3 Ways to Leverage Social Media for Your Business

by Greg on January 3, 2020

social media logotype

Everyone wants to crack the social media code and find the key that unlocks the door to brand recognition and growing social media followings. Unfortunately, there is no such magic key; but there are some established tips on how to best use social media for your business.

Rather than provide a simple list, here are three broad categories of uses for social media. We’ll explore each one in a bit more depth below, with specific methods of developing those general ways.

Generate Leads

First and foremost, social media provides a fantastic way to generate more leads for your business. Properly done, social media opens the gateway to markets you might not have been able to reach otherwise. Social media can bring in customers, but also generate contacts horizontally with other businesses, opening the door for collaboration.

None of it happens the instant you create an Instagram or LinkedIn page for your business. It takes time and effort, but even more importantly, it requires planning. One of the ways in which social media has matured in recent few years is the understanding that there are no shortcuts- it requires a strategic plan, research, and understanding in order to be successful.

Know Your Market

Understand the demographics of your target audience. Different social media platforms attract different users. As a basic example, only 21% of 50-64 year-olds use Instagram. If your target consumers are older, don’t neglect “The Gram” – that’s just over one in five people. But consider putting more resources into Facebook – 65% of that age group use Facebook.

That’s one extremely simple example, but it serves to illustrate the importance of some basic research before jumping into social media. Not all platforms are created equal, and not all platforms hold equal appeal for every user.

Build a Strategy

“I love it when a plan comes together,” was a famous tagline from an old TV show. But you can’t have a successful plan unless you’ve made one in the first place. What platform will you use? How often will you post? What sort of content will you offer (more on that later)? These basic questions are absolutely crucial for your long-term success. Know your market and develop a strategy to target that market.

Develop Relationships

Leads are just that – potential sales, not actual ones. Generating new leads is fantastic, but only part of the battle. The next step is to turn leads into sales, and the best way to achieve that step is to develop relationships: here are two ways to help you take that step.

Offer Real-world Value

Value and voice. These two concepts interact in social media, and how you employ them depends on what your business offers. If you’re offering a lifestyle change, a new outlook, or some sort of impactful idea, you’ll want to be sure you’re offering something of value. Help people make progress in the direction that you can help, and as their needs become more apparent to them, you will be seen as a trustworthy source. Show how your products or ideas change the World and show people being changed – that’s real-world value your business, and your social media presence, can provide to engage your target market.

Perhaps your business doesn’t lend itself to demonstrations of value as well as others. Instead, focus on your social media voice. What is your voice? It’s something that reflects your company’s culture. Are you fun and flirty? Edgy or mysterious? Informative and friendly? Match your social media presence to your company’s culture and goals, and you’ve found your voice. That voice becomes one of the distinctions of your company and helps to pull those leads closer into your orbit.

Focus on Quality

As social media matures, it also becomes inundated. This is where shortcuts like automating a bunch of promotion posts that feature products with nice, shiny photos – is not going to be enough. The social-sphere is awash with those. Your products will simply be lost in the torrent. Focus on sharing thoughts, knowledge, and insight that you possess.

To succeed on any social media platform, you need to offer real-world value in a quality way. Professional media accompanied by well-written copy that educates or teaches, with a unifying voice. That’s the sort of quality people engage with, not a photo with a quote overlay hastily put together.

Mature Growth

Once you’ve turned your target market into relationships, you’ll need to start looking at maturing your social media presence. There are two easy ways to achieve this maturity; we’ll start with the splashy method first, but then consider how to follow-up with a more understated method.

Harness other influencers

Influencers influence other influencers. Say that five times fast, but think about it: yes, influencers have their followers, a vertical relationship, but they also follow other influencers – a horizontal relationship. If you can bring other influencers into your company’s orbit, you gain not just themselves as followers, but all of their particular market by association. A mature social media presence seeks to partner with other influencers on shared initiatives, joint marketing campaigns, or any other method that allows both parties to gain shared access to new followers and markets. This isn’t a haphazard process; you need to consider the shared voice of your social media presences, but when done well it opens the door to new growth.

Interact!

Lastly, don’t forget to interact! Social media is social media. Share other people’s stories, or even other business platforms. Consistently engage with their posts. Demonstrate a human presence on social media for your business. Other savvy users will appreciate your engagement and respond in kind, showing the platforms that your content is well received and deserves higher visibility. You’ll find that you gain followers, increase your market, and develop real relationships that help your bottom line, all in exchange for a little bit of extra effort in communicating.

Conclusion

These three strategies will help you leverage social media more efficiently for your business. Keep the human element of social media in mind, and you’ll find the potential benefit to be incredible!

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