If your small business isn’t on social media, you’re missing out on valuable opportunities for your brand. You can reach new customers and have a deeper engagement with recurring customers through social media. Social media is an effective and affordable way to connect with your customers and learn more about your brand.
Social media channels like Facebook and Instagram offer targeting options for advertisers that are cheaper than most other marketing platforms, according to Abdul Muhammad, chief digital officer and partner at RBB Communications. “People are on social media all day, every day. Brands must go where the people are.”
In this workshop, we will discuss the most effective ways businesses can utilize social media, how to develop an effective social media marketing strategy, how to measure the return on investment of social media, and how to choose the best social media platform for your brand.
How to Use Social Media for Business
These are some of the aspects of business that can benefit from a social media presence:
Use social media for marketing.
If you want to reach customers and prospects where they are, you should incorporate an effective social media presence into your small business marketing plan. Here are some tips and best practices for creating a successful presence on social media to market your brand:
- Craft a social media marketing strategy. The best way to ensure success on social media is to go in with a plan. This means devising a social media marketing strategy that includes each platform you plan to use.
- Post consistently. Your followers value a steady presence, so follow a consistent posting schedule. While being consistent, avoid posting too much, which can be off-putting for your followers.
- Develop a clear voice. Create a consistent voice and tone in your social media presence – one that resonates with your audience and influences how they see your brand. Listen to your audience and find ways to relate to them without looking like you’re trying too hard. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to show a little personality. This helps present your business as adaptive, friendly, and relevant.
- Have fun with social media. Provide fun ways to generate more leads and engage with your customers, like running social media contests, linking to your website or special offers in your profile bio, and hosting live videos with exciting updates or news.
- Know your audience. Use your analytics tools to see demographic information, customer behavior, and social media trends to inform your content. Knowing what your audience wants to see from you and responding accordingly can go a long way toward boosting your engagement rates.
Use social media for customer service.
Many customers already communicate through social media, so it makes sense to use social media for customer service. By communicating with customers through social media, you can resolve issues quickly and effectively, fostering customer loyalty.
- Respond to customer issues quickly. Many businesses approach social media as another channel for self-promotion and don’t always respond when customers comment on their posts or tweet at them. According to research from Convince & Convert, 42% of consumers expect a response to a complaint on social media within 60 minutes, and nearly one-third expect a response within half an hour. Monitoring social media channels and responding to concerns promptly can help you build strong relationships with customers.
- Use hashtags strategically. How hashtags operate within a social media platform’s algorithm is likely to change frequently, so stay updated on your social platforms’ hashtag recommendations and best practices. Hashtags help keep topics organized and easy to navigate, especially on platforms like Twitter. You can also add more information and curate content to your hashtags.
- Take public conversations private. Many angry or frustrated customers leave public comments on a brand’s Instagram and Facebook accounts or tweet at a business. While you shouldn’t ignore these messages, it’s not always wise to handle the entire encounter publicly. Show other customers that you value their input and time by sending an initial response requesting to continue the conversation privately.
Use social media for sales.
You can increase sales by using social media. You can boost sales on social media in various ways:
- Advertise on social media. The major social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, have advertising platforms that help you reach your target audience and monitor your ad campaigns.
- Sell on social media. Facebook and Instagram offer sales platforms and shoppable posts that make it easy for businesses to start selling online.
- Work with brand ambassadors. Finding social media influencers or enthusiastic customers to act as brand ambassadors is an effective way to boost word-of-mouth buzz about your business and boost sales.
- Improve your business with social listening. Social listening is a process in which organizations take a macro view of what customers are saying online about the brand and use the information to improve the business. Social listening provides a broader view of industry trends and customer sentiment that may directly or indirectly impact a brand and its sales.
Use social media for recruiting and hiring.
In the modern hiring process, businesses and organizations can use social media platforms to identify and recruit potential talent. When employers use social media to recruit, they can access a large pool of potential candidates and efficiently narrow down the field to the most qualified individuals.
Social media channels are an important recruitment tool for businesses. If you want potential employees to be excited about joining your team, make sure your social media platforms reflect your brand and share your company’s values.
Use social media for crisis management.
Our business tweeted in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings that we were saddened by the news and our thoughts were with the victims and their families. What did you post on Facebook? You may have been unsure of how to proceed with your business’s social media amid such a tragedy.
There is no book on how to appropriately handle social media marketing when tragedies occur. There are several schools of thought on how businesses should use social media to react to tragic events.
Here are some tips for using social media during a crisis:
- If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
- Silence is rarely the correct response in a tragic situation.
- Have a social media strategy ready so you’re less likely to be caught off guard by a tragedy or other crisis.
- Choose your words carefully, and always speak from the heart.
- As soon as you hear of a tragic event, check your calendar and pause any nonessential posts.
- Look for ways your business can meaningfully help.
