Why is Social Media Important for Business?
Business Social Media Marketing
Is your business utilizing social media platforms to the capacity that you should be? How often do you visit a website to find that their social media icons (positioned in the header or footer) lead to profiles that haven’t posted in days, weeks, maybe months? And how often have you experienced a website visit to find that the social media icons lead to a dead link; or that you’ve arrived at your own social media profile?
This is a common story for so many small businesses; and probably one of the most destructive. Social media platforms offer a variety of ways for businesses to build their brand and relationships with prospects and existing customers. Many business owners are under the misconception that if they are not paying for boosts on social media, there’s no other way to utilize these platforms.
The truth is that NOT utilizing at least some of the most popular social media platforms is almost the same as locking your doors and turning off your phones during regular business hours. In today’s world, a majority of consumers are active on social media throughout the day. For example, Google My Business (aka: Google Maps) is utilized constantly for getting driving or walking directions to a business. Has your business taken full advantage of your Google My Business profile? Is it fully optimized? Do you post an update at least once per week?
Social Media for Business
Most businesses have established a Facebook page. Have you? If so, what are you doing with it? Did you create a page and then walk away? Or are you posting regularly to keep your prospects informed of what your business is up to?
How often do you reply to messages on Facebook for your business? If you sent a message to a business and they did not reply within a reasonable amount of time, what would your opinion be about that business?
A smart business manager will make monitoring social media platforms just as high of a priority as answering the phone or emails. Unfortunately, not all small businesses have the ability to hire the help they need to address social media platforms. Fortunately, there are social marketing agencies available to assist with social media marketing and most will coordinate a program to match your budget.
What Social Media Platforms are Best for Business?
Below are some of the best social media platforms for business:
- Facebook – Most are familiar with this platform. It has been around since 2004 and is the world’s largest and most widely used social network. This is one of the best social media platforms for businesses to use to reach a wide range audience. It is used by audiences of all ages for connecting with friends and family, as well as with businesses. Facebook offers many tools for businesses to utilize without having to pay, including creating and joining groups, engaging with customers, and posting updates for your business.
- Instagram – This is a great platform for businesses that have a lot to show off. It is a free photo and video sharing app that is for the most part, an iPhone and Android platform. The app is accessible on a desktop or laptop, but pictures and videos must be uploaded using a smartphone device. Instagram is a must for businesses who sell products, but it also very helpful for those businesses offering services. Keep in mind that if your video is longer than 60 seconds, only a preview will be played within the initial feed. But users can choose to watch the full video on your profile.
- LinkedIn – It’s a good idea to create a profile on this platform for all businesses. It was originally created to be used by job seekers and employers looking to hire. But LinkedIn has grown to become a hub for business information and networking. Professionals frequently use this platform to share business tips and other helpful information related to their own industry and other relevant industries. Free memberships are available to anyone who is interested in creating and maintaining a professional profile online. Premium paid subscriptions are available and offer the ability to advertise, recruit and also learn new skills.
- Pinterest – ‘Another platform that focuses on pictures and videos, but in a whole new way’ would be the best way to describe Pinterest. This is also a great tool for promoting products. It allows users to visually share ‘pin’ images and videos to their own boards; or discover new interests by browsing other users’ boards. Retail businesses and companies who create informative content using infographics also benefit from using Pinterest. Foodies, chefs and other types of ‘how to’ informants and bloggers also will see results with this medium (if used consistently).
- Snapchat – If you are interested in a free messaging and networking app, this would be a great tool for your business. It is operated via smartphones and offers the ability to send text messages, photos and short videos. Unlike most other social media platforms, Snapchat has a short shelf life. After a user views a photo or video once, the post will not appear again. This feature has actually made the platform quite popular because it allows its users to create silly posts with their app’s ability to create unique and funny graphics, drawings and other illustrations. Although some more mature users may take part in Snapchat, it is primarily targeted towards a younger demographic. Originally, this was a smartphone app, but they now offer a version on the web that offers the ability to chat, snap and video call friends.
