Social Media: the innovative technology that has taken over the world, literally. Anyone in their mid to late twenties will remember early experiences with social media as Myspace and Bebo which were essentially basic web platforms for young people to list unimportant facts about themselves on their profile page, post photos from house parties and gossip about each other. Since the explosion of Facebook, social media has become a pillar of global communication not just for personal relationships but b2b, b2c and even a platform for political figures to broadcast their positions and sometimes their inappropriate opinions to the rest of the world. In 2017 the number of social network users worldwide was 2.46bn with many of these users checking their accounts more than twice a day. Considering that it is free to set up an account on all the popular social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) where you can display your business contact details and share unlimited content that could promote and inform your audience on your products and services why would you not take advantage of this monumental outlet? However there are many business owners, entrepreneurs and even well-known brands who aren’t utilising social media to its full potential. Below are some tips on how to effectively use social media for marketing.
Spend Time Researching and Learning
This should be the first step in pretty much every business venture, project or task as it is essential to understand what you are doing before you are doing it. When it comes to tips for using social media for business there is a plethora of free content available online. To take it one step further there is also online courses you can pay to complete in your own time, however by setting aside ample time you can educate yourself with profitable information for free especially if you are familiar with your target market and your business goals.
Know Your Target Market and Take Note from Your Customers
Carrying on from point one, it is essential that you know who your target market is and which social media platforms that market is using. One of the biggest benefits of social media, and funnily enough one of the biggest pitfalls for unaware businesses, is that is an extension of your customer service. Social Media has become part of everyday life for many of the billions of users around the globe. With the establishment of certified users (you can see a little blue or white tick beside the username) across the top social media platforms, your business account is officially a 24/7/365 communication channel connecting you directly to your customers. This means that when a customer sends you a direct message, tags you in a comment or comments on your page or any content that you post you are expected to acknowledge it, otherwise it could be seen as poor customer service. This is particularly important for complaints.
Take Advantage of Automated Posts
Consistency is key when it comes to social media. As well as keeping all your profile information up to date and keeping up with customer communication it is important that your account remains active to assure your customers that your business is still operating. Once you open your official social media account you must remain consistent with posting as bouts of silence will suggest to your following that account and consequently the business has been abandoned. The frequency of your content will depend on the size of your business and the suitability of the platform to your business goals.