Does this sound familiar; You signed up for Facebook and started dabbling with Instagram because everyone talks about being on Instagram. You know you should use social media for your business, but you’ve spent the last four hours trying to understand how to actually use it. No worries, this post covers 10 ways you can put your time and energy into good use online.
Social media channels can be a bit daunting when you first jump online, but they are definitely worth pushing through the overwhelm and understanding how to use them to the best of your abilities. Let’s face some hard truths (especially you social media naysayers), social media works.
If it didn’t, you wouldn’t see millions of businesses on each channel, building brand awareness and creating epic content.
If you’re stuck on ways to use Facebook, Instagram or even LinkedIn, I’ve listed 10 ways you can use social media for your business below:
Social media is the new customer service. People want answers at a much quicker rate these days, and using social media as a customer service tool is a strategic move if you do it right. Answering messages, comments and responding to reviews in a quick manner will not only elevate your business online, it will build trust with your customers.
Just think how great you feel when you message a business and they respond within the hour. You’re impressed aren’t you? Be that business. When people call your business, I bet you pick up, am I right?
When someone sends you a message on social media, you should act the same way. You show up.
A good solution for this is to set up a system and process to build customer service hours on your social media into your work schedule every day.
That morning and nightly checklist could look like this:
This is 30 minutes a day creating better experiences for your business and your followers/customers. There’s no excuse for bad customer service in 2020. People can amplify their message with the click of Tweet now. 30 minutes a day is doable, you just need to put a process in place!
Looking to get new sales leads for your business? Have a new product or service that you want to get new signups for? Social media can be the first introduction, handshake (or high-five if you prefer!) and opinion someone can make of your business. If you’re looking to use it as a lead generator, social media will work at the top of your sales funnel as an introduction.
Let people know more about you, your business, what it can do for them, and show some damn personality. I cannot believe how many small businesses on social media fail to show up as humans! Talk like a normal person, show your office dog and have a laugh, but don’t forget to serve your audience.
Plan to use your social media content to introduce people to your brand and get them interested and over to your website or store. Boom!
Like everyone else in the social media world, I’m here to tell you that social media is a long game and selling straight to your community does not work. You know what works well? Building your own community.
These are your raving fans, your email subscribers, your best customers. And they start as strangers who happen to land on your social channels. Now what?
Build a bridge, that’s what. Invite them in like an old friend, nurture them, deliver exceptional value, solve their problems with awesome and easy solutions, and start conversations. Be social.
I use my social media as audience research every week. I’m always on the lookout for who could be my best target audience, who needs my help and would benefit from my services. I also research my competitors to see if their content is solving their audience’s problems. I see what can be improved and I fill that gap with new content for those audiences.
You can do the same. Research Facebook or Linkedin groups, poll your own audience, read comments, reviews and ask questions. The more you can know about your audiences, the better you can serve them.
Same same but different to audience research, market research is more for your products or services. Use social media channels to research what people are buying, engaging and raving about. This will help you when you’re planning to launch a new product or service to see if there’s a need for what you’re providing.
I need to tread lightly on this one because I don’t want you to think you can just promote the hell out of what you’re doing with blatant ‘BUY ME’ messages. Promotions are absolutely fine on social media, in fact, I don’t think people (including myself) promote themselves enough, especially during a launch. But there’s fine line between being a slimy salesperson and an invested business owner who cares about their customers.
Use promotions as brand awareness exercises and promote the benefits of your product or service, not just the fun bullet points. How will your follower feel after they buy said product or service? What solution are you providing?
Tip: to make your promotions more engaging and less salesy, invite your followers to participate with the promotion.
Social media are free opportunities for you to connect with your customers within seconds. There is nothing else in our world at the moment that comes close to delivering exceptional experiences to our target audiences…for free.
Using social media to bring awareness to your brand is a no brainer.
Let people know:
Don’t shout, just show up. And keep showing up. People undervalue the importance of consistent content on social media. Don’t be that person who posts for a few weeks and then bounces for five months. That’s a discredit to your business and everything you’re trying to achieve.
Going back to lead generation, social media is a fantastic opportunity to drive traffic to your website. Produce engaging content that piques interest enough to click off the page.
New product launches, flash sales, giveaways, valuable videos and extensive blogs are great examples of how you can get people over to your site.
Oh man, this is such a good way to use your social media. Feedback is key to growth in your business. We all want to better our craft, and there’s nothing better than going straight to the source for this feedback.
Ask your community for their feedback on upcoming products, events or even ask them for their recommendations on colours for a new line of products. Anything to involve your followers, is good practice.
I’m not saying to ask them to build out your marketing budget for your business, but allowing them to be a part of your business’ journey is important. It shows that your trust and value their opinion and concerns.
This is by far my favourite way to use social media. Creating experiences for more than just your business will actually help your business grow and gain new followers who are interested in what you do.
Collaboration takes on many forms in the social media environment, but here are a few that I think are worth testing:
I didn’t expect this blog to be this big, but here we are. I get so passionate about the social media scene because I have first-hand experience using the channels for all of the above. I have seen and felt the power of social media, and I want to provide the information so you, too, can see its value.
Hopefully this gave you a few tips on how to use your own channels to drive better results to your business.
If you’re on Instagram, come say hi! It’s my fave space to hang out on and I deliver some juicy tips to my community. @thesmallwinsco