First off - let us just say, “We get it.” If you own a small or medium sized business without a large dedicated marketing team, it can be overwhelming to think about getting your business on every social channel right away. Later on, we’ll share some tips on how to identify your biggest social media opportunities without getting lost in the noise or wasting time on social media sites that won’t help your company grow.
However, we also need to realize that social media isn’t going away, in fact, it’s stronger than ever. As such, it’s a necessary part of any digital marketing strategy, and those who don’t take advantage risk falling behind the competition. If you’re on the fence about using social networking sites for your business, here are some benefits to consider:
You may already be a member on LinkedIn, but are you using it to its fullest potential? What was once a “digital Rolodex” site has become a valuable source of industry information with articles, photos, and videos becoming more popular. In fact, our friends at HubSpot tell us that content consumption on LinkedIn has increased by 21% over the last two years, and 40% of its 562 million users visit the site daily. Use LinkedIn to strategically build a network of like-minded individuals and influencers in your market who you can then share your best content with.
Show your expertise
When you’re active on social networks, your audience sees your expertise and develops trust for you and your business. Engage with potential and current customers by joining in their conversations online. Share blog articles with your audience on social channels that answer the questions your customers and prospects are asking. Post photos and videos of your product to showcase how it works or solves a problem. Using one or more of these tactics will help you show what you know and bring more prospects to you.
Drive traffic to your site
One of the key goals of your social media strategy should be to drive traffic to your website. Your website should be the cornerstone of your digital marketing strategy, and will provide visitors more detailed and in-depth information. And if you implement contact forms and offers, more traffic to your website means more leads for your sales team. (Side note: we’d love to help you implement an inbound marketing strategy if you don’t have one!)
Social media is a great way for potential employees to learn about your business. Consider posting updates that showcase your company culture in addition to information about your products to give job candidates a full view of your company and what it has to offer.
So where should you start?
A lot of business owners want to be on every digital site at once to maximize the company’s exposure. It’s easy to get swept up in all of this. Maintaining a business presence on each channel takes dedicated effort and planning, and can use up a lot of company resources. Instead of spreading yourself too thin, do an assessment of each channel to see which is most likely to give the greatest return on investment.
- Which of these channels is helping to drive the business forward?
- Which channel shows the highest level of engagement, comments, likes, and shares?
- Which channel reaches which audience? Prioritize the channels that reach your target audience, or those that reach a unique audience.
Simply choosing one or two social platforms (LinkedIn and Facebook, for example) demonstrates to new visitors and customers that you’re a credible business. If you have a lot of how-to videos or your primary goal is more product awareness, YouTube could be a fitting choice. If your customers or contractors have Facebook pages and you’d like them to interact with your page to give your business a positive review or more exposure, Facebook could be a good option.
Whichever social platform(s) your business chooses, be sure to follow and comment on the pages and posts of other companies you partner with to share some love and create engagement. Aiming to post at least once a week keeps followers aware of what’s new with your business and helps lend credibility when a prospect is doing his or her research. It’s also a great way to show off your projects, happenings, and finished photos.
And don’t forget to promote your social presence!
Make sure to include links to your social media channels on your corporate website to help ensure that people can find and “follow” your social pages. They can simply click the social icon to take them directly to your social media page. Most businesses place icons either at the very top or bottom on their websites – see the circled icons below for PermaTrak’s social channels, which are displayed at the footer of their homepage. Include links to your social networking channels in every customer email that goes out, along with a call to action.
Social media’s popularity and growth make it a huge resource for businesses. With a dedicated strategy and a commitment to the platforms you choose, social media can be an integral part of your marketing plan.
Photo credit: Kerde Severin