If you own a business today, you have a lot to think about when it comes to running it, from your overall business strategy to the specific goals you want to accomplish, such as developing your product or service, marketing it, selling it, and providing quality customer service.
The good news is, no matter how specific your product or service might be (or how fierce your competition), there’s always someone who will want to buy it. You just have to find them. That’s where social media can help, if you know how to use it in the right ways. You’ll rarely sell directly through social media, but there are other ways it can help your business. Here are 10 of those ways:
1. Brand visibility
People are on social media all the time. Therefore, having a business profile on a chosen social media platform (or several) — to showcase your company, what you make or do, and the way you do it and how it helps your customers — is a good way to establish brand visibility. Once you get in front of people, you’re bound to garner a certain amount of interest and, consequently, new customers. Show people why you’re different from your competition, and how your product or service provides value, and they may buy from you when the need arises.
2. Audience engagement
Having a social media presence gives you opportunities to talk with consumers directly and get their unfiltered input. This can be extremely useful in all product lifecycle stages because it will help you make adjustments based on feedback from people who actually use what you create. Be engaging by asking for consumer feedback, responding to their comments and questions, and by simply staying in touch with your customers.
3. Humanizing the brand
For communication with your social media followers to evolve into a productive long-term customer relationship, you’ll need to show some humanity. Humanizing your brand allows you to show your company’s values, and how you embrace and implement them. You’ll have the opportunity to show pride in your employees’ and their professional accomplishments, and demonstrate how your company participates in and contributes to its community. These things will set you apart from your competition and help consumers relate to your brand.
4. Website traffic
Sharing content on social media is a great way to drive traffic to your website, provided the content is of solid quality and appeals to your target audience. Moreover, by following and participating in social discussions on Twitter or LinkedIn, for example, you can increase visibility, garner attention, show expertise, and ultimately drive traffic to your website. Make sure you bring value to the conversations you take part in, and that your website address is clearly visible on your social media profiles to allow interested people to easily visit your website.
5. Lead generation
Lead generation is an important way social media can help your business, since most social platforms offer advertising formats designed for generating leads. You’re practically on consumers’ doorsteps with your advertising, making them more willing to click your ad in their social media feeds. Also, allowing potential customers to express interest in your company and its products or services without a commitment can give you an opportunity discover the popularity of your company and its offers.
6. Generating sales
Regardless of what you’re selling, social media will help you, simply because people don’t care for high-pressure selling tactics anymore. Instead, most people like to be shown benefits of a purchase in an almost friend-like manner. Social selling has proven to be a critical tool for sales professionals as more people scour social media to find stuff to buy or shorten their buying journeys, so don’t neglect it.
7. Content promotion
It’s common practice to promote your original and fresh content on social media channels, but you can always vary the format from platform to platform. For example, Instagrammers prefer visual content, while business people prefer reading on LinkedIn. Sharing content on social media gives you the opportunity get in front of interested people, demonstrate your knowledge, build your brand image, and grow your audience. Just make sure you have a well-researched and thought-out content marketing plan in place.
8. Targeted advertising
Advertising on social media is a relatively low-cost way to promote content, and through it, your company’s products or services. What’s more, an increasing number of companies have moved their advertising efforts from newspapers to social media platforms. The reason for that is social media’s ad targeting options include numerous demographic data points, geography, language, and even online behaviors, which makes it easier to create specific messages that best speak to different groups of potential customers. Using highly-targeted social media ads also allows you to only pay to advertise to the exact type of people you want to reach
9. Reputation management
Should you ever have many people talking about your company on social media, active profiles could be crucially important for reputation defense. Addressing negative comments and highlighting positive ones will help manage the situation. Just respond to negative comments in a polite, professional way while being thankful for any praise. Show your followers that you care about their opinion.
10. Competitive analysis
Social media is also a great way to keep track of your competition and what people are saying about them. You’ll also be in the know about their newly launched products or services, how they’re marketed, their releases of new industry-important data, and the ways they interact with their followers. Moreover, should you come across some pain points in your competitors’ customer base that you can resolve, you’ll surely win new customers in the process. That’s always a win, right?
Now you’re set to start creating company social media profiles, be active there, and help your business thrive.