By Sarah Trimble, Guest Writer
Social media is the cornerstone of marketing for modern day businesses. If you haven’t already joined the 74% (and growing) businesses that are using social media to benefit their businesses, then unfortunately you’re losing a lot of business. You need to look at the goals and objectives of your business and implement those into social media marketing. Here are 17 ways to grow your business with social media:
Stay Ahead of the Curve
First of all, use social media. Your competitors already are using it, so stay ahead of the curve by learning and adapting to all the different social media platforms available to you. There are many out there and some of the most popular ones include: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Tumblr. It’s time to join the bandwagon!
Target Your Audience
When you use social media you are able to look for specific audiences so you can target potential customers. For example, on Twitter you can join conversations about certain topics to see who is engaging in the conversation. Join the conversation! Follow some other commenters and you will probably gain some followers back, ultimately leading to new customers.
It is vital that you are consistent on your social media posts. As you gain an audience, people are expecting to hear from you. You need to give them what they want. Who is your target audience and why? Schedule when and how often you will post to meet potential customers needs.
You shouldn’t only be posting for your own good sake, interact with your audience! Engaging with potential customers will let them know that you are a real business. The more interaction means the more opportunities for your audience to turn into your customers. So, respond to their posts and answer their questions. Show some interest in your audience. Be appreciative of comments they leave on your posts by commenting back and thanking them. Interacting can go a long way.
Exclusive Services through Social Media
You can gain a large following by offering exclusive services only available through social media. For example, if you are a florist you could offer a special arrangement for an upcoming holiday at a discounted price through a follow on Twitter with a comment and retweet. Your followers will love the idea of an exclusive deal, and in this case retweeting to their followers will gain you more followers and potential customers.
Going along the lines of exclusive services, benefiting your customers by providing free giveaways is a sure way to grow your business! If you have a blog you can giveaway a free book. If you offer marketing services you can offer a free trial or even a discount code. People love free! They also love winning contests, so make it fun and engaging and you will definitely gain more customers.
Link Your Website
It’s helpful to have a link to your website somewhere on your social media account. In your “About” or “Bio” section is a good place to add a link. That way it is easier for your audience and potential customers to find you. Making it easier on them will help your business in the long run.
Include Icons on Your Website
Also, include your social media icons on your website. Therefore, if a customer only knows your business through your website and they see your icons they will become more engaged with your business. It’s likely they will share your business with their friends on social media, allowing you to gain more customers.
Include Icons in Your Emails
Let’s face it. Emails are a big part of our days. By adding your social media icons to your emails, you are bound to gain followers and in turn customers.
Optimize your social media content by using the keywords in your industry. What are people searching for on Google? What words are people using in group conversations that you’ve joined? What words are people searching for on your website? Know your businesses keywords and use them often. You don’t have to say the exact same thing every single time. Change the format. Switch the words around. Be creative.
Use hashtags whenever possible! One of the best platforms to use hashtags is Twitter. You can hashtag anything that is relevant to your post or business in general. This will definitely get you followers because anyone else who uses that hashtag or searches that hashtag can see your tweet. Also popular on Instagram, using hashtags helps you grow your followership and puts your business in front of potential customers.
Social media platforms are great places to find other businesses to collaborate with your business. LinkedIn, for example, is a large professional platform that will allow you to share business ideas and find likeminded professionals to work with. All social media channels are great for networking, while keeping an eye on the competition.
Share as much as you can on social media. Share your website, your sales, your blog, your ideas, your other social media platforms, etc. The key is to engage and be consistent about it.
Social media is a quick way to respond to customer comments. Your customers who follow you will most likely leave reviews if they have a great experience or a bad experience. Be sure to thank the grateful customers and be sure to address customer complaints quickly and efficiently!
A strong social media presence will naturally build your brand over time. By posting frequently, you will organically create your tone and build your brand. Adding some personality to your posts will make your brand stand out in your industry, so don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Keep it professional, but light and engaging.
Social media is incredibly popular. Don’t try to go against the grain. Just go with it. Join it. Use it. Share it.
Again, people love free stuff! And you should too! Social media is a completely free tool to market your business. Enough said.
There it is, folks. 17 ways to grow your business with social media. It takes dedication and dedication takes time. But, beware, time seems to get away from your when you are engaged on social media. Schedule times for using social media as your marketing tool, but keep a limit on your use. Go ahead, get started!