Q&A: How Can I Use Social Media to Grow My Business Effectively?

Question: I’m looking to grow my business outside of the traditional advertising mediums. Given that millions of people check their social media feeds daily, how can I use social media effectively to grow and market my business?

Answer: We live in a time when technology has redefined much of what we know. Businesses are no longer confined to brick and mortar establishments, and marketing tactics have transcended traditional means like newspapers, magazines and television and taken to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

While social media marketing has helped many entrepreneurs like Sophia Amoruso (owner of online fashion site, Nasty Gal grow their empires, there’s the flipside of the coin where many complain about how their social media marketing efforts have been absolutely futile.

Scheduled Updates

Companies need to be consistent in their efforts before they can reap the fruits of their labour. Come up with a detailed schedule for all your company’s social media accounts – updates can be planned up to six months in advance! For example, lay out in detail the dates that new product information will be released on Facebook, or plan when to tweet about a new promotion that your company will be having and stick to it!

The task at hand may appear daunting, but there are many applications out there that can help you. For instance, Twuffer and Hootsuite allow users to schedule their tweets or Facebook posts ahead of time. This way, you won’t have to go through the hassle of setting reminders for yourself and can instead schedule your tweets to go out every Monday for example, and let your Twitter account run itself.

Getting People to Listen

The next step is to come up with compelling content. After all, what would be the use of having multiple social media accounts on every conceivable platform and a byzantine marketing schedule if no one is interested in your posts? Remember, quality over quantity – you should aim to have few but high quality posts instead of countless banal updates. This might also seem counter-intuitive, but most of your content shouldn’t be designed to rake in the dough. Instead, focus on creating brand awareness first – people need to know who you are before they even consider your products or services.

Next, get to know your audience and tweak your posts so that they identify with them. You should study the amount of traffic and the level of engagement with your posts. A number of free and paid analytics software – Google Analytics and Brandwatch come to mind – are available to give you concrete, detailed figures to assess the success of your marketing campaigns. This will ultimately help you understand your audience better and enable you to cater to them and grow your business.

Engagement is Key

Engagement is a core part of every social media marketing strategy. It’s not enough to have hundreds of thousands of likes or followers – your customers must engage with your posts in meaningful ways as well. Engagement, or the lack thereof, is a bigger problem on Facebook, which utilises algorithms to determine which posts from which brands get space on users’ limited newsfeed real estate. Pages with low rates of engagement don’t do well on these algorithms, which mean they won’t show up as often on the newsfeed. Thus, it’s imperative that companies pay close attention to their engagement numbers and make every effort to keep their followers engaged and connected.

Posts that invite users to engage with them, such as by liking, sharing or commenting on the post to express agreement or support, are a good way to start. There is no set formula to run a social media marketing campaign, but these tips should provide you with a starting point from which to tweak and adapt your strategy to something that works for your unique business.

How else can you use social media to grow your business? Share with us in the comment box below!

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