What’s the big deal with using social media for business? How do hashtags, handles, blogs, and viral vlogs have anything to do with a business reaching its performance goals? Is it all really necessary?
The short answer is yes; social media is vital for most businesses. 46% of shoppers rely on social media when making a purchase, 4 out of 5 small to medium-sized businesses use social media to promote their business and 3 out of those 5 gain new customers through it.
Think of social media like a conversation:
- It allows customers to talk to each other
- It allows companies to talk to customers
- It allows customers to talk to companies
Consumers will talk about your business whether or not you have a social media marketing strategy, so wouldn’t it make sense to try to shape the discussion in your favor?
Companies who employ social media in their integrated marketing communications are going to have more opportunities to impact a consumer’s perceptive value of their brand and therefor, will have more control over their brand value.
Social media is not only a tool to engage with customers, it’s also serves double-duty as your company’s voice as well as acts as a path to purchase both online AND in stores. In a study conducted by Vision Critical, 41% of users surveyed stated that they had bought an item in the store after browsing online.
How to Get Started with Social Media
Social media needs to have a place in your marketing strategy that will engage and excite customers while starting conversations that drive sales. Make sure your site has links to social media- in the aforementioned Vision Critical study, 36% of the Pinterest users under age 35 said they purchased items in-store after pinning, repinning, or liking it.
With that said, make sure your business is spending the time (and money if you're big enough) to create quality content that engages, influences, and attracts customers. For those new to social media marketing, you can start your strategy by creating profiles for your business, adding social sharing links to your website, and invest in promoting your content (i.e. paid social or ads).
How to use Each Platform
So now that you've created your social profiles, depending on your industry, company mission, and performance goals, your social media strategy will vary. Your voice needs to be consistent across all platforms and align with your company mission and convey its personality and brand voice.
Each platform has its unique conversation use:
Content: Company News, Job openings, Celebrating Company Milestones, Sharing Industry-related News, Learning Opportunities
Formal and professional style of communication, think of LinkedIn as a virtual office building.
Content: New Products, Company Culture, Tips and Tricks, Testimonials, Company News, Job openings, Celebrating Company Milestones, Sharing Industry-related News, Learning Opportunities
Here, volume is important so you can cross promote content from other social platforms.
Content: Quick Tips, Expert Interviews, Webinars, Product Demos, Testimonials, Videos of Events, Elevator Pitches
This is a great platform to really get to know the company on a deeper level so quality of the content is valued over quantity.
Content: Photos, Fan Promotions & Giveaways, Polls, Give Advice, Company News & Milestones, Sneak Peaks into Projects, Blog Posts, Relevant Trending Stories
Facebook has an informal style to it so you can showcase your company’s personality and garner interactions through your content.
Content: New Products, Atmosphere, Culture & People, Office Antics
This is all about aesthetic and culture- the place to be as artistic as you can. Resist the usual and create engaging and unique content that coincides with your company voice and shows off how cool you are!
Content: User Experiences, Tips & Tricks, Cultivating Relationships
This platform is often mistaken for a broadcasting network rather than a conversation tool. Use Twitter to talk to your audience every day and solve any issues they may bring up.
Content: Tips & Tricks, New Products, Atmosphere, Culture & People, Office Antics
For the more advanced social media manager who has a steady following for the business and is very customer and culture focused (i.e. fashion or food blogs) DISCLAIMER: Snapchat is not recommended for B-2-B strategies!
So what are you waiting for? Has your business gone social yet?
And if you'd like to learn more or see what we're doing on social media, check out the links at the bottom of the page!