Despite early predictions that it was just a fad, the internet is a part of our daily lives now. Everything happens on the internet: shopping, ordering food, making travel arrangements, and even searching for facts to win a trivial argument. The internet is here to stay, and becomes more ingrained in life every single day.
What does this mean for your business? It means that having a web presence is vital to your company’s success. Even if your company provides services to local residents, and you do business with your customers in person, you need a current, informative website so people can find your business. Even word-of-mouth referrals happen largely online now, with options to rate businesses within a search engine, and whole apps built around writing reviews of a store or restaurant.
Even beyond the simple fact of the internet, social media is an ingrained part of life now too. It’s simply not possible for a company to be successful without embracing social media as a way to interact with customers, advertise new offerings, and attract new clientele. It’s vital that you figure out how social media can benefit your business and take action immediately to seize those benefits.
The first part of figuring out how to make social media work for your business is finding your way through the maze of social media platforms. There are numerous social media options, and it seems like new ones pop up all the time. You don’t necessarily have to create an account for your company on every single platform. But you should have a presence on at least three, and choose platforms that will reach the broadest and most diverse audience.
The easiest way to start is by creating a Facebook account. No matter what your personal feelings are about Facebook, it is the largest social media network so your company should have a presence there. The good news about Facebook is that it’s extremely user-friendly, and offers businesses a broad range of options as far as posting style. You can post pictures, short phrases, longer informative pieces, or a mix of all three. You can even choose settings that allow your customers to interact with your company’s Facebook profile.
Choosing the Right Additional Platforms
Once you have your Facebook account set up, it’s time to decide what other social media platforms would be a good fit. You should take into account your industry and customer base to determine which social media options match. For example, if your business relates to pop culture, or you have interesting content to share, Twitter can be a great choice. You can post almost anything as long as it fits within the character limit. Twitter also lets you interact publicly with your customers, which can encourage others to choose to work with you.
Pinterest and Instagram are also widely known platforms that many businesses choose to use. Both platforms cater to a niche audience, so you should determine if your customers fall into either niche. The vast majority of Pinterest users are women, and the most popular topics are fashion, homemaking, and cooking. Instagram, on the other hand, is even more visually-based than Pinterest, and tends to attract an artistic-minded crowd. If you decide to use either Pinterest or Instagram for your business, make sure your marketing team understands how to use the platform and what makes content popular with those users.
Make Your Social Media Accounts Useful
A great way to set your company apart from the competition and encourage your customers to interact with your business on social media is to make your content useful. With so much social media content to choose from, most people are extremely selective in the things they take the time to click on and read. If your posts and content are simply rehashed sales pitches, your audience will most likely ignore them.
However, if you make content that your audience finds useful, you’ll not only see more traffic, but you’ll present your company as one that offers helpful services to its customers. A fantastic example of this strategy is how HamptonCreek foods includes recipes on their social media sites. Their content isn’t just about the company history and its products, there are well-produced articles and videos about how to use their offerings in delicious recipes.
Maintaining a social media presence is no longer optional for businesses. Your customers expect to see and interact with your company on at least one platform. When you choose the right platform and create exceptional content, you’ll attract more customers and present your business in the best light.