For the average internet user, social media may remain global channels that bring them closer to family, friends and even brands. Yet their business value has grown out of all proportions, precisely because of their astonishing number of users. Over the years, we’ve witnessed the rise of many new purposes of these channels, among them, including their usage as a way to advertise your business.
With approximately 1.7 billion active users, Facebook definitely dominates the web space, thus providing businesses with new advertising and marketing opportunities.
Almost any new business starting up nowadays can find its place in multitude of social media networks and reach out to potential customers. Their constant evolution continues to bring new ways for businesses to communicate with their current or potential customers. To unlock this potential, businesses need to devise a plan forehand and not just dive in unprepared since there are a lot of fish in the sea and you will get eaten and disappear from the radar. So, in what ways can you use social media to improve your business success?
Use social media as customer service
If you log in to Facebook while drinking your morning coffee, the first thing you’ll see is facebook asking you what’s on your mind. And a lot of people respond to it. We tend to use social media to express our daily thoughts, feelings or remarks concerning certain events that we face or come across. We don’t hesitate to tell everyone what we are doing every second of every day, where we are, who we are with, and so on, and so forth. While some people find it annoying to be involved into every aspect of their virtual friends’ life, business, can use these habits to show how dedicated they are to their customers.
Make your daily routine to monitor what people post about your business – not just positive reviews, but also negative comments which you can use to your advantage. If you see people complaining about your business, reach out to them, see where the problem lies and offer to provide them with a solution. Psychology research on reciprocity suggests that people will be grateful because their message was heard and will perceive you as a professional dedicated to having a base of satisfied customers. If you see people constantly saying positive things about your business or product, present them with some kind of a reward, whether it is a discount, coupon, or free product – people love free stuff and they will be more likely to spread the word about your brand.
In addition to helping customers solve problems, you can utilize social media to organize live chats or discussions, where during a specified time, you will answer any question they have about your business and help them understand what you do better thus converting them into loyal customers.
Use social media to organize contests
A lot of brands do this, and with a good reason. Namely, BPMA surveys reveal that 66% of participants are more likely to recall the brand based on the promotional product they received with the past 12 months.
By organizing a contest, you increase your chances to inspire word-of-mouth marketing, since people will be more likely to share their positive experience with their friends if the reward is appealing enough to them. Organize a contest using interesting content, such as a fun quiz, or ask people to be creative – for example to take photos, or post old photos that will bring back happy memories they will later associate with your brand. But this must not be a random competition, but an action that brilliantly merges together your brand values and people’s desire to share something about themselves.
Making people use their creative skills and evoking emotions, you will get a maximum level of involvement, and even though many people won’t get the reward, they will most likely continue to follow your business and engage with you. As for the people who get the reward, if they like it, you have a potential customer for life.
Use social media to give out free tips
If you are just launching your business, you want to create an impression that you are an expert in your niche. Since you are a new face in the market, people will probably not know much about you. To establish yourself as someone who knows well what they are doing, take 10 minutes of every day to think of a short, useful piece of advice that may be of help to your target audience and share it on social media. That piece of advice might just be what they were looking for, and they will most likely be attracted to know more about you and in what other ways you can help them and make their lives easier.
Allowing your business to be perceived as someone who can provide some value to people by giving out a snippet of your business secrets without people having to pay for that immediately, you will most definitely earn a lot of respect and recommendations.
Use social media to create personal connection with audience
As mentioned in our earlier article, people love to see the faces behind businesses and brands. It allows them to form a deeper connection when they can connect a brand to real human faces and not just look at your company logo. They want to trust you, and they cannot form that bond of trust if they don’t know who is speaking to them.
Post pictures of your employees in both formal and especially informal occasions, such as company parties – when people see your employees happy and satisfied, they will be sure that the product delivered to them is crafted with care and respect.
Moreover, you can use social media to feature your employee of the month and praise them for doing a good job. Your employees will be even more motivated to do good work, and people will form the image of your business as someone who takes care of their employees, therefore, they will see your business as trustworthy.
No business should neglect the importance of social media in our lives nowadays. Failing to do so can damage the public image of your business and lead to the loss of many potential customers.
This is why it is important to come up with the right social media strategy for your business and identify the real chances for success. Bearing in mind the advice provided above, you can start forming a new social media strategy to improve the efficiency of your current efforts or devise a completely different approach to building a positive public image of your business.