Social media for business marketing is a process of building relationships with potential and current customers through the use of social networking sites. Businesses can use social media for business marketing in several ways, including but not limited to: promoting special deals and discounts, providing customer service, sharing company news and announcements, and conducting market research.
When used correctly, social media for business marketing can effectively reach out to more customers and connect with them personally. It can also help build brand awareness, nurture loyalty, and increase leads and sales.
This article will provide a brief overview of how to use social media for business marketing, including some tips and best practices.
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How to Use Social Media for Business Marketing
It’s been well over a decade since social media began trailblazing through the Internet, forever changing the media and content consumption landscape. Nowadays, people spend more time on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter than they watch television or read paper media.
Social media has become the default way for hundreds of millions worldwide to share life experiences, read the news, and find entertainment. It’s also become a forum for product reviews and descriptions, a marketplace for second-hand products, and a marketplace for business-to-customer and business-to-business interactions.
What this ultimately means for any aspiring or current business owner is that, even if you aren’t on social media, if you have a customer base of any appreciable size, you effectively are on social media because someone somewhere will have talked about you.
This makes social media not only invaluable in its usefulness as a source of organic traffic to your business’ content and product/service pages, but it also becomes crucial for community management, reputation management, responding to customer questions and reviews, addressing customer concerns, and visibly being involved with the people that make your business profitable.
Social media is a powerful tool for marketers, but it’s also important in maintaining your business’s longevity and reputation in a cultural landscape that is becoming increasingly digital.
1. Identify the Platforms that are Right for You
If your business does best through visual content, especially video, focus on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Utilize other platforms like Facebook and Twitter to simply share your videos or respond to comments. If your target audience is millennials or older generations, focus on Facebook and Twitter. If your audience is largely younger, you will need to focus on Instagram and TikTok.
Restaurants subsist entirely on people coming in and spending money or ordering takeout (if you don’t do delivery). You can potentially get more customers through third-party delivery apps, but that’s not necessarily part of a “social media budget.”
As such, you would benefit the most from limited time spent on your social media channels – a post a week or so – and more time spent answering customer reviews and questions on Google, Yelp, and other food critic platforms, as well as responding to Instagram comments or Tweets mentioning your business in the area.
On the other hand, an online retailer specializing in makeup products will benefit more from investing in social media. If you’re selling products or services online, then social media is a good way to build traffic to your website by referring potential leads back to your in-house content – and your products – through the content you post on platforms like Instagram and YouTube. You will want to spend more time and production value demonstrating new products, creating small video reviews, or announcing newly available products.
2. Identify Your Audience
The key to an effective social media marketing campaign is understanding your audience.
Each social media platform has a different demographic. For example, adults mostly use Facebook, while TikTok is popular among teenagers. In addition, LinkedIn is great for B2B marketing, while Instagram is perfect for visual content. Pinterest can send a ton of traffic to your website, but it requires visual content designed for that platform.
Social media experiences fluxes in popularity among certain demographics. For example, Facebook may have been the go-to social network among college students in 2004, but it’s now the most popular social network among adults ages 25 and 35. As a business, this type of change can positively or negatively impact your organic or paid performance in a dramatic way.
When creating content, it’s important to keep your target audience in mind. Otherwise, you risk wasting time and money on a campaign that doesn’t reach the right people.
3. Post Quality Over Quantity
When it comes to social media, quality trumps quantity. It’s better to post a few pieces of high-quality content than a ton of low-quality content.
Your content should be engaging, informative, and relevant to your target audience. If you’re unsure what content to post, try a mix of different types (blog posts, infographics, videos, etc.) and see what performs best.
4. Consistency is Key
Once you’ve started posting quality content, you need to be consistent. Consistency is key when it comes to social media marketing.
Posting regularly will keep your audience engaged and help you build a following. If you’re unsure how often to post, start with 2-3 times per week and adjust as needed.
5. Set a Content Schedule
Once you’ve determined how much time you want to invest in the platforms that make the most sense for your business model and target audience, it’s time to plan your content drops.
Another mistake many businesses make is a noncommittal approach to social media, which involves posting a few times on an aberrant schedule whenever an idea for content pops up and then forgetting about their account.
A content schedule can help you avoid posting too often and minimize the risk of creating a content drought on your page. Social media presences take time to grow, and not all businesses get hit with a viral following. Nor should you expect your content to suddenly get thousands of hits a day within a few weeks of posting. Sometimes, it takes years to generate a loyal following online. But posting content regularly helps.
