The advancement in internet technology created a potent ground for the invention of interactive tools on the internet like social media sites which have made relationship building easier, as well as the expansion of existing connections, and also the building of stronger ties between individuals and organizations globally.
It has also greatly facilitated business growth.
Social media comes in different fronts, based on the needs of the participants. While some social media platforms focus on pictures and video sharing, others focus on article sharing, and a significant population of users focus on the business angle of these platforms as it creates ample opportunity to reach an incredibly wide audience.
Popular social media sites include; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Tumblr, to mention but a few. These sites record billions of users visiting their platforms on a daily basis.
And the population of users has been on the increase with research by Statistica.
Find more statistics at Statista projecting over 3.02 billion active monthly users by 2021.
As a potent marketing tool, businesses have turned out to be one of the major beneficiaries of social media platforms; as businesses seek to gain customers, build loyalty, attract patronage and attend to their needs as soon as possible, ensuring customers' satisfaction.
In recent times, social media marketing platforms are seen as important marketing tools for most businesses as the need for keeping in touch with a budding customer base, and at their comfort zone cannot be overemphasized.
Hence the rush to meet prospective customers online in a bid to outwit the ever-dynamic competitors.
There are ways that will guarantee the growth of your business through the use of social media outlets, these include:
Identify the right platform:
In establishing a business, there is a need for identification of the target market whose need you are seeking to satisfy.
Therefore, in selecting the most suitable social media platform for your social media marketing activity, knowing your target audience will help you identify the platform where they can easily be reached, what they engage in, and what they don't.
This will help you define their likes, and dislikes which will in turn help you plan, prepare and post relevant content that will grab their attention to your page.
Most businesses are advised to use popular networks such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and create profiles on multiple platforms to easily get customers who may not be on a particular platform.
For a video production gig for instance, YouTube may be the best bet, however, having a Facebook account which houses the most active social media users, will put your business in an advantageous position as it is sure to help you gain subscribers to your YouTube channel.
For a Business to Business type audience, LinkedIn could be the best bet, but an account on Twitter will get you a customer who may not be on LinkedIn. Hence, rather than staying glued to a particular platform, it is better to have active accounts on multiple platforms for your business, and post across all your accounts creatively.
Use social media influencers:
There are social media opinion leaders who shape the direction, and mindset of their followers.
An influencer can mention your product, make recommendations to your business, which will put your business in line to attract more customers. Social media influencers have proven to be one of the fastest online customer-acquisition methods.
Therefore, forming relationships with influencers is one sure way towards gaining, and maintaining an active online presence.
If you cannot afford the services of highly placed celebrities, then micro-influencers are a good bet as they engage more with their followers, and these individuals are less expensive than the full-blown influencers.
With just one-well placed comment by an influencer, your business can be transformed from a small in-house business to an enterprise-type business.
On your social media accounts, ensure you post on regular basis to keep the account active. Without regular posts, customers will be lost to competitors whose posts appear on the timelines of your customers with a consistent brand voice tailored towards their interest.
Posting on a daily basis is a way of ensuring consistency, and sustenance of online presence. Creating content calendars will help you maintain consistency in engaging with your customers, rather than waiting till the last minute to make a post, the calendar will serve as a guide to staying in touch with your followers/customers, it will also help you plan your goals, how to implement them, and monitor the progress in meeting the goals.
When using a multiple platform, ensure you vary between the posts to meet with the style of each medium; for instance, Twitter deals with brief, and concise delivery of message, Instagram mainly deals with images, YouTube on the other hand deals with videos, therefore, your content on each platform should be tailored in fine consistency with what the business is projecting.
Engage your followers:
On your social media accounts, encourage engagement with your followers, attend to their problems, and complaints properly, interact with them, post content that meets their yearnings, reply to their comments, like, re-post, and ask questions on how to serve them better.
Engaging with customers help you monitor mentions that will help you solve problems which may escalate if not nipped in the bud, and will create the impression of a responsive business. Also, engaging your followers offers you the opportunity to connect with your customers on a personal level.
Monitor your competitors:
Observing the practices of your competitors with regards to their social media usage will help you shape yours better.
By keeping an eye on your competitors, you can draw inspiration from their content to improve yours, identify the ideal hashtags to use to generate the desired attention, and meet the demand of your customers.
Also, observe the suggestions of your competitor's customers, and use such suggestions to treat your customers better, and stay on top of the competition.
While there are different strategies to aid your business growth through social media, the above are veritable steps towards tapping into the maximum potentials of “social media.”