Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Pinterest. Tiktok. Youtube. LinkedIn. Snapchat. The list goes on and on – there are so many different social media platforms available today. By the time you read this, perhaps another will have risen in popularity. How can you leverage social media to benefit your business?
Social media marketing may seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider the following tips for using social media to grow your business and gain more customers.
- Build a Social Media Profile
Establishing a presence on social media is your first step. You can think of your social media profile as a resume for your business. Customers will use it to decide whether or not to “hire” the services or products your business provides. It is also a static webpage that helps customers find you when they search for similar businesses, or when they want to know your phone number, website, or address.
Use your profile to tell customers about your business, your story – help them form an emotional connection with it. You should include photos of your business location or products, contact information, and business hours. You can include a menu or catalog if applicable.
If you’re just getting started with social media, you don’t have to try to post to every platform. Pick one or two, and actively engage with them. Facebook and Instagram are among the most popular.
- Take Good Photos
Most social networks rely heavily on photos or even videos to capture viewers’ attention. Invest some time in learning how to take good product photos. You don’t need expensive equipment – a smartphone with a camera and a bright window will do. If you have trouble capturing compelling photos, consider using a stock photo source like Pixabay.
- Post Often
Your profile is a static page that customers can find if they search for you. But new posts will appear on customers’ feeds and remind them of your business. They may also attract new customers.
How often should you post? Experts suggest posting somewhere between once per week and once per day. You want to remind followers that you exist without flooding their feeds so heavily that they click the “unfollow” button.
- Use Hashtags
Hashtags are like search keywords for social media posts. They consist of a pound symbol followed by a word or phrase and look like this: #hashtag.
How do hashtags work? Simply put, they increase the number of viewers who see your post. For example, imagine you post a quote from Albert Einstein. That post alone will likely only be seen by people who already follow your business or search for it. But if you add hashtags like “#quote, #quotes, #quoteoftheday, #inspirationalquotes, #science, #stem, #alberteinstein, #genius,” it will also be shown to people whose activity indicates an interest in these topics.
- Engage with Customers
When customers comment on your posts or tag your business in their own posts, communicate with them in a positive way. Like their posts, thank them for praise, or repost their content to your own page. If they have a complaint, kindly address it – other viewers will realize that you are serious about providing good customer service.
Most platforms also include a private chat feature. When a customer messages your business, try to respond promptly. You may be able to set up automatic replies to common questions or get instant notifications sent to your phone.
- Pay for Advertising
Everything we’ve discussed above is offered by social media for free. But you may want to invest in social media advertising.
You can “boost” posts on many social networks, paying for your post to be shown to more viewers. You can set very specific parameters to create an audience most likely to become paying customers. Many sites also offer free advertising credits towards the purchase of your first ad.
- Stay Up-to-date on Social Media Trends
Social media is constantly in a state of flux. The most popular networks and the ways in which they function change frequently. You can use informational sources like this one to stay up-to-date on social media trends.
Some business owners may be intimidated by social media, but this technology can be a wonderful way to market your business. You can use it to find new customers or keep existing customers excited and engaged. Creating a profile, posting photos, using hashtags, and communicating with customers are free resources that social media platforms provide. You can also use paid advertisements to reach even more customers.