Almost everyone on this planet now knows SOCIAL MEDIA and longs to use Social Media for business growth. No one can imagine a single day without Social Media. Willingly or unwillingly it is inevitably a part of our lives today. Last year we all experienced a whole new era of isolation which has brought in different ways to live. Though the challenge and change in the world which came with COVID have undoubtedly brought in difficult times for many of us, we can not deny that there is a bright side to it as well.
To mention one example, Bengaluru and many other cities of the world witnessed so much improvement in the environment. The work from a home culture has brought families together.
Unfortunately, with this many of us also lost our jobs, and the economy across the globe is impacted. This also came with more and more people trying to find alternate ways of earning a living. It is not that people did not know Social Media before COVID, but after the advent of this unexpected outburst of the pandemic, the Social Media Marketing Business is now more popular than ever before. Everyone now understands the importance of online presence and wants to aspire to use Social Media to earn money.
As it appears very lucrative from the outside, this is where the challenge comes. Like the Hollywood movies from the outside, it looks shiny and seems simple which I do not deny also. But the fact is that it is important to know the basics. In the absence of correct understanding, you may either end up spending a lot of money or may expect miracles. Both of which will not help. Like any other marketing technique, it needs effort and investment. You must understand the basics to make the best out of it.
Why? Once you understand, it can be an amazing and easy way to market your brand.
Let’s dive in!
Getting started with Social Media
According to the oxford dictionary websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking are known as social media. In the digitizing world, the world is contracting and shrinking both at the same time. One can network, reach, and create a whole different virtual world when connected through these media platforms.
There are numerous platforms that are being used as social media, amongst which major ones being Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Youtube, etc. The count of major and important platforms is just not stopping. Hence, I believe the time is near where there will be social media applications as per the choice of groups, much like that of different religious books and interests and there would be multiple and uncountable social networking applications which people will create and access according to their interests and choice.
Use of Social Media
Social media platforms are widely in use these days for varied purposes but the majority of which is communication. Communication is the foundation stone of every relationship be it personal or professional and hence I believe that social media contributes to it in large noticeable amounts.
The generations coming up are of course using these platforms for the good of themselves but there are many who use these platforms to earn money and bring out the best from it.
Ever wondered how the people on Facebook/Instagram/Youtube are getting paid for what they do and there you are just seamlessly wasting your time or maybe using social media platforms just for the sake of recreation.
Well, this blog exactly brings everything you need to know to be productive through these networking and recreational platforms called social media.
Why use social media for business?
Social media has emerged as a powerful marketing tool for businesses. 90% of brands use social media to boost brand awareness. Whereas, 77% of them depend on social media to manage their brand reputation and 61% of them use it to drive sales. (source: Shane barker)
In today’s scenario businesses are using social media platforms for their marketing and maintaining their brand name. Be it a brand with a name as big as Puma/Adidas or let it be a startup of any kind, every business is seeking the support of social media platforms. This is to resolve this purpose of brand recognition beginning from obviously grass root level and then eventually achieving heights.
But the question of greater importance is HOW?
How to achieve recognition and set up a name for a brand on social media
There can be various approaches that can be used to promote business and let it grow. In the social media sector, hard work and luck work in 50/50 that is in equal proportions. Luck depends upon what techniques you apply on different social media platforms. On social media, it is all about the hits and reaches you get, and for content, the hits depend upon the clicks and traffic which comes to your profiles, pages, or website that eventually depends upon the efforts you have put in while creating content.
To talk about the efforts for social media, well, you need to be proactive to bring out the best of productivity and results for your input. Below are certain steps that would help you have a vision about how you must go about it.
You must begin with identifying your niche if you are planning to start your new business online. Well, if you already have an establishes business and now looking to promote online then half of your work is already done. If you already have your business, it also means that you have your base data to compare the results you expect from Social Media Marketing . Once you have your niche and business identified, you need to identify your target audience and there you are absolutely well and set to go. The audience, content, and competitor everything must be sorted before we proceed as we do not want to waste our time and money. We can experiment with different techniques as long as we are aware and as much as we want to but not compromise.
