consumers opinion etc. You can then use this information to create content that will be well-liked by the audience. If you give the audience what they are looking for, they will be more likely to follow you. Groups and forums are a great way to get an idea about what people are talking about, queries they have etc. Creating content around these will be a surefire way to drive people to your website.
Content Promotion – The number of people who get to see your posts on your social media walls is infinite. Once you post something on your wall, its visible to you and people who follow you or are friends with you. Once they like, share or comment on the same, it will then be visible to their friends too! The longer their friends/follower list, the greater will be your visibility. Therefore social media is one of the most effective ways to get your content out in front of hundreds and thousands of eyes at once.
Advertising on Social Media:
Showcase your brand/product to people who resemble your prospective customer in terms of characteristics etc but who don’t necessarily know your brand.
Targeted Audience – Social media ads are an amazing way to target relevant people from the audience. This makes social media ads much more effective that other online ads. You can target people as per their interest, income group, professions etc. This gives you an opportunity to customize your ad content as per your audience so your audience will be likely to interact with your ad.
Customized Ads as per Business Objective – Social media lets you create ads as per your business objectives. Facebook has set template for ads for different business objectives. Whether you are running ads to drive traffic, generate leads or for sales, you have a set format to create ads. All you need to do is customize it with your own content. This makes these ads super easy to set up, low-cost and highly effective.
Social Media for Communication:
While social media is common for communication, it has changed the way we communicate considerably.
Encourages two-way communication – Social media is one of the best channels to have active communication with your audience. You can solicit feedback, answer their queries, resolve their issues by way of comments, messaging etc. People interact with your brand, talk about you etc and appropriate response from your side will only serve to enhance their trust in your brand.
Reputation Management – People discover brands, talk about products, and give feedback etc on social media. Some of them would be positive remarks while there would be negative ones too. They key here is to be gracious in face of praise and patient with criticism. Listen to the negative remarks, apologize if you are wrong and promise to take suitable action immediately. If you think negative remark is not justified, empathize with the person and share your side of the story. Prompt and appropriate response can go a long way in strengthening (and correcting!) your brand image.
Social Media for Trends and Marketing Insights:
Data from social media can help you gain useful insights about your business.
Monitor Engagements – Social media statistics are great to monitor customer engagements, post engagements etc. It tells you what kind of posts your audience best interact with and like so you can plan your content strategy for the future accordingly.
Learn about your prospects – Social media data can reveal a lot about your customers. Information like what time of the day they are most active, what kind of content they like, their comments etc can reveal a lot about their personality. You can then use this information to create business strategies and take smarter business decisions. Analytics data from various platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn also provide demographic information about the audience. You can then use this information to communicate with your audience better.
What People Talk about your Brand – Media mentions, comments, reviews, feedback can go a long way to tell you what people think about your brand. Lot of comments, mentions etc is a good thing. It certainly shows people are getting to know your brand but if majority of it is in a negative context, it is a red flag and is a clear indication that you need to do something about it to clear your reputation.
Know about Your Competitors – In business, it is very important to keep a close watch on competition, what they are up to, what people are saying about their products, their activities on social media etc. Check out what people are saying about their products, read their comments etc. This information can give you valuable insights to develop a solid strategy to outperform competition. Of course there are tools available that can help you out with these tasks.
The Bottom Line…
Social Media is everywhere. Whether you are in office, commuting to work, at home or on a vacation, you can access social media platforms from your smart phones.
Easy-to-use apps go a step further by simplifying things thereby making things accessible to you on your fingertips with a just a single touch. They don’t just connect with friends or share updates from their own lives, they search for products, seek feedback etc.
This makes it a natural place for businesses to reach out to and target new potential customers. So if you don’t want to get left behind in the race for growth, active and effective social media management is not a choice anymore! Rather it’s mandatory to say the least.