September 16, 2015
Social media is the heart of the Internet. According to an eMarketer report, an average of one in four people use social media worldwide — that’s a staggering 2.206 billion active social media accounts recorded in August 2015.
With so many social channels out there, it may seem an uphill task to manage social media when you have a business to run. We agree, it’s not so easy but if you’re looking to further develop your company, it’s a no brainer.
To make life easier for yourself, you can use automation software such as Hootsuite and spend one to two hours every week scheduling your weekly posts.
Here’s why you should be using social media for business.
1. Customer Feedback
Healthy PR is an absolute must. According to a report on Search Engine Land, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
It’s important to keep a healthy relationship with your customers, even if they’re in the wrong.
Why? Negative reviews can have a huge impact on your business and should be avoided at all costs. Customer feedback can be left on directories, social media accounts or other review sites and cannot be removed by any other than the customer. The customer is always right, so keep it that way.
Here’s a guide on how to deal with negative customer reviews.
2. Increase Visibility and Engagement
Make sure your posts are relevant and interesting to your audience. If you run a business selling menswear clothing, post interesting articles on fashion trends, events or celebrity fashion shots. Never be sales focused on social media, customers just don’t like it and they’re likely to hit the unfollow button.
The more engagement — such as likes, comments and shares — you receive, the more visibility your post will get. The posts will be visible to a wider audience through users friends and family resulting in a higher following.
Keep your posts interesting, fun and exciting. Companies such as The Lad Bible use social media heavily and became Facebook famous using these social techniques that you can replicate.
Running competitions on social media will also really help to boost engagement and follower counts.
Here are 12 free social media tools to help you boost engagement and build a strong social strategy.
3. The Market is Huge and it’s Constantly Expanding
According to a global digital statshot by We Are Social, nearly 30 percent of the worldwide population now use social media, and that’s showing no signs of slowing down. Here are a few facts for you to ponder.
- Total population: 7.357 billion people;
- Active internet users: 3.175 billion;
- Active social media accounts: 2.206 billion;
- Unique mobile users: 3.734 billion;
- Active mobile social accounts: 1.925 billion.
More and more people are buying cheaper handsets and mobile users are on the increase, scary but true facts.
4. Increase Website Traffic and Sales
It’s always a good idea to keep posting fresh content on your website which is shareable on social media. Sharing other peoples content is also great, but you need to think about ROI.
Installing a blog on your website will help to drive both organic, referral and social traffic. Make sure the posts are interesting to your audience and you’ll be onto a winner.
Informational posts are not likely to result in immediate sales as users are not in the ‘buy mode,’ so it’s important to capture users’ e-mail addresses by building opt-in forms.
Over time, you can nurse those subscribers into customers through e-mail marketing automation.
5. Develop Your Brand
Whether your goal is to increase subscribers, sell products or sell a service, social media plays a crucial role in the development of your brand.
There are hundreds of social media channels, both large and small, so make sure you do your research and choose networks that support your brand image.
You want to be where your audience is.
If you run a cake store and make beautiful cakes for your customers, then Pinterest and Instagram may be the best channels to focus on, because they are great for brands that rely heavily on images.
If you’re an agency and offer services to other businesses, then LinkedIn would be a great solution for promoting business-related content and building relationships with influencers. You can also participate in industry specific groups to generate more leads.
6. The Results are Measureable
Using Google Analytics, you can see where your traffic and sales coming from, so if you’re focusing heavily on Pinterest and you’re not receiving much traffic or sales, then maybe it’s time to assess your strategy or move onto a different social channel if it’s not delivering profitable results.
Don’t ever run blind with social media. Here are six ways to measure your social media results.
7. It’s Completely Free to Join
There’s not much more to it, all the reputable social networks are completely free to join and unless you have plans to really boost engagement by creating ads, it won’t cost a dime.
8. Social Media is Built for All Devices
Whether you’re using a desktop, tablet or mobile phone, social media adapts to your screen size and that’s important to maintain a positive user experience. More people now browse on their mobile than they do desktop.
All of the top social networks are completely responsive. If your website is not already responsive, you should consider making it so — it’s important to keep positive user experience from social networks, right through to your site.
9. It Helps with SEO
Your social media presence can greatly increase your search rankings over time.
By building up a strong, trusted brand and healthy following, Google will learn that your website is popular and is trusted by your audience, which in turn will help boost rankings.
Building up your followers is a slow process but in the long run it’s worth it.
Don’t ever cheat your way to the top by buying followers, Google can detect the quality of your followers, so that would do more harm than good. Plus users can detect fake followers and if you’re trying to deceive your audience, they won’t trust you and you may receive negative PR.
Social media also encourages inbound links as you can connect with influencers and develop good, strong relationships. If they are engaged with your brand they may mention you in future articles and the links will help your organic standings.
10. Social Posts Can go Viral
Don’t just post for the sake of it, post interesting and shareable content. Results can be instant with social media and if you have a bright idea, your post may just go viral and lead to hundreds or thousands of subscribers, leads and sales.
Social media is very important for the development of your business, no matter what industry you’re in. We hope this post has been helpful to your decision-making and if you feel there are any other reasons to use social media for business that you feel we may have missed in this post, feel free to comment below. We would be interested in hearing your opinions.
Leadership expert, founder and content writer for Search Control. Joshua Daniels specializes in lead generation and has pioneered the use of inbound marketing for small- to medium-sized enterprises.