#1 Be Limitless
To promote your business on social media try to engage with every major platform so that you don’t restrict the demography of your audience.
It is of utmost importance that you engage with people so well that they do appreciate your footprint over the media platform. Interest is something that will pave your way to growth as nothing but the best of engagements would bring to you better insights.
Better insights would then assure better online visibility which would in turn help you to grow.
Some of the most popular platforms that a majority of businesses use include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In, and YouTube. Pinterest is also gaining traction these days and once you get a hold of it your SEO will organically grow. This will in turn help with the growth happening automatically.
When you work for some time with social media you will be able to identify the platforms which work best for you and then you will know where you should put your maximum efforts. These platforms can be sometimes tied up with the type of business and niche you are into. Some platforms may work wonders for you while others may not.
As this requires a lot of your time and investment of money, you need to be careful in selecting the right platform for your business. Once you know where to go and which platforms to use more than others, then from that particular point you will start growing.
It will also help you to plan your budget and also set your expectations right about what outcomes you should expect from your investment.
Today Social Media is buzz word and everyone is running behind it without realizing the investment and effort required to do it in the right way. Ultimately, what you want is to generate leads for your business and none of us has infinite budget so an effective planning is a must to generate results.
Though a technical knowhow is a must but you can not deny that this comes with experience and practice.
If you are looking to promote your business online and plan to do Social Media Marketing and need help in organizing, I would love to help you.
According to Statista,
Facebook tops the list as a preferred platform for both B2B and B2C marketers. LinkedIn is another major platform B2B where businesses should focus on.
If you are doing B2C marketing, say for example in the restaurant industry or fashion industry, Instagram and Facebook are two ideal platforms. Likewise, if you have a business agency or an institution, LinkedIn could help.
#2 Know what you need
The key to social media marketing for your business lies in setting up appropriate social media goals. You should clearly state what you want to achieve from your social campaigns. Some of the most common social media for business goals include:
- Building brand awareness
- Managing a brand reputation
- Increasing community engagement
- Increasing sales
- Driving more traffic
Which in every sense is dependent upon how we strategize and implement it.
Creating a plan requires efforts since a virtual platform like social media is something that you cannot casually play with as your business name is associated with it. Hence one needs to handle it with care.
Also keep a check on your competitors as survival of the fittest is something that everyone is working with these days.
#3 A clear strategy can do wonders if you wish to master Social Media for business growth
Alright, so you have now identified the niche and goals for business. What next?
Business grows only when there is a plan to work on. Growing on social media isn’t that easy as it sounds. Things can only work for you if you plan for consistent efforts for the growth.
Here is what we need to do :
A. Roles and responsibilities:
You build a team for social media. Now, you need to list down the roles and responsibilities. Assign the work clearly so that everyone knows their tasks without any confusion.
And BOOM! We are halfway through!
B. Create a complete social media marketing strategy with clear milestone and goals for year and months.
There are many free templates available. You may want to check out a few at : Backlinko
C. Planning your social media post frequency monthly can help a lot with better insights, trust me.
Having a social media calendar is a must. It reduces a lot of complexity in managing and also allows effective collaboration between team members.
A content calendar is a savior for sure.
Do maintain a content calendar no matter what. It can turn out to be a major part of your strategy for growth.
D. Start executing and do not forget to review your milestones periodically.
This is the most critical part. I love what Sanjay says often “It is an execution problem”. Everyone or most of us know how it all works but where we get stuck up is to follow the steps in the right sequence and keep it consistent.
Procrastination is not a choice for Social Media Marketers. It has to be consistent or choose not do waste your money !
