Using Social Media to market your business
There is one simple fact facing SMEs today – your business needs a social media presence.
No matter what sort of business you are, social media has to be an essential tactic of your marketing strategy. It’s a cost-effective, easy way to engage with your new and existing customers.
Social media allows you to connect with your customers, increase awareness about your products, services and brand and boost your sales. There are now more than 3 billion people worldwide using social media each month.
Some mind-blowing global statistics:
- 3.4 billion active social media users
- 142 minutes a day spent on social media
- 91% of retail brands use social
- 81% of SMEs are on social media
- 55-64 year-olds twice as likely to engage with branded content
- 70 million blogs posted monthly on WordPress alone
It’s not going away; it’s only going to increase in popularity and without it, your business could suffer. There are many recent examples where large well-known brands have closed by failing to utilise online and social media for their businesses – they simply have not kept up with the times.
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It is easy to get your business off the ground and onto social media. You do not need to understand every current buzzword, the jargon and channels. It can be a really enjoyable process for you and your team to work on. What is important is keeping it simple to start with – you do not need to be on all and every social media channel from day 1.
The top 3 content marketing tactics used by SMEs are:
- 83% use social media
- 80% use blogs
- 77% use email newsletters
Indeed, 89% of B2B marketers use a content marketing strategy
You need to identify which social media channels would be the best fit for you and your target audience. Facebook has over 2 billion users, it owns Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. Advertise events, bookings, sell products, advertise jobs, special offers, promotions, competitions, reviews, polls, questionnaires, as well as sharing information; all this can be achieved on Facebook – and some for FREE! You can target specific groups, profiles and demographics allowing you to get a good insight into who/what are the best customers to target.
Finding the right social media channels can be daunting, the usual approach is to do all of them, however researching which ones your customers use will highlight the ones to use, in the UK these are the average statistics for the main channels:
- 74% of users check Facebook daily
- 60 million active business pages
- 5 million active advertisers
- 1.3 billion active accounts
- Average of 707 followers
- 95 million photos uploaded daily
- 800 million monthly active users
- 40 billion photos shared to date
- 300 hours of video content uploaded every minute
- 50+% view content on mobile devices
- 200 million monthly active users
- 67% under 40 years old
- 500 million users registered
- 106 million regularly access monthly
- Average CEO has 930 connections
- 3 million company accounts
- 25 million users in the UK
Social media is all about building relationships – the same as traditional sales tactics – engage, interact and have conversations instead of sending out general information to an unknown audience. People are more likely to work with companies that they feel they know, trust and have a connection with. Think of it as virtual networking without having to leave the comfort of your office, and you can “talk” to a much wider audience in a much shorter time frame.
If no one knows about your business, you will find it hard to attract new customers. You will have to rely on old sales tactics to build that customer base. People don’t use anything other than Google to find a service or business, long gone are the days of Yellow Pages.
Social media helps boosts visibility with potential customers. The audience reach can be wide, or you can target your niche. It’s free to create profiles for your business on all the key social media channels, which is the start. You need to think about what you want to achieve from social media – new customers, promote foot traffic into your business? By developing a social media plan, you can focus and not distracted, keeping the channels specific to your business’ audience.
Your potential customers are sharper and more selective about which businesses they will engage with. Before making a decision, a quick search to browse your website and social media will tell them all they need to know – it’s the first decision to engage with you.
Ask yourself, do they find an engaging website with a rich source of information, or an out of date site and no social media posts for the last 12 months?
Find ways to demonstrate expertise in your industry, if you don’t do it your competitors will. By showing what your business offers and values, you will establish confidence in potential customers.
All posts and content should follow your companies brand and tone of voice. Let your personality come through in everything you share on social media.
The more you practice getting your tone just right the more your audience will engage with your brand. You need to build a following to get the engagement you want to increase sales – again just like old school sales, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to get that sale.
Marketing costs add up, and not every business can afford huge campaigns. But you can get a lot of value from social media advertising. Your business, regardless of size or budget, has an opportunity to grow your audience and reach your objectives through ads on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Most of all enjoy yourself when you use social media, it comes across in your content and that will help drive engagement with your target audience – your new customers.
When it comes to social marketing it is all about being where your customers are when they’re ready to buy. If you chose to use social media, don’t let it swallow all your time, remember you ultimately need to make sales. Seek professional advice on HOW to get social channels working for your business.
Straight talking advice on social media from Yorkshire Powerhouse
You’ve read our introduction to Social Media – have you any questions?
Here at Yorkshire Powerhouse, we’re happy to help as much as possible – is there anything else we can do to help you, do you have any further questions or can we help introduce you to an expert – please let us know:
Getting Started with Social Media - As with any marketing or promotional activity, the key place to start is with a plan setting out your intended goal Read >