Why you need social media
- You can interact with customers directly
- You can grow your customer base
- You can increase brand awareness
- It’s free!
- Your competitors are already doing it
- The opportunities to engage and share content is endless
- If you have a great product, you’ll have a built-in community of raving fans that will spread positive word of mouth about your business
Research on what works
Just as you would for a digital marketing campaign, it’s important to do some research on your competitors. This is especially true if you’re writing a more specific or niche post, such as How to Start a Business: A Step-by-Step Guide. If there are no established businesses in your field of expertise, consider whether another company may offer similar products and services—and how they market themselves.
What are the must haves?
How much does it cost?
More than you think.
If you’re serious about using social media to boost your business, it can cost a small fortune. The good news? You don’t have to spend thousands—in fact, most small businesses shouldn’t. While there are lots of high-end tools that help you manage multiple accounts or automate postings, they’re not essential for getting started on these platforms. In fact, I’d encourage you to start with one platform and get familiar with its functionality before jumping into all of them at once—otherwise, it can feel overwhelming and cause headaches down the road.
Why consumers depend on social media?
Consumers turn to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for recommendations on where to eat, what movies to see, which new gadgets are cool—and if they should buy your product. According to statistics released by Yahoo!, 87% of U.S. consumers say they’ve learned about a new product or service through social media sites in the past six months. Social is also great at connecting you with influencers that can help you amplify your message.
Social media impacts business goals
It’s important to understand how social media impacts your business goals. According to Brian Solis, a well-known social media consultant and author of Engage: The Complete Guide for Brands and Businesses to Build, Leverage, and Measure Success in the New Web (Wiley, 2010), research shows that 92 percent of customers use social media to get customer service support. Those who receive help on Facebook or Twitter tend to be more loyal than those who don’t. They also spend 35 percent more money over time. There are plenty of other examples where social media delivers results related to branding, awareness, sales leads—and much more. While some businesses may take an ad hoc approach with their strategy, if you’re serious about building your brand—and making money—social should be part of your long-term plan.
Negativity around social media
One of social media’s biggest controversies stems from its ability to transform into a forum for negativity. If you run a business on social media, you can’t ignore negative comments about your brand. Instead, acknowledge them—and respond accordingly. And if you don’t feel like responding? Sometimes, it’s better to ignore than exacerbate issues or attacks. (Just make sure your silence doesn’t come off as an admission of guilt.)
Lets get started with your social media
Any marketing plan needs to be based on a firm foundation: your target audience. Before you can start building and growing your social media strategy, you need to know who it is you’re trying to reach. Who is interested in what you have to say? What do they like and dislike? What do they fear and hope for? Defining your audience will help you craft messages that resonate with them, set appropriate goals, track progress effectively, and measure results. It’s also good business.