Social media can be a fantastic tool for your business. It can provide many benefits and give you an advantage over your competition. But how do you get followers and create a more loyal customer base?
This might seem like a “duh” question in this day and age, but it’s good to understand what exactly social media is. It’s defined as “forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos).”
Social media really focuses on communication and is based around user-generated content, like photos, blogs, and videos. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know and use some social media already, like Facebook or Instagram.
Lots of people. Probably everyone you know. It’s reported that 69 percent of U.S. adults use Facebook, with 74 percent visiting the platform daily. And that’s just Facebook. Instagram has over 1 billion active monthly users, with over 500 million actively using the platform daily.
Not only are these users actively using these platforms daily, but they’re staying on them for a long time. Facebook users spend an average of 38 minutes per day on the platform. That’s more than half an hour you could be reaching your target audience. And trust me, your audience is there. Facebook hits a wide array of all age groups, with 62 percent of online users over 65 using it. Instagram, on the other hand, attracts a younger audience, with 75 percent of online users ages 18-24 using the platform.
Well, there are a lot of benefits to using social media for your business. Here are a few basic ones:
One of the main benefits is being able to reach your target audience. Social media gives you a direct line of communication with your customers, where you can speak to and interact with them on a more personal level. This allows you to showcase the personality of your business, which can help to create a long-lasting relationship with your customers. They want to hear from a real person, not a business robot, and giving your business a personality is one of the best ways to feature that you’re a real person, not just a brand.
Since you’re speaking to your consumers, talk about your business. Social media is a great way to promote your business and the products or services you offer. Use your posts to tell your brand story and convey to your audience what your business is all about. You can direct users back to your website, which can increase your traffic and exposure and create more potential revenue.
This also means talking about the services you provide and the products you sell. You can phrase the posts however you like, but make sure that you’re not constantly spamming your audience with “sales-y” material. You want them to know what you do and how it can help them, not come off as just another business trying to get them to buy your stuff. Try looking at it from the perspective of the customer, and craft your content more strategically.
Social media can go a long way in building credibility for your business. With reviews, posts, and customer interactions, you can really showcase it in an authentic and relatable way. It can also let potential customers know that you’re still open and active.
If someone is searching for you and they see that you are active on social media, consistently posting and updating, they’re more likely to research your business further. On the other hand, if they see that you haven’t posted in over 6 months, they might think your business isn’t open anymore or that you don’t really care enough to interact with them. And trust us, they’re already searching. Fifty-four percent of consumers use social media to research products. That means they are most likely searching on Facebook for your products or services, and if you’re not there, you’re missing out.
Having a presence on social media is critical for any business nowadays. You need to be where your audience is and they’re on social media. If you’re not already on social media, you’ve already missed out on countless sales opportunities. Get started or beef up your game and start reaching your audience on a more personal level!
Dani James is a Marketing Specialist and writer for Atwill Media. She has a bachelor's degree in Strategic Communications from Arkansas State University with focuses in Public Relations, Advertising, and Social Media Management.
When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading a good book, and watching The Office.