It has never become so easy than now, to be able to use Social Media to reach potential customers, yet businesses are still struggling to effectively use Social media to their advantages! The common trend I see a lot is, companies have gone into a great deal of effort of being on every Social Media outlet possible but gaining no real traction out of it. They seem to be failing to see laying your eggs in every basket is not always effective. Companies need to firstly analyse what Social Media works best for them, and then begin to produce content for these outlets only, in order to actually gain something from their efforts.
In order to successfully launch a business using social media, you need to firstly measure your data. Businesses need to gather information on how their customers are engaging with content. What do they like? What comments are they leaving? Did they re-blog/retweet it? Collecting this data will help shape your strategy and help you measure the success of your content.
So how is collecting all this data going to help businesses become successful? Businesses need to think how to translate this data into sales and traffic to their websites. They need to ask themselves, How can a customer liking a post get them to buy what I am selling? Come to my event? Being able to translate all this data is the success businesses need and the key to having social media as a tool to grow a business.
In order to be successful with social media in business, you as the company need to engage with your customer. Ask questions for instance, was my post useful? Have you ever experienced this? Share content that indirectly relates to your business ethics. It is proven that doing this helps build a relationship with your customer base and allows you to not only collect data but make your brand more personal.
Instagram is popular social media outlet which hones in on building a personal relationship with customers. Lyndsey Haskell, who owns the gardening retail site What You Sow, says: “Instagram has really helped What You Sow go from strength to strength. I post styled pictures of my stock as well as on-brand images of my gardening adventures; plants, flowers and gardens I’ve visited. A large part of the What You Sow identity is lifestyle orientated, so not only can people see images of things I’m selling, but they get a real sense of my gardening inspirations too.” (Taken from the Guardian August 2013)
Using social is not all about creating and collecting data to measure what works for your business, for example businesses can use Twitter as a way of connecting with other influencers who can potentially help your business grow. It is a great platform to connect to the world and show others what your about and what you do, a platform to introduce yourself and find potential business partners.
Emerging social media platforms are further making a huge difference to how small businesses can market themselves, platforms such as Periscope can be seen to be a great away to connect with customers and share ethics of the business. A great example of a business which uses Periscope successfully is Black Jaguar White Tiger Foundation . Eduardo the name behind the foundation regularly uses Periscope to live stream him doing his daily chores of looking after these majestic animals and showing his followers the work behind his foundation.
A lot of thought and effort needs to be put into creating a successful social media strategy to grow your business, so it is vital that businesses take into account what they need to do and learn before steaming ahead and connecting every social media outlet to their business.