Social media sites play a big part in many people’s lives for social networking purposes, but while many businesses have started to embrace sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, very few are using them to their full potential.
According to research from the Harvard Business Review, only 12% of companies are using social media sites effectively to promote their brands, monitor customer trends and to research new product ideas.
Here are a few ways to achieve social media success for your business if you are among the remaining 88%:
1. Set achievable targets
If you are using social media to drive sales, work out what your average monthly sales are and aim for initial growth of 5%. Or find out how many people your blog or Facebook posts are reaching and aim to add an additional 50 readers, likes or comments per month. If you try to run before you can walk you may become discouraged and feel like giving up, but by dedicating time and resources to building your social media presence you should be able to achieve realistic goals.
2. Address your target customer(s)
Work out who your products or services are aimed at and use the appropriate content and tone for this demographic. Remember that social media isn’t just for the young! Ask existing customers what they might be interested in reading and try to meet their needs. Don’t just spam social media sites with how wonderful your company is or about promotional offers (although it is fine to provide this information from time to time). Instead, try to write regular and fresh content that will inform and inspire your target customer base.
3. Invite customers to interact
If you write a blog, have a Facebook page, a Twitter account or upload content to YouTube, invite your customers to add comments and ask questions. Make sure that you take these seriously and respond so that customers know that you are interested in them personally. If you are using Twitter, respond to tweets that mention your company, even if they are not favourable. A gracious response or providing a solution to a customer problem can really help to promote your brand.
Finally, don’t forget to measure your social media success by keeping good records of clicks and shares, follower levels and sales figures. Google Analytics is a good place to start with this. Once you start to see which social media strategies and posts are most engaging, you can prioritise these and do more of them.
Social media usage doesn’t always bring about miracle growth overnight, but it is certainly worth sticking at it and keeping your brand in the public eye. Finally, make sure you include a call to action wherever you can; whether it is to visit your website, download whitepaper, buy a particular product or to simply like or comment on your post.
If you’re using social media successfully in your business, why not share your tips with our readers? Alternatively, if you need some help or advice about using social media for your business get in touch.