5 Important Strategies to keep in mind while using Social Media for Business Growth
Below are 5 effective ways you can build your business growth on social media:
#1 Your audience is your friend
Social media is about connection and engagement, and that’s the only way you can foster the relationships you want to build and gain the trust of your audience. You should know your audience well, the set of people and their interests.
Once you list all of this out, you’ll get a basic idea of how you can channelise your business content. You will be able to know which of your products and services people liked the most, and which not. This is actually a brilliant way to boost your ideas as well as productivity.
Engaging with your audience is very important as it will not only increase your reach but help you build a long-term relationship with your audience. Here are few things you can do to engage better on social media:
A. Commenting on posts will increase your visibility.
B. Participate in online discussions, this will build your authority to sell more.
C. Make sure you always share information relevant to your business niche. Only good content. No copy-paste. Sharing your own experience is definitely a value add for your audience.
D. Do polls and answer customer queries as much as possible.
E. Be open and positive towards criticism. All feedback will help you to improve and fill gaps.
F. Connect with them more by rewarding or appreciating.
#2 Visual content over Text-based content
Note it or mark it but this is a straight fact that one can share ideas better visually rather than doing that over texts. This is the reason why most influential brands and businesses tend to focus and invest on producing visual content. Doing this not only helps them with attracting a large section of the audience but also promotes their product in as creative a way as possible.
#3 Maintain consistency
Social media takes time and patience to produce and cultivate what one wants. It is definitely not a one-time deal!
You can minimize the time you’ll have to dedicate to social media. But still you will have to dedicate a significant amount of time to monitor your channels and respond to people’s queries.
Posting frequency is of course the major part of maintaining consistency on social media. Although, the right number really depends on the platform you’re using.
It is advisable for LinkedIn & Facebook to not post more than once a day, and limit posts to five times a week. For Twitter, on the other hand, the more you post, the better you get the reach. With Pinterest, 11 pins a day works absolutely fine.
#4 Hats off to the Hashtags!
Hashtags can be called one of those weapons one can use to step-up the social media game. They can be a powerful way to use social media for business growth.
But it is necessary to pick the right hashtags and use them sensibly.
Try to use hashtags which are unique and compliment your business. Obviously, you would not want your business page to get lost among many. This can happen especially when your competitors may use the same hashtags.
Apart from just unique, try to go for shorter hashtags. You want people to remember your business name,right? But, that can only happen if you make things accessible and easier for them to remember.
Explore, research and then apply. I mean, you should know what you are putting online.
#5 One step at a time!
No doubt there are ample amount of opportunities and crazy platforms to build your social media presence on! I understand how and why small businesses or startups wish to be available on every social media platform for marketing. It is new and also amazing to see how in the recent history we did not have so many marketing channels and options to choose from. And now, there is this ocean for you to dive in. learn and grow.
Today, we have Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, Quora, Medium, Reddit and what not! All of these social media platforms are a good way to drive business to positive growth.
Well, it is important to note that not every time you can excel in a multi-level approach. You need to make sure that you build your online presence well on one platform first and then move to the next. This will not only help you plan and strategize well but also give you enough time to work on weaker points.
Best Social Media for Business Growth and why?
No doubt, social media sites are great for reaching bigger audiences. You get to increase the visibility of your business, promote your products or services, generate new leads, and drive sales.
But which one of them all is the best and suitable for YOU and YOUR BUSINESS?
It won’t be right if I tell you just one name and wrap this up. Social media is a vast hub and your choice of platform can vary from business to business based on your target audience, type of products, etc.
Still, I have tried to collect and bring to you the few most popular social media platforms 2021 for small businesses or budding entrepreneurs like you!
Is it a surprise? Not for me! Facebook still manages to top the list because of the large user base it holds. With 2.41 billion daily active users, Facebook is the most widely used social platform.
Facebook has been a favourite social network for thousands and millions of businesses and a brilliant marketplace for quite long.
What’s the reason behind this evergreen charm?