Ways to Get Employees Involved in Content Creation
If your content is not providing the results you want in terms of conversions, keep reading this article. If you distribute some of the power from your marketing team to other departments, it could have a positive impact on your ROI.
Ask for and share awesome client or customer stories
Many people ask people they know for recommendations on products and services. If someone in your networking group had a website designed by a certain company and it gave them a 47% return on investment, wouldn’t you want to use the same company?
Always be on the lookout for ways to turn customer feedback into positive stories that can be used to promote your company. Breaking a testimonial down into a couple of blog posts is one example of how you can use it. You could feature a different customer in your monthly or weekly newsletter. Email your customers to remind them of significant accomplishments, like reaching $1 million in sales.
The key here is to make it an initiative. If you get your other teams involved in content creation early on, you’ll have a lot more opportunities to create great content.
Show employees what’s in it for them.
Employees want to know what benefits they will receive from working hard. They won’t voluntarily ask for more work. You need to demonstrate how generating content can help them in both the short and long term. Here’s how you can do that:
Encourage salespeople to search for themselves online. Why? Most clients and customers research companies thoroughly before contacting them; they want to be sure that the staff are trustworthy. It is important to remember that online reputation management can make your company look good. If you want to look good, you should present content that adds value.
Incentivize employees! You do know what motivates your employees, right? Some people may prefer to receive a bonus when their content is shared or liked a certain number of times. Some people are motivated by status, so give them a certificate or plaque, take their picture, and feature it in the company newsletter. You might want to give them a better parking spot for the month.
The power of personal branding. If you help your employees improve their branding, this will help their career potential and boost their ego.
Include content creation in job descriptions.
When was the last time you looked over your company’s job descriptions? If you haven’t updated your resume in a while, you may want to include some content creation in your new version.
If you are looking to hire an account executive, developer, or other professional, be sure to include the creation of blog posts in the job description. This will ensure that you find someone who is comfortable and familiar with creating content for a blog. You may want to give employees incentive pay so that it is tied into the compensation package. If you offer your employees extra bonuses for submitting content that converts, they will be more likely to work hard to get those bonuses.
If you want your internet marketing to be successful, try incorporating content creation into your employees’ daily workflow. This will give you more content to work with, and could lead to more sales. Twitter can be a great tool to help increase traffic, improve SEO, and engage with your audience.
Accept different forms of content
There is a saying that it is not possible or practical to try to fit a square peg into a round hole. Your content will not convert if you force employees to create content that is not their strength.
Some employees are better at creating whitepapers than at writing articles. Some people like to make pictures with words on them, videos, or presentations using a program called SlideShare, while others may prefer to write social media content.
Let your employees use their strengths to create content instead of making them do something that doesn’t come natural to them. Otherwise, the content won’t be genuine. Your customers will be able to tell if your content is inauthentic and will ignore it. If this happens, you can expect low conversions.
Make the content submission process easy
Some employees may not know how to use technology well, but they can still write content that will persuade people to buy something. To make the submission process more efficient, create policies and procedures that are easy to follow. You may consider (if you’re not already) using the following platforms:
- WordPress. Create multiple admin logins for employees and set them to Editor status.
- Email. Create an email address for submitting content, for example, email@example.com. You may consider setting up parameters around subject lines, i.e., January 2016: Social Media Content, to ensure that content is forwarded to the right person.
- Dropbox. Create a folder for content. You may want to create subfolders, e.g., podcasts and case studies. The pro account will cost around $100/year.
- Google Drive. If you use Google Docs, you may want to use Drive. You get 5GB of free storage. After that, it’s $1.99/month for 100GB and $9.99/month for 1TB.
- Think tanks. Encourage and allow brainstorming sessions. Not only are employees working with customers, but they see each other every day and can pitch and discuss new content ideas.
Support and encourage personal brands
Some employees use social media to share personal and company information. You may want to make sure that the people you are trusting with important company information are not risking the company’s reputation by sharing the wrong types of information.
So, what can you do? You can help employees build their brand. Encourage them to start writing articles on their blog and Medium. Then share their content through your social media channels. Allow employees to reimburse their hosting expenses every month.
’ If you want your employees to feel appreciated, make sure to take photos of them at work, even if they are working behind the scenes. Users can create collages to share their stories and events on social media platforms as well as with companies.
Employees are assets – use them wisely. Help them develop and maintain a strong personal brand by providing guidance and resources. Encourage your employees to share great content to help them become thought leaders. Do this, and you won’t risk your company’s reputation.
THE PROBLEM: YOUR BUSINESS ISN’T GROWING AS FAST AS IT SHOULD!
Your sales have stagnated or decreased, and you can’t figure out why. Discover what’s holding you back from achieving predictable sales growth in your business.
If you want to grow your business, you need a proven plan and framework. That’s what you get with the 2X Your Sales Discovery Session.
Want to learn about a formula for Predictable Growth that will put your business on a 90-day path to 2X Your Sales?