6. Short Video Content is King
Don’t underestimate the value of visual content, especially short-form video content. It takes some talent and production value to produce high-quality visual content, but for many businesses, this can be well worth it.
Whether a restaurant or an online retailer, short-form video content entices customers, is much harder to ignore, and is much easier to consume. Keep your videos short – ten seconds to a minute – and focus on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Use your tags intelligently! Don’t be all over the place. Try to make sure you target viewers that are more likely to care about your product and narrow down who sees your post by using location tags if you’re a local business, for example.
7. Use the Right Social Media Tools
There are some great social media marketing tools available today. These tools can help you automate your posts, track your analytics, and more.
Some popular social media marketing tools include:
Find the right tool for your business and start using it to streamline your social media marketing efforts.
8. Respond Quickly!
Once you invest in your organic social media presence and generate engagement on your posts, you will invariably start getting comments and questions.
There’s nothing wrong with responding to most of your comments – but be especially quick about responding to questions! People will flock to critical or negative comments and experiences and draw more attention than anything else. A magnanimous response, a sensible explanation, or an apology under a critical comment can help illustrate that your business cares about customer satisfaction and takes the time to respond to everyone who engages with it.
9. Expand Your Audience with Ads
Paid social media ads are another matter entirely. Managing an ad campaign on social media requires knowing what you’re paying for and establishing a concrete goal.
Are you trying to draw in new leads? Looking for returning customers to purchase another product? Identify interests in your target audience – people who have not previously purchased your product or people who have and remain interested in your brand.
Use that data to curate your ad campaigns and organic social media posts. Is your audience highly specific and interested in long-form content, white papers about tech specifications, and press releases? Or is your audience most interested in short content, visual tidbits, pictures, and highlight reels?
10. Adopt Trends that Work for Your Business
Things change fast on social media, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends.
By keeping tabs on social media trends, you can ensure your content is relevant and engaging. Some of the latest social media trends include live video, ephemeral content, and Stories.
Live video is a great way to connect with your audience. Ephemeral content is temporary content that disappears after a certain amount of time. And Stories are short, informal videos or pictures that can be posted on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram.
11. Don’t forget to sell
Most businesses use social media to sell their products or services. If you’re selling on social media, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
First, make sure your content is relevant and engaging. If you’re selling a product, include how-to videos or pictures that show it in use. You should also include a call–action (CTA) telling your audience what to do next.
Second, don’t be too focused on selling. No one likes to be bombarded with ads, so ensure your content is valuable and informative.
Third, experiment with different formats. You can sell on social media by using a mix of text, images, videos, and infographics. Try out different combinations and see what works best for you.
12. Experiment with different formats
Social media marketing is a practice, so it’s important to experiment with different formats. You can use a mix of text, images, videos, and infographics to reach your target audience.
Some content types perform better than others, so it’s important to test different formats and see what works best for you. For example, blog posts tend to do well on Facebook, while infographics perform better on Pinterest.
It’s also important to keep your audience in mind when choosing content formats. For example, if you’re targeting a younger audience, you might want to use more visual content like videos and pictures.
13. Track your performance
After posting quality content regularly, it’s time to analyze your results. Check your analytics to see how your content is performing.
Pay attention to things like engagement, reach, and clicks. This data will help you determine what’s working and what isn’t. From there, you can adjust your strategy accordingly. The social media marketing tools mentioned above will provide analytics so you can track your performance. In addition, most social networks now provide analytics for business owners to help track performance. This is particularly helpful if you’re running ads on social media.
14. Hire a Social Media Pro
If you’re still unsure how to use social media for business marketing, consider hiring a social media expert. A social media professional will help you develop a social media marketing plan, perform research, create quality posts, create a content schedule, manage ads, track performance and adjust the plan as needed.
A social media expert can take your social media marketing efforts to the next level and help you achieve your business goals.
If you need help with your social media marketing, contact my team at Sachs Marketing Group to discuss how we can help you use social media to increase interest in your products, services, or brand.
Social media is a powerful tool that can be used for business marketing purposes. However, it’s important to plan and be consistent with your posting. Social media is one of the most difficult marketing channels to tackle effectively, but it can be done with the right strategy and tools.
Sachs Marketing Group is a full-service marketing agency specializing in social media marketing. We have a team of experts who can help you use social media to reach your target audience and achieve your business goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your social media marketing efforts.