The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media for Business

social-media-for-business

Social media is crucial for your business

Social media is not only about tweeting and posting. Social media for business, especially, is also about listening to your customers, understanding their problems, knowing the trends, and more importantly, introducing what your brand is. 

In this digital era, you certainly have not used the most potential of technology if you have not employed social media for business. There is no doubt that a well thought social media strategy can boost brand awareness and conversion rates.

You must know that it is different if you implement social media for your personal usage. Therefore, let us dig deeper into the insight of social media when it is utilized for business.

Social media for business definition

Social media for business is also known as Social Media Marketing (SMM), as its functions have a strong connection with marketing and advertising. SMM is a type of Internet marketing whose goals are producing content that promotes a product or service.

Using social media for a passive approach means that you only deliver information and hear customers’ opinions from their reviews or recommendations.

On the other hand, an active approach in social media is applied for you who utilize social media as one of the effective engagement tools.

Benefits of social media for business

Connect with customers and prospects

1. Global accessibility

As people around the world use social media, you can make use of social media’s global accessibility to connect with a global audience as long as you use correct strategies. With your personal touch, it is time to show to the world how unique your brand and product are.

2. Sharable information

The share button tool in social media is the ultimate marketing tool as it easily enables people to share content with friends and family. If your content contains valuable information, this person who shares can be an effective way to expand your prospective customers and prospects.

3. Create online community

With social media, you can develop communications with and between them. Instagram, for example, allows you to have a personal chat with your customers through direct messages (DM). Moreover, another example will be Facebook that enables you to create your own tribe, or technologically named Virtual Brand Communities (VBC), using Facebook Groups or Fanpage.

Build your brand

You can distinguish your brand personality by sharing original insights and passion for your brand. By creating content on social media, you give your business a unique voice.

The opportunity of building a brand, even if it is new, is to attract 60 percent of Instagram users that do not limit themselves to brands they already know since they are also open to new products! The example of this social media for business’s benefit is Absolut Vodka.

After they hold a campaign on social media, it increases five points of brand awareness. How do you count that? If you dig deeper on social media, there is a term called social media ROI (return on investment).

Measuring ROI can guide you to create an SMM strategy that depends on the objectives such as brand awareness, revenue, customer and satisfaction.

Are you feeling unfamiliar about this? Do not worry because there are a bunch of options in choosing a free ROI calculator.

Drive traffic to your website

Your website and social media can work together in this case. You can direct people from your website to take a look at your social media, and you can share an interesting announcement on social media that can excite them to visit your website for more information or detailed descriptions.

For instance, Shopee, an e-commerce platform from Singapore, tells its social media customers the flash sale, cashback promo, and other promotional codes on social media that can be used on their website.

Establish your expertise

When you use social media and share your knowledge, you can build following. grow your influence. Consequently, your followers will think that you are the thought leader. As you develop your audience, you grow your influence.

For example, Jenn Im, a YouTuber with more than 2 million subscribers, was invited in Ted Talk due to her valuable content about fashion. She has grown her tribes and it helps her to gross over one million dollars!

Increase sales

This benefit is the main reason why you should create social media for business. All the activities mentioned above: connecting, building brand, driving traffic, establishing expertise lead to the same goal which is sales!

The LinkedIn study showed that 61 percent of small businesses gain new customers from their social media. Lyfe Marketing reports that customers have willing to spend their 20 to 40 percent of their money on brands that have strong social media’s interactions with them. 

What are social media out there?

So, you have realized the substantial benefits of using social media for your business, right? However, there is another step before you start to build your brand on social media, which is figuring out your social networking platform.

“I can just post anywhere!”

Do you think you can just pick randomly any social media for your business? Or, are you confident to manage all social networking platforms?

It is a BIG no! Choosing a platform needs many considerations such as the location of your business, the kind of product, and whether or not your audience is on the platform. You need to be straightforward to your potential customers, right?

For example, if your audience is food lovers that like to watch cooking tutorials and tips, then podcasts or tweets are not your best social networking platform. However, you may consider YouTube or Instagram as it provides video and image features.

How many social media platforms you should use

Vanessa Lau, a Millennial online business coach, suggested that you should stick to two to three platforms only!

Two to three platforms are sufficient if you want to get a diverse audience, and still not limit your business scope. More importantly, you will not get overwhelmed in catching up with the newest updates or algorithms from each.

Now, before you pick the most suitable social media for your business, let us consider the pros and cons of top social media below.

