How To Use Social Media as a Business
The early 2000s were a time for social media emergence. Platforms like MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter gained prominence, while YouTube was in its early conception. Then came platforms like Instagram, Vine, Tumblr, Spotify — the list really could go on and on. People have hopped onto these platforms left and right, but brands have been a little more hesitant to join. Typically, when people think about social media, they consider it a place to connect with friends. But more and more people are looking to social media to connect with friends, family, AND brands. In an age when consumers care about brand promises and ethical standpoints, social media is the perfect place to showcase that information — Social media is where brands become more than just a name on a product or service. Whether you’ve been trying to get into the social media sphere or you’ve resisted it for years, you’ll want to hear what we have to say about why you should be on social media and how it can benefit your organization in the long run.
Why Business/Brands Should Be On Social Media
There are a million reasons your organization should be on social media, but here are just a few that should convince you it’s the right move.
1. It’s an easy way to promote your organization and content.
Social media is one of the easiest ways to promote your organization, and it’s usually one of the cheapest, too. With 81 percent of the American population on social media, there’s no denying that it’s a good place to start improving brand reach and impact. The great thing about social media is that you control how much information you are putting out there. While it may depend upon some algorithms (we’re looking at you Instagram), organizations can typically post and promote those posts at a lower cost on social media than through traditional media.
2. You can personally engage with your audience and provide support.
In 2018, it’s important for brands to engage with their audiences. That’s where social media comes in. This can best be seen with customer service. Social media provides a direct point of contact between brands and consumers that is unlike other forms of communication. Because communications on social media can be direct between brand and consumer, it can make or break customer relations. Many consumers are turning to platforms like Twitter and Instagram to either complain or praise a company for products or services, which allows companies to respond directly either to remedy a problem or build an even stronger relationship. Social media has also proven to be instrumental in crisis communications since information can easily be shared so easily to other consumers.
3. Check up on your competition and stay information about industry trends.
Social media is the perfect place to stay informed about what is going on in your industry. Because information is constantly being updated by users, it’s easy to keep tabs on the competition and industry trends. Social media is also public, as it should be for a brand, so it’s easy to gain insights into exactly how your competition is handling certain aspects of the business like engaging with consumers, promoting sales, sharing imagery, and more.
4. Analyze your engagement and customer base.
As mentioned before, social media is pretty instantaneous. The best thing about social media/online engagement is the availability of analytics at the snap of a finger. Every second (on average) 6,000 tweets are being sent out. That’s 6,000 opportunities a second to have your brand mentioned and engaged with. In a world continuously driven by data and information, social media platforms are offering their own analytics, and information about searches, clicks, and likes can also be found through platforms like Google Analytics. When so much information is so readily available, why not take advantage of it?
Tips and Tricks
So, now that we’ve convinced you to dip your toe in the social media pool, how are you going to use it? We urge you to think about what platform will best suite your purposes. Twitter is best used for verbal communication. It’s increasingly a space used for news gathering and engagement. Instagram is great for visual communication, meaning well crafted photos and engaging captions. It’s also a great platform to utilize for influencer partnerships. Facebook is the tried and true social media platform. Some think it’s going to die out soon, but with over 2 billion monthly active users, we don’t think Facebook is going anywhere anytime soon. There are a ton of other platforms organizations can take advantage of to connect with their consumers and promote their products/services, but Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the big three. Here are some little tips and tricks to make the most of your social media experience:
1. Create a brand personality.
The most important thing to remember when using social media as a business is to have a brand personality. You need to have something that makes you stand out among the saturation. Make sure all your branding is consistent across all platforms, utilize your color scheme, and decide what kind of attitude you want to portray online. Wendy’s and MoonPie have some of the strongest brand personalities on Twitter. They are kind and helpful to their followers, but they also engage in sassy sparring matches with their competition and share hilarious memes that leave consumers compelled to share with their own following. A great brand personality can help engage followers and can build a name for your organization.
2. Create a hashtag.
Creating a hashtag that is specific to your organization is going to be immensely beneficial in the long wrong when you get on platforms like Instagram or Twitter and want to be able to follow the conversations people are having about your product or services. The hashtag is just a way for you to find and follow people that are engaging with your organization.
3. Engage in chats.
Now that you’ve created a hashtag, you can engage in Twitter chats with your consumers. Twitter chats have proven to be very valuable when looking to learn about consumers wants and needs, and they can “generate lively discussions and build deep connections between participants and brands.” The only thing you need to participate is a hashtag! Typically, Twitter chats are set for a specific day and time, and they happen either weekly or monthly.
4. Reach out to people that tag you organically for partnerships.
Influencers, whether you like it or not, are becoming increasingly important in promoting products. Consumers are looking to their peers to recommend products rather than relying on traditional forms of advertising — 71 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase a product or service if it’s talked about on social media. Influencer marketing doesn’t look like it’s going away, so it’s important to be on social media platforms to reach out to the proper influencers to market your products/services.
5. Ask your audience what they want to see from you.
Since it’s so easy to engage with consumers on social media platforms, this is a great way to ask them what they want to see from your organization in the future. You can do polls on Instagram stories, ask questions in Twitter chats, or directly post and ask for feedback on recent product/service releases. Social media gives you the ability to harness the power of your consumers with far fewer marketing dollars than traditional methods.
Social media doesn’t have to be scary. But if you’re serious about getting engagement and growing sales, social media is an important step in that process. If you need help getting your social media off the ground, reach out the Cabedge. We have social media experts ready and willing to help organizations through branding, development, and message creation.