It’s more important than ever for businesses to utilize social media.
In today’s fast-paced, high-tech world in which buyer habits are quickly changing. If your business is not on social media, your ability to grow your business may be significantly hindered.
Consider this...Billions of people use social media. Whether it’s Facebook (2.6 billion monthly active users worldwide), LinkedIn (160 million in the United States), Twitter (330 million monthly active users worldwide) or other social media sites, social media offers a critical tool for small companies to grow their business.
But how does social media help businesses grow? Social media:
- Allows you to generate leads
- Serves as an avenue to communicate with customers
- Connects you with other industry leaders
- Allows you to stay on top of trends
- Provides an avenue for advertising
Social Media Allows You To Generate Leads
Using social media to generate leads is important. However, when it comes to social media, quality is more important than quantity. In other words, posting a bunch of goofy pictures on Facebook or Instagram simply won’t work.
Remember, a quality social media strategy is not about “likes” or “retweets.” Instead, it is about building and nurturing prospective customers and leading them to your website using relevant content. And your social media strategy is only as good as the content you create.
With your social media posts, your goal should be to educate, inform and educate prospects. The content you post should also be shareable. This allows you to expand your reach to potential clients using social media.
In addition to quality content, there are lots of tricks of the trade to get the most out of social media when your goal is to generate leads, from knowing when and how often to post, to knowing which social media channels are right for your business.
Our article, 5 Ways To Use Social Media To Ignite Your Lead Generation, further explores some of these tips so that you can grow your business.
Social Media Opens Up Communication Channels
Having multiple methods to communicate with potential customers is never a bad thing. In fact, today, many individuals will head to social media to look up what they need to know about your business, whether it’s if you provide a certain service or simply want to know where you are located.
While your social media page should be as thorough as possible, the key to expanding your communication with potential customers is to offer them the opportunity to contact you or share their experiences of working with you.
For instance, allowing customers to contact you through Facebook Messenger may be a more convenient option for them than reaching out to you via email. Allowing customers to have the opportunity to share their experiences with you through Twitter or Instagram can pique the interest of other potential customers.
Even better, all of these conversations are in real time, allowing you to engage in a timely manner.
Social Media Connects You With Other Industry Leaders
Social media, especially platforms like LinkedIn, are great places to connect with other leaders in your industry.
By providing content that other leaders can share, you will establish yourself as a subject authority. Sharing others’ interesting content that is relevant to your mission will also help keep your prospective customers informed.
Remember, social media is all about interaction and conversation. So even if you are sharing content from other sources, you are providing the opportunity to interact with current and prospective customers, which will help your business grow.
Social Media Allows You To Stay On Top Of Trends
Even within social media, trends are constantly evolving. Algorithms are changing and users are preferring different types of content. Being on social media and taking advantage of what social media offers are two very different things.
For example, videos are one of the most preferred types of content over other formats. YouTube itself is the fourth most-used social media platform by marketers, according to HubSpot, and 79% of video marketers use Facebook as a video marketing channel.
This year, social engagement videos have been among the top four most common types of video that marketers are investing in, according to HubSpot.
Then there’s live video, a whole other ballgame. Live video is the third most-used social media marketing tactic. Even LinkedIn offers an opportunity for users to go live, and according to the site, live video gets 24 times more engagement.
Live video allows you to connect with your communities and potential customers in real time, and the best part is, you don’t need any fancy equipment. Even a phone will do, though it’s a good idea to have two devices … one for streaming and one so you can monitor any live comments.
You may be asking, how can going live (or jumping on board with any new trend in social media) help me grow my business? Getting the most out of social media, such as utilizing tools like live video, allow you to promote products or services, make announcements about your business and educate potential customers on relevant issues using methods relevant to their interests.
Social Media Provides An Avenue For Advertising
Just like technology, advertising has evolved greatly. What used to be popular and a slam dunk approach is no more. Gone are the days of radio and newspaper advertising. Instead, if you want to reach potential customers, you must be where your clients are, and for many, that’s on social media.
Social media ads provide you with a tool to target your audience even further and more precisely than previous forms of advertisement.
For example, Facebook Ads allows small business advertisers to have the power over who sees your message. The marketer can target an ideal customer by age, gender, location, interests and other qualifications. This provides an advantage over other modern-day advertising channels like search engines.
This method also makes it easier for the user to contact you, since when a prospective client clicks on your ad, a form will open that automatically populates the person’s contact information.
Social media can feel like an important, but overwhelming tool to incorporate into your marketing plan. One critical note to keep in mind is that everything you do on social media should be about the client. If you want to grow your customer base, your focus should be on the customer. Any content you share should inform and educate your prospects.
It can also be difficult to understand the intricacies of social media … what works and what doesn’t work - and often that varies on each channel. What may work on Facebook has little to no chance of working on Pinterest, and vice versa.
However, inbound marketing agencies can help you maximize your social media presence and grow your business. Hiring an agency is also a lot more affordable than you think.
If your goal is to ignite lead generation, social media can be an effective tool in promoting your brand and growing your business on a continual basis, now and in the future.
Bill is the CEO and Founder of InTouch Marketing. Bill drives the vision and direction of InTouch except when England's playing in a soccer tournament, because everything stops!