There are many small businesses and brands out there who are using social media to widen their reach. Social media for business plays a huge role in channeling traffic to your website and giving you new business opportunities.
Did you know that 54% of social browsers use social media to research products? It means that your potential customers are looking for you on social media and you must be present there.
Social media, if used right, is a game changer. Although, using social media for business is a game that not many crack.
Setting up your social media profile is only step one of it. Using it effectively comes with a learning curve that takes eons to perfect. Thankfully, there are a few proven tricks and actionable steps that will help accelerate your social media game.
If you’re ready to tap the potential of your social media for business, read on.
Using Social Media for Business #1 – Define Your Goals
You can do multiple things with your social media handle—create brand awareness, funnel traffic to your website, connect with your audience, build a community and the list goes on. Figure out which of these things you want to do on your social media.
Your first goal can’t be to sell. Because that will not work. Nobody will buy from a social media profile that has 5 posts and 10 followers. Simply because your audience will not know if they can trust you. So start with building trust. Focus on leaving a positive impression of your brand, and imprinting yourself in your audience’s minds.
How do you build trust using social media for business? By creating value-packed content for your audience. Most followers follow business profiles for 2 things—information and or entertainment. Give value by sharing helpful information or delightful entertainment.
Your goal can also be to build a community around your business where you and your audience communicate, bond and learn from each other.
You can also use social media to amplify what your customers are doing with your product/service. 79% of people say that user-generated content on social media significantly impacts their purchasing decisions. In short, if you want new customers for your business, you can showcase how your existing customers are effectively using your product or service.
Pick a goal(s) for your social media for business and create content that align with your goal(s).
Using Social Media for Business #2 – Profile Your Audience Persona
To create content for your social media, you need to know who is going to consume your content. If you create content suitable for Gen Z but your actual target audience is the 45+ group, then your content is not going to benefit you or your audience. It is essential to know who is your target audience and then tailor content based on what your target audience likes.
How to determine who is your target audience? Answer the following questions:
My business is targeted at people who are between the ages of ____ and ____.
My target audience will be located in the city/state/country of _________.
My target audience will be interested in _________.
My target audience will be working in the __________ profession.
My target audience will have _________ hobbies and interests.
My target audience will fall into the income bracket of ____ and ____.
______, ______, ______, and _____ are the words that describe my target audience the best.
Similarly, list down as much as you can about your target audience. It may be their gender or marital status or the personalities they follow or the books they read or what their biggest challenges are.
Here is an example—the audience persona of a skincare brand:
Demographics: Gender: Women, Age: 20-30, Location: India
Interests: Skin health, beauty, cosmetics…
Traits: Curious, patient, energetic, aware, independent…
Goals: Needs help to make her skin better, have good skin, find a community to discuss skincare…
Frustrations: Tired of unproductive skincare routines, No time to dedicate to skincare, scared of disturbing natural skin ph/moisture…
Note – The above is only an example. The target persona will deeply depend on the type of products/services you have available, its pricing, promises and so on.
Once you understand who is your target audience on your social media for business, what they like, what they dislike, what motivates them, what their pain points are, you can easily create content that will appeal to them.
Using Social Media for Business #3 – Topical Content is Golden
Content that is trending currently is called topical content. Have you heard of the song “Everything at Once” by Lenka on your Instagram reels? Did you notice that suddenly everyone is using it? That is topical content!
All brands using social media for business are prompting their followers to get vaccinated right now. That is topical content! Everybody’s talking about the F.R.I.E.N.D.S reunion? That is topical content too!
Social media, especially Instagram’s algorithm works in a way that it organically boosts topical content over other content that you create. According to MOM, Instagram boosts average-quality topical content more than high-quality general content.
When it comes to trends on social media for business, don’t fool yourself by thinking you don’t want to do what the crowd is doing. The crowd loves the trends and if the trend is relevant to your business, follow it right away! Because trends disappear as fast as they appear.
Using Social Media for Business #4 – Consistency is Key
You post one day. You disappear for the next 25 days, come back and put up another post like nothing happened in between. Are you doing this? Don’t! Your absence will create an environment for your followers to unfollow you without too much thought. You don’t want to lose the followers that you gained with so much effort.
If you post every Sunday, post every Sunday without skipping a Sunday. If you post every alternate day, post every alternate day without missing out. If you post one video and one blog every week, post one video and one blog every week.
When you’re using social media for business, you can’t expect results too soon. Consistency is the key that will get you up and running. After consistently being active, you will slowly start seeing results. It’s going to take time but it’s going to be worth it.
Using Social Media for Business #5 – Used Mixed Formats
Social media is no longer just a tweet or just uploading an image. Social media has a ton of features your business can leverage on. You can post images, short videos, long-form videos, stories, articles and what not.
Don’t stick to one format that you have been following forever. Social media platforms keep introducing new features and tools every now and then. The platform will want users to use more of their latest format/feature/tool. And the platform will organically boost content created in that particular format.
Example, when Facebook introduced Stories, Facebook boosted users who actively used Stories. When YouTube introduced Shorts, Youtube increased the organic reach of users who created Shorts.
Social media for business is endless exploring and learning. You think you get one thing right and baam! The platform introduces something new, changes its algorithm and you have to learn that something new all over again.
Moreover, your audience or any audience for that matter, will get bored of seeing the same kind of videos/posts/stories over and over again. Give your content a jiggle, think outside the box and have fun as you create newer content for your audience.
Using Social Media for Business #6 – Curate, Create, Engage, Engage
Whether your content is informative or entertaining, it definitely has to be engaging. Engagement is an important factor that shows social media platforms that your content is liked by your audience and needs to be shown to a wider audience.
Engagement is how much your audience interacts with you. Interaction can be via comments, likes, shares and messages. Different social media platforms calculate it differently. A good social media engagement rate is somewhere between 1% and 5%. Are you thinking that’s too less? Well, it’s already hard enough to get into this interval of engagement rate.
Respond to all the comments and messages you receive. Strike conversations with your audience. And keep it going. Social media is about engagement and is not just a one way communication channel.
While planning out your social media calendar, make sure you plan content that has more chances of engagement i.e. plan to create content that will get more comments and shares on social media. Good engagement rates are social media for business’ ultimate jackpot. Hit it and you are up and flying!
There! Those are the most important things you need to know for your social media for business. When you are running a social media handle, gather all the patience and energy you can because it’s going to take a long time. What else do you think you must do for your business to perform well on social media? Tell us in the comments below.