Pros and cons of each social media

Instagram

Pros

  • In the United States, there are 120,7 million Instagram users. Statista informed that in 2018, users in this platform have reached one billion! You get a huge market here.
  • As Instagram is easy to use, you only need to scroll down the profile, it can be a great place to showcase about who you are and your brand on the Internet.
  • Instagram is a powerful tool to engage with your audience. Your audience can reach you through the comment section and direct message (DM). Instagram story is also helpful to personalize your brand using Q&A or This or That feature.

Cons

  • As it is a handful to just scroll on Instagram, people can mindlessly pass by your content. Therefore, it is hard for you to build trust and easily catch their attention.
  • Rimma Kats on eMarketer estimated 75.3% of US businesses will be on Instagram in 2020. It is a gigantic percentage of competitors, so you must be authentic and attractive. Otherwise, your sales will not increase.
  • Instagram does not support clickable links in your post or caption, although you can put it on your Instagram bio. It can be a challenge for you to instantly direct your audience to the website.

Pinterest

Pros

  • It is easy to drive traffic from Pinterest to external links because every image (called Pins on Pinterest) is hyperlinked to your website, blog, or even your YouTube channel. This means that to increase your traffic to the website, please check that you upload the images to your website and connect it to this platform.
  • Pinterest’s posts are friendly to other social media. Your audience can easily share it to Twitter and Facebook so that you can spread your popularity at once.
  • 93% of Pinterest users purchase or plan to buy a product they see in this platform. It is the best place to generate your sales.

Cons

  • Even though the conversion is higher than other social media for business, the engagement rate in Pinterest is quite low. It happens because the comments are optional, and all the boards (a group of pictures on Pinterest) are public.
  • You need to make sure that you have a good quality of photos. The power of Pinterest is located in its images. If you do not meet the image requirements, your content will not get pinned by the audience, hence you do not get traffic at all.
  • Pinterest’s traffic is specific. More than 67 percent of Pinterest users are women. However, this disadvantage can be beneficial if you own business in feminine industries such as fashion or makeup.

Facebook

Pros

  • Facebook has the biggest number of users among other social media, particularly in the US. Facebook page can be a compelling tool to introduce your brand and drive online sales, especially with 79 percent of American Internet users that also possess an account in this platform.
  • The advertisement is precisely directed to the kinds of audiences you want. If you expect to have an audience getting exposed by your brand only in your town, that is totally possible.
  • Facebook is actually a killer to build a strong relationship with your audience. It is important to gather your audience into one particular place so that you know who your audience really is and what they look for in your products. This community platform can increase their trust.

Cons

  • If you have a popular page on Facebook, and people realize that you have an influence on the great number of people, you will get many spams attached to your posts. The amount of spam is created by small businesses that want to piggyback to your brand.
  • It is true that Facebook can build two-way communication especially when it comes to Facebook Groups. However, you need to be ready by directly bold and rude comments about your product.
  • Your competition starts here. Over 50 million small businesses aim Facebook as their platform to set the connection up with customers. Therefore, creating a Facebook page is recommended than having a basic account on Facebook.

YouTube

Pros

  • Since YouTube combines video and audio, your potential customers can get really know your brand well. People can notice your face, the way you talk, and your manner which are elements to build trust.
  • YouTube analytics is superb! You will be able to understand your audience completely. Are you wonder whether your video is bad or good? You can check if there is someone drop your video in less than one minute. You can also know from which platform the audience clicks your video!
  • If you cannot insert a link in an Instagram post, you can definitely place external links in every video uploaded on YouTube. You can put in on description box, channel page, even in the YouTube videos using cards or end screen.

Cons

  • YouTube does take a lot of work. Its process to finally upload a video is time-consuming. First, you must plan the content. Then you have to make a script to make it structured, film the video, and eventually, edit and post it on your channel.
  • So, you have taken it seriously and invested with a lot of money, but sadly you cannot guarantee that the well-edited video will be on the top list of YouTube videos. It happens a lot, even a video about a guy taking notes in class with a typewriter can reach 4 million views.
  • As YouTube provides recommended videos on the sidebar, people can easily get distracted and bounce to other videos rather than stick to the last minute of your video.

You have realized the benefits of using social media for business whether big or small. Yet, there are many considerations before doing it because every social media has pros and cons. Each of them has its own way to turn viewers into customers. Above all, let us go social!