You have been hearing a lot about Social Media.
Usually you hear that you need it and your business cannot thrive without it. But is that really true? Do you really need Social Media?
The answer is YES!
Social media provides an avenue for people to instantly get connected to each other and share thoughts and ideas. People are looking for ways to interact and stay in touch, which is why social media has caught on and is spreading like wildfire!
Let's look at a few facts and figures:
Facebook has 1.32 billion daily active users on average
Instagram is used by more than 100 million people every month
LinkedIn has 500 million users
With these kinds of statistics, it's easy to see why being on social media is becoming more and more important to stay relevant.
You have to meet your customers where they are, and right now, they are on social media.
How Social is Your Company's Media?
Every tool should be used wisely, this includes social media. Have a plan before you begin, someone who can carry it out, and keep your company's mission at the forefront of all you do.
1. Integrate your social media plan with your overall communications program.
Look at the ways that you communicate now and weave social media into the fabric of what you already do. Post your social media user names in your business newsletter and on your website. Going to a conference? Put your social media handles on all your company handouts.. Does your business have a marquis? Post your social media sites there as well. If you have a current telephone call-out or instant messaging program, send out a Tweet of that message as well. Consider posting your services on Facebook Live if you already video your business offerings.
2. Use a lens not a mirror as you communicate.
When you post on social media, you will receive feedback. Concentrate on seeing and fulfilling needs. Read and respond to the comments on a Facebook post. Listen carefully to the questions people ask or the sentiments they express. You may find yourself developing a FAQ page on your website that answers some of these questions and concerns. Then post the link to that page on social media, and a circle is complete.
3. Never, ever, ever give up.
Few efforts succeed in a landslide within a short period. Follow your plan and reflect on it regularly. Continue what is working and adjust what may not be catching on yet. Most of all, keep the mission of your business front and center so that social media remains a tool and not a goal in itself.
How Can My Business Benefit From Using Social Media?
Three particular social media applications are serving businesses well across the country: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Any business starting a social media outreach will likely start with these, maybe even in this order.
- Facebook: Facebook is a great way to make people aware of who you are and what your business does. You can create a profile for your business or organization by establishing a Fan Page. Your Fan Page can be used to drive traffic to your business website and also connect your business directly to your customers and would be buyers/clients. This is a great way to develop a following. You can also create a Facebook event or a Special Promotion and invite all of your Fans. When they RSVP, the event immediately shows up on their own calendars. To make the most of Facebook, plan on posting something new several times per week.
- Instagram: Instagram is highly visual and therefore a great way to celebrate the vibrant life of your business. Great closeups of workers or your business activities can be followed by an artistic quote or meme that tells the story of your business. Use as much or as little text as you wish as a caption for the image. To keep people aware of your presence, look for ways to post to Instagram daily.
- Twitter: Launch a hashtag to tie together your customers, employees and any business partners. Twitter can increase an awareness of your brand and can result in even more traffic to your website. You can also promote any blogs and presentations that you have. Twitter gives you instant feedback about your products and services. Depending on the need, you can Tweet something out from your business several times a day.
Social Media is a Way to Communicate Your Business to the Community
Using social media effectively will help you make a strong impression on those who are looking for a business like yours. Be casual, be formal, but most of all, be SOCIAL. People are looking for connections. Make it easy for them to connect to your business.