Social media might not have been around forever, but it is constantly growing and changing.
2021 is set to see almost 4 billion social media users online. But social media isn’t only for socialising. Businesses can also use it in a variety of ways, and to meet a variety of business objectives. The key thing to remember is that social media shouldn’t be slept on.
From Twitter to Facebook to Instagram, different platforms offer different things – and therefore have different demographics.
Facebook, for example, is still the most-used social media platform, especially among older generations – while millennials might prefer TikTok and Instagram, each platform definitely has its uses. By finding where your audience spends their time and utilising that platform well, social media can have a massive impact on how well (and how easily) you meet your business objectives.
Typically, the average person spends around 3 hours per day on social media. For this reason, over 73% of marketers believe that social media is effective for their business – whether that be through the use of social media advertising, influencer marketing, posting organic social media content, or generating social proof through user-generated content. However you choose to use it, social media can certainly be beneficial for your business.
Take a moment to consider your own social media habits. How many times will you go to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook for recommendations or inspiration before buying something? People look for reviews, share their positive experiences, and try to get a feel for brands through their social media. It’s a great way to market your business, and an opportunity you wouldn’t want to miss out on.
Trust us, social media is only going to get bigger and better as the years go by. So, we’ve put together six of the best ways you can use social media today to meet your long-term business objectives:
1. Organic Social Media Marketing
Organic social media marketing is one of the simplest ways to use social media for your business. Using these platforms to post about your products and services while interacting with your existing, potential and ideal customers is something you can do daily and with minimal cost.
Whether it’s sharing ‘behind the scenes’ videos of your business or showcasing a new launch, being present on social media is important for marketing your business, especially as it continues to be such a huge part of peoples’ lives.
Organic social media marketing can help you meet your business objectives by allowing you to build a rapport with your customers. Organic social media also offers the opportunity to quickly capture and resolve customer service enquiries, making it a useful tool for ensuring customer satisfaction.
2. Influencer Marketing
With social media comes social media influencers. While influencer marketing is something that is still relatively new, there’s no denying that it can be a lucrative marketing strategy for many customer-facing businesses. Incorporating influencer marketing into your organic social media strategy can help build brand awareness for your business.
Social media influencers often have loyal followers who value their opinion – so when an influencer shouts about your business on their feed it means more eyes on you and your brand.
Influencers have the ability to sell out products simply by promoting them online – take Mrs Hinch, for example, who managed to sell out seemingly normal household cleaning products just through the power of social media! Therefore, influencer marketing can be a great way to improve brand trust and demonstrate social proof for your products or services.
Whether it’s through a gifting campaign or a paid advertisement feature, influencer marketing is an effective way of sharing what you do as a business in order to meet business objectives of brand awareness, brand trust, and sales.
3. Social Media Advertising
Social media advertising can be one of the most effective uses of social media for business. From video ads on YouTube and TikTok to lead generation ads on LinkedIn and Facebook, social media adverts come in many different formats.
When it comes to how to use social media for business advertising, there are several routes to explore. This means you can choose a social media advertising strategy that best meets your business objectives.
For example, if you are interested in getting people to sign-up to an upcoming industry webinar you may want to run a lead generation advert on LinkedIn.
Alternatively, if your business objective is to drive sales for your new clothing range, advertising on Facebook and Instagram may better suit your target audience. You can choose to set up singular social media adverts or create a more in-depth advertising funnel that follows users through the customer journey and across various platforms. An in-depth social media advertising strategy can produce powerful results for your business.
As well as having a choice of platforms to advertise across, social media advertising also offers intuitive targeting options. You can target social media users based on demographic factors such as education-level, occupation, age, gender or marital status.
You even have the option to segment audiences based on interest, ensuring your advert is served to the people most like your target audience.
Another great targeting feature of social media advertising is having the ability to remarket to existing audiences through the use of tracking pixels or customer upload lists. These targeting options allow you to drive further traffic to your website from your social media pages, and nurture warm leads too.
As you only pay for the ads that people click on, you are only paying for advertising that has already done its job. Social media ads perfectly complement other forms of social media usage, and you can ensure they work cohesively with other areas of your marketing strategy such as email marketing, content marketing and PPC.
4. YouTube Videos
Creating YouTube videos might seem daunting, but it is another great way of marketing your business. From creating how-to videos to sharing longer ‘behind the scenes’ clips of how your business runs, videos enable you to develop informative and entertaining content that reaches a large audience.
YouTube is the second largest search engine behind Google, and it is where people turn to in order to find reviews and information about particular products or services. By filming an in-depth look at the items or services you offer, as well as creating instructional content, you can definitely utilise this platform well.
However, simply creating YouTube videos isn’t enough. It is important that you understand the steps you need to take to optimise your YouTube channel for search.
By using the right keywords in your title and description, you will be able to further increase the reach of your YouTube channel. In turn, this can help generate amazing results for your business objectives – be it brand awareness, website traffic, audience engagement or sales.
There is over six billion hours of video content watched on YouTube every month, so it’s worth putting yourself and your business out there.
5. LinkedIn Company Page
When it comes to business and professionalism, LinkedIn is the platform to use. Chances are you’ve already created a LinkedIn page for your business. But how often do you update it? And are you really optimising that company page for business results?
LinkedIn company pages are where brands tend to share business updates and information that might not necessarily be of interest to the general public. Rather, the content shared across LinkedIn will be tailored to other businesses or professionals. As a result, it is a great platform for generating leads, and this is especially true when it comes to B2B marketing.
Yet, your LinkedIn company page doesn’t have to be stale or boring. It can actually be a great place to showcase your business’s personality and to harness results that align with your business objectives.
By producing and sharing high quality content across your LinkedIn Company Page, you can establish yourself as a leader within your niche. This, in turn, helps you build a great reputation, and you’ll find that your business gets recommended to others because of this.
Social media is really just digitised word-of-mouth marketing, so building strong connections on LinkedIn is a great way to ensure people are always talking about you and your business. If you aren’t already making the most of your LinkedIn Company Page, now is the time to start.
6. Private Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups are another brilliant way to build a loyal community within your business – whether it’s to share in-depth tips and tricks or to provide Group members with special discounts, Facebook Groups are a place where you can offer plenty of value with minimal effort.
Facebook’s algorithm prioritises Groups that users frequently engage with, meaning your posts will be seen on members’ home pages if you use the Group regularly. You are able to open up a direct line of communication with your audience, and it is somewhere that allows you to be a little more laid-back and personal with your customers.
By providing free value to your audience, your private Facebook Group allows you to build long-lasting relationships with both existing and potential customers. Facebook Groups are a powerful way to nurture leads for your business.
If you create some specific rules for your Group and set up specific marketing actions within your Group, you’ll ensure meaningful conversations happen. You can use the group to deliver free insights, exclusive materials or products, build a sense of community, or as a way to gain customer feedback for future product development.
However you decide you use your Facebook Group, consider how the use of that Group will best align with your wider marketing and business objectives.
Optimise your social media marketing
There is no denying that social media is a powerful way to promote your business. It is something that is such a huge part of daily life for so many people, and not utilising these platforms could mean you are missing out on leads, sales and life-long customers.