Social media can be incredibly beneficial for businesses. When used in the right way, it can increase brand awareness, boost sales, improve customer service and improve your search ranking. A recent study by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK revealed that a staggering 80% of customers would be more inclined to buy because of a brand’s presence on social media.
But so many brands are using social media the wrong way, meaning that not only are they failing to make the most of a great opportunity to make personal connections with customers, but they’re also wasting valuable time and energy.
Here are 5 ways to make your brand a success on social media and make sure your efforts are worthwhile:
1. Pick the platforms most relevant to your brand
There are so many social media platforms out there these days, and while it may be tempting to set up profiles on as many of them as possible, it’s unrealistic to think that you’ll have enough time to devote to each of them. Pick just a few to avoid spreading yourself out too thinly.
When choosing which platforms to use, have a think about your audience. How old are they? What are their interests? What are their buying habits? The answers to these questions will give you a clue as to what social networks they are most likely to be on.
Some social platforms may not work for your type of business. Pinterest, for example, is a visual platform, and is perfect for a business selling clothing or other shopping products that look good. It isn’t so useful for B2B companies, however, as the product or service doesn’t tend to be visual.
1. Share valuable content
One of the biggest mistakes companies make when it comes to social media is only using it to shout about how great they are. This does not get people engaging with a brand. If you want your audience to interact with you then you need to be posting content that’s valuable to them.
Sharing tips and news related to your industry is a great place to start. Find a good article or video and post it along with your own view on the subject- this will help to generate discussion. If you want to push people towards your website, set up a company blog if you haven’t already done so and link your followers to your own expert advice.
2. Engage with people
Social media is all about making personal connections and interacting with your customers. Encourage interaction on your own posts by asking questions, but be sure to respond to things that other people share too. If someone has said something interesting, then like, comment, retweet.
Always make sure you respond quickly to any negative feedback. It’s much better to right the situation than ignore the message and have customers think that you don’t care about them.
You may want to join groups and communities relevant to your industry so that you can join the conversation. This can help you gain new followers.
3. Be consistent
All of your social profiles should have the same look and feel, with the same kind of images and colour scheme as you use on your website. The ‘voice’ you use for your social media messages should also be consistent with the copy on your site. This way, your audience will become familiar with your brand and know what to expect from you, and this familiarity creates a sense of trust.
If the copy on your website is written in a formal tone, then it may be difficult to translate your voice to social media, which tends to be more suited to conversational tones. You may have to shift your voice a little, but try to keep it as consistent as possible.
4. Keep going
Social media can be a great way to generate more business, but don’t expect instant results. Your social media campaign is an ongoing thing that takes time and dedication.
Make sure you keep all of your profiles up to date, keep sharing valuable content and generally keep engaging with your audience online in order to build and maintain your network.
You can track your efforts using tools such as Hootsuite, which provides you with weekly analytics reports as well as letting you schedule updates and manage multiple social networks all in one place.