As a business owner, your brand is most likely on social media in some shape or form. But have you ever stopped to consider why you post? What the outcome is? And how you can benefit, not just personally, but for the integrity and longevity of your brand?
Maybe you sit on the fence between feeling like you have to be on all channels and not really knowing the benefits of social media for your business.
Besides being an inexpensive marketing tool, social media can help you directly target those who need to hear your message most -- your customers.
“Social media is an amplifier,” says Stevie Dillon from Stevie Says Social. Meaning, you can use both Facebook and Instagram to extend your brand’s message. Think of social media as the microphone and you and/or your business as the voice speaking into the mic.
No matter what industry your business operates in, social media is where your potential customers or clients are hanging out. So it’s important for them, before purchasing or visiting, to know what you’re about and if it aligns with their values.
Reputation & Crisis Communication
Just as your business is on social media as a brand, you’re also there to communicate should anything arise that needs to be addressed by company management.
Social media works well for not only crisis management, but for customer service. You should have an active plan in place for ‘listening’ in to what your customers & the competition are saying about your business & industry.
As social media offers the space to be a well-known brand, it’s also a space to be known as a leader in your industry.
It’s always said, but social media truly is about being ‘social’ and interacting with your customers on a personal level. Being helpful and engaging on your social media says a lot more about your brand and reputation than constantly selling.
In a report by Business 2 Community, social media reduced the cost of lead generation by a huge 45%. A good content marketing strategy sets up leads that could convert in years to come. It’s all about sustainable business and the long game on social media.
Whether you know it or not, social media content creates sales for businesses. If you’re leveraging the platform for lead generation opportunities, there’s no doubt you’re making sales as a result.
Your sales and marketing teams should be taking advantage of the social selling from Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. These platforms give users a level-up for directly targeting the customer and establishing new relationships which otherwise may not have existed.
With any sales tactic, there’s a wrong and a right way to do it well. No one, not even your target audience, comes on social media to be sold to. Hootsuite claims the way to do it right is to, provide “valuable insight to the right prospects at the right time.” They want value first, before you make the pitch.
Some other social selling best practices to consider:
Using robots to do your engagement for you, will only backfire.
The only way you can generate leads on social, is to pay attention.
Social selling is for building REAL relationships, not shoving pricing and options down your audience’s throat.
Ever had a problem with a product or service? It’s more than likely that you don’t pick up the phone anymore to make contact, but you send a direct message through Facebook to talk it out with someone in support. This is the future of business support.
Users expect the businesses they interact with to be on social media. No longer do they want to wait 2-5 business days for an email reply about their reservation or an upcoming event -- they want to be able to type up a question, hit send, and receive an (automated or not) answer.
Audience & Competitor Research
Both your audience AND your competitors are on social media, so it’s natural that you would be too. If not, you’re missing out on telling a full brand story.
Social media ‘listening’ allows you to track the conversations of certain topics, keywords, phrases, brands or businesses -- and use this information to grow your business.
Take advantage of the analytics already on offer on Facebook or Instagram, or use a targeted tool to work with your business goals in mind. According to Sprout Social (2018), social analytics are the most used feature and strategy in social media marketing for businesses.
Social media is so much more than just being ‘on’ the platform for the sake of it. It’s the difference between being an industry leader or being unknown by your potential clients or customers.
Let us know in the comments if this article has helped solidify your vision for your social media marketing in 2019.