Social media has grown at a staggering rate over the last decade. There are currently 2.4 Billion Facebook users, 1 Billion Instagram accounts and 330 Million people on Twitter- these numbers increase every day. Meanwhile, traditional forms of media such as newspapers to television are struggling to reach audiences who have rapidly lost interest, instead favouring the infinite expanse of content available online. As a result, advertising and promoting a business through these channels no longer has the same impact as
it used to and why would anyone use these old methods when the same results can be achieved for free using social media?
Used correctly and social media can be a vital tool to attract new customers and massively increase the reach of your business. From dog grooming, to hairdressing, to container storage it’s all about planning ahead and using the strategy best suited to your business.
Decide what platform is most suitable
Each social media platform has their own strengths and weaknesses and a different demographic of users. While having an account on as many platforms as possible can help boost your online presence, it's worth focusing your effort on the ones most suited to your brand. To decide this consider your target market and what their social media habits might be.
Facebook- as the social media platform with the most users it is more than likely you will find potential customers. Facebook is especially effective if you want your posts to be shared and also to organise events.
Twitter- While Twitter doesn’t have as many users it is effective for marketing as hashtags allow you to reach new audiences. Also, if someone finds your content interesting they may retweet it therefore increasing your posts reach.
Instagram- With a focus on Images, Instagram is a great way to showcase the products and services you are offering. This can be done through both posts on the main feed and through stories. Similarly to Twitter, hashtags can be used to reach and target new audiences.
Plan Your Content in Advance
Many brands use a content calendar to plan well in advance what they will be posting on their social media to ensure they are using their platforms consistently. The calendar should provide details of the text and images to be posted, the platform it’s intended for, along with the time and date the post will go live. Posts can be used to promote any new offers, upcoming events or simply to tell customers about the business.
Quality is Key- Ensure your posts are of a high quality, that your Images are eye-catching and all links are in working order.
Promote Your Posts- It is possible to pay to promote posts to increase their reach which can bring in new customers.
Build Your Brand Identity
Planning your content in advance will help you to achieve this. Building a unique brand identity on social media helps a business to stand out and be remembered. Be consistent with the style and tone of your posts to appear more professional. Again, consider the target market. An informal, chatty tone might be more appealing to younger audiences but wouldn’t be appropriate for a solicitor, for example.
Interact With Potential Customers
One of the main advantages of social media over traditional media is that the communication is two-way. It provides a vehicle for businesses to interact with their customers and build a relationship with them which can improve brand loyalty. Be sure to respond to any comments potential customers leave on your posts.
Social media will give you a better idea of who your customers are and will allow you to sell to them more effectively.
Be sure to monitor the engagement that each post receives to be clear on what posts are reaching customers and what isn’t. The style of the most successful posts can then be replicated in the future. Most platforms use algorithms that tend to promote posts with higher engagement. Try asking questions within your captions to encourage your followers to comment.
It’s important never to stop learning and developing social media strategy. These platforms have grown incredibly quickly and will continue to do so, therefore it’s useful to stay ahead and keep up with new trends so that the algorithms favour your content. Overall, if used effectively social media will significantly increase brand awareness, attract new potential customers and be an amazing tool to help your business grow.