Social media can seem overwhelming for small businesses without an online presence, not knowing where and how to start.
Social media for business is a powerful tool, if used effectively. In this digital age, society is connected online more than ever - for work, social and entertainment needs. As a business, we should not disregard this opportunity to connect with our customers. However with so many options, it's difficult to know where to start, or even if social media is right for your business.
Research, analysis and a sound communications strategy is a good starting point for determining a marketing mix and your need for social media. You will need to consider the different factors such as which social media platform would be best to tell your customers about your product and services, who your customers are, where they spend their time, if they use social media, and which social media platforms are best to reach them.
Once you’ve considered these factors, you’ll have a clearer idea of whether social media is right for your business, and if so, which platforms are most effective for reaching your customers. Explore the many different platforms out there, mainstream and niche and assess suitability to your business and customers, as well as the way they work with content. Every platform has different algorithms, and understanding how this works for your selected social media channels will help with how you create content.
If used effectively, social media can be used to connect, engage and grow your network of customers.
A sound communications strategy including marketing mix should be supported with a sound content strategy. Communicating effectively with customers doesn’t just involve “how” you reach them, but also “what” you say. Once you've established which social media platforms are best for reaching your customers, you need to create content that connects with them. The key to this is always providing value - a solution to what they are searching for, or simply, useful information.
Using social media for business not only allows you to connect with your customers, but engage with them and their networks as well. Once you've established a network of followers, you can also access insights into their demographics and behaviour - information you would not have access to if you do not use social media.