- Tik Tok – Those users with a short attention span enjoy using this platform and it has become one of the most talked about social media apps among a wide demographic. However, Tik Tok is primarily used by tweens, teens and young adults. The content is mostly comprised of users expressing their thoughts, talents and silly antics. If your target market includes a younger demographic, this may be an ideal social media platform for your business.
- X – Previously known as Twitter – This platform has been a very controversial medium over the past several years, but is well known as a micro-blogging app that has been in existence since 2006. Some users cling to Twitter as their primary news source, as independent bloggers and professional journalists utilize the app as a primary distribution medium. However, this platform is also utilized by businesses of all sizes for paid and free distribution of information.
- YouTube – Videos have become very useful for businesses who are selling products and services. And YouTube is one of the best platforms in social media for creating and sharing these videos for all demographics and audience types. Unlike other apps with shorter playing times, YouTube videos have no maximum reel time. And the videos can be optimized by tagging with targeted keywords, location and language to direct your videos to your target demographic and keyword specific audience. YouTube videos can also be embedded into your website and shared on other platforms. Prospects and customers can also subscribe to your channel allowing them to stay connected to your updates regularly.
How to Use Social Media for Small Business?
1. Identify the top products and/or services to market
This first task may be simple for those businesses that have a small inventory of products or services. However, it may take more planning and research for businesses with a larger inventory or service base. If you aren’t sure where to begin, researching keywords is one of the best ways to make a decision. Keyword researching your products and/or services will help you to determine supply and demand.
2. Determine your target audience
After you have selected the types of products and/or services to focus on for your social media posts, you will want to decipher who your target markets are. For example, if you are marketing bathing suits or surfboards, your target market will be the younger demographic. But if you are marketing vitamins or supplements, you are probably going to want to target a more mature audience.
3. Choose the social media platforms to use
After selecting your products and/or services to promote, and have identified your target market, you will begin reviewing the above social media platform options. Then, select two or three platforms to focus on initially. Be sure to complete all aspects of your social media profiles, including well written bio descriptions, phone number, location, website link (if applicable), and any other fields offered to describe your business. The more you can say about your business, the better. Remember, you are attempting to build a relationship with prospects and users within the platform.
4. Create Content
Unique, engaging and informative content is going to make all the difference in the world with how effective your efforts on social media will become. Keyword research is also always a good idea for deciding what type of content to create for your posts. If you do not have the time to invest in writing content, creating graphics or videos, you should consider reaching out to some local agencies or independent contractors who specialize in these areas.
5. Paid Social Media Ad Option
If you are considering investing in paid social media ads, it’s smart to begin posting organically first. If an organic post does well on its own, it’s a positive sign that the post may also do well with a paid boost. Again, if you do not have the time to oversee a paid social media ad, contacting a local agency or independent professional who has experience in this area will be advantageous.
6. Monitor Your Activity and Response Rates
Posting regularly and staying active on your social media profiles is extremely important. But monitoring the activity and response rates will not only help you to succeed, it will assist in identifying what your audience is interested in; what products and/or services are getting the best results; help you to increase your customer base, and even more importantly, INCREASE SALES!
Other Benefits of Using Social Media for Your Business
When a business implements and consistently maintains a positive presence on social media platforms, it creates long lasting relationships with existing customers; and builds awareness to qualified potential customers. In addition, posts that include links to your website on your social media profile may lead to shares; which often times will end up on other websites. Consequentially, those shared posts can become high quality backlinks to your website. This is a wonderful way to increase your website’s page ranking and also increase online visitors.
Why Use a Social Media Marketing Agency?
Businesses that have limited human resources, or simply prefer to recruit more seasoned digital marketing professionals, will benefit from outsourcing their social media marketing to an agency. Live Media Digital | LMD in Miami has been providing social media marketing services, as well as a full menu of other services, including web development, content development, search engine optimization, email marketing and more! Call us today at 305-918-2306 for a FREE consultation. You may also simply contact us online. We are standing by and ready to answer all of your questions.