Facebook’s wide user base and demographic of users makes it a go to place for growing business. You can easily find your target audience on this platform and get in front of them to present your product. Also, you can target customers by age, gender, employment, interests, purchasing behaviors, relationship status and so much more!
It definitely lets you put your ads and content in their news feed where they are already scrolling.
Instagram is almost similar to Facebook when it comes to the audience base, as it’s owned by the same company. But, Instagram has its own benefits as well. Here, you can grow organically more than you can on Facebook.
According to Statista, In 2020, Instagram’s user base in Australia hit about 11.0 million users. In addition, the number of Instagram users in Australia is projected to increase to 17.7 million users by 2026.
Instagram is a great option even if you do not have an advertising budget. This is because it is a visuals oriented platform and you can easily mark your presence in the target audiences’ feed.
If your company is from a creative industry then Pinterest should be a “must have” for you. Pinterest has 291 million monthly active users. Out of those users, 81% are women, 93% of active pinners said they use Pinterest to plan for purchases and 87% said they’ve purchased something because of Pinterest. How important and great is that to know!
Although the paid advertising on Pinterest is not as great as that of Facebook, you can still make your shot organically. You can play with keywords and other digital marketing techniques to boost your pot visibility.
With more than 2 BILLION monthly active users, out of which more than 30 million users hit Youtube daily, this becomes one of the top social media sites for business growth.
The platform gives you the benefit of visual content but apart from that, it also has the access to Google’s advertising platform. This advantage can be a lot helpful when you wish to run ads for your business.
If you are a B2B model company, or someone who targets consumers based on job titles, then LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for you!
LinkedIn accounts for 303 million monthly active users! Most of them are in the working world or close to it. The platform is basically for professionals, business, job hunters, and students. Being a businessman/businesswoman, you can interact with others for B2B marketing, partnership, presenting business quality, and many more. It helps in brand awareness also. Businesses can really take advantage of the expert’s words!!
In short, on LinkedIn one can easily grow his or her business having almost all genuine data and user base. This is because, people often include more accurate information about their employers, job positions, work email addresses and more than they do on other social media platforms that are utilized more for personal use.
And this makes it one of those perfect business social media sites for growth and development.
How to get started with Social Media Campaigns?
Okay, we know which platform to choose to start with our marketing. But it is also a matter of concern about how to use social media for marketing. Obviously, for a business to prosper, one needs to have a top-notch social media plan and should know the basics to start with a marketing campaign.
If you have an idea about a campaign your company agrees to run, here are few tips you should keep in mind:
#1 Set your objectives
Setting up objectives and listing all the areas of focus is very important. Initial process may include things like:
– Working on brand awareness
– Promotion of new products and services
– Correctly educating you target audience about your brand and its aim
– Offering customers with new deals and rewards
#2 Feed the right content
The content you put up is your supreme power. Always remember that. Your ideas, your message and your way of communicating with the audience define the pillars of a successful campaign.
You can make use of different media like GIFs, videos, images, stories and a whole lot of things to make your content as creative as possible.
#3 Advertising for the good
Advertising comes handy as well as a major help when you want to reach out to a large section of audiences.
For this, it is important that you consider taking care of a few things like budget, your target reach and of course the leads goal you want to achieve.
Keeping all this in mind can help a lot with business growth on social media.
Starting a business and maintaining its growth are two different things. An entrepreneur is passionate when he starts a business, but it may lose charm if we do not do marketing in the right way to the right audience at the right time.
I believe doing business is an art in itself, although being an artist too isn’t easy! When it comes to taking your business online, there can come a lot of hurdles to battle with. Not everything has to be fought with big weapons. Some of them can be tackled with straightforward weapons like social media.
I am not kidding but, learning how to use social media to grow your business can prove amazingly fruitful for you. Try for once and let us know!
I would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Do comment and let me know if my write-up has helped to answer your queries.
The next blog will mainly talk about Social Media tools to grow business online and what risks can be there when it comes to social media marketing.
Stay tuned & Stay safe!