Fifteen years ago when a business wanted to market their products or service to an audience, the most viable options were print marketing or television and radio advertising. Websites were slowly making their way into mainstream for business, and people were hesitantly boarding the internet train one-by-one. Fast forward to 2016 and the ways in which businesses can market to their customers have changed tremendously!
Websites for businesses are now more than mainstream, they’ve become a necessity. Millions of customers use search engines to find everything they need to know about a business before even making a purchase. Videos are the new shiny attention-getters, and anyone who is anyone has a Twitter or Facebook account to keep up with their friends, acquaintances, and loved ones.
With all of these rapidly-made advancements in technology, this has opened a door not only for internet users and individuals to entertain and educate themselves, but also for businesses to enter the market of online advertising and keep their business in the forefront of their customers’ minds. This is only one reason why a business should be on social media in today’s digital marketing world.
1. Target Your Customer Audience
Social media gives you the opportunity to target your target audience directly via several different networking channels. The social media network(s) that you choose to use will be determined by your customer audience.
For example, if your primary target market is teens and young adults ages 15-30, Instagram would be a great social media platform to communicate your value as a business. It is highly visual, includes video capabilities, and has produced great return on investment figures from customer contests.
According to Actionable Marketing Guide, 71% of the world’s internet users are on Facebook, which amounts to an astoundingly large potential audience for your profile. Businesses can expect great rewards from posting frequently and including a variety of content on their page, including videos, images, and links.
Twitter is largely used for mass marketing tactics that include articles, images, links, and the ever-popular hashtag. Teens and young adults are heavily consuming the market of Twitter, however, some older adults can also be found on this platform. Having a 140 character limit per tweet keeps a business’s posts short, sweet, and to the point for their consumer.
If you’re interested in targeting women ages 18-49, Pinterest is the social media network for you, as 41% of women on the internet frequent this site. It’s popular for do-it-yourself crafts and projects, however, businesses are seeing great results from posting their products, services, ideas, and other items on Pinterest to pull that market into their business. In fact, Pinterest is the second largest referrer of social media traffic for businesses!
LinkedIn is a highly professional and business-oriented social media. I like to say it’s Facebook with a suit on. Business-to-business companies should certainly be on this platform to build brand awareness, gain sales leads, and connect with potential partners and opportunities. Having a company page and posting unique, valuable content to that page regularly is what separates your business from the competition.
Finally, Google+ is a social network that gets an unpopular reputation of only being used by Google employees. This couldn’t be more false. Google+ is a network that if used in conjunction with a Google My Business page can result in instant gratification for your customers and increase search engine optimization for your website and your business.
2. Turn “Likes/Followers” into Customers
The biggest challenge business owners face once acquiring social media platforms is using them! The key to increasing your customers online is interacting with them via posts that can include images, links, videos, articles, and text. The more frequent you post, the better. Customers want to have a reason to interact with a business, and many companies use videos, customer testimonials, contests, and discounts to pull customers from their social media profiles to their websites and/or storefronts.
3. Broadcast Brand Awareness
One of the most common reasons a business might be on social media is to establish and spread awareness for their brand. In today’s ages of technology, having a Facebook or a Twitter account for your business shows that you’re a “real” business that is advancing just as quickly as the technology with which you are keeping up. It’s the equivalency of having a logo or a business card for your business. Customers view your profiles and then judge your business and your brand based on the type of content, frequency with which you post, and the amount of opportunities for value that you offer your customers on your profiles, whether this be articles, discounts, contests, videos, etc.
The important thing to remember about brand awareness is that your profile needs to look as professional and aesthetically pleasing as it can be; this includes having your logo as a profile picture, choosing an attention-getting cover photo, and your business information being complete and accurate in your profile.
There are so many ways social media can help improve the marketing of your business. This article is just the tip of the iceberg of social media marketing methods. Stay tuned for more articles in the future where I discuss each social media separately and give you new and creative ideas to take your business to the next level with social media!
Digital Marketing Specialist, Associate Business Advisor