Does your company have a social media presence? If not, then you are clearly missing out on one of the most effective ways to market your products and services. Every other business these days is in the hunt for leads through social media websites, which they can convert into sales. With the increasing number of social networks available today, it’s now easier than ever for businesses to establish their presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Facebook alone has over a billion users, which means that a significant part of the global consumer market is present on social media websites. Of course, there are variations according to the demographic you are looking to target, but if your target audience is between the ages of 18 and 49, social media is a goldmine for you. This doesn’t mean that businesses catering to people from other demographics shouldn’t use social media. There are benefits for them too.
The Numbers Tell the Story
If you have any apprehension about using social media for the growth of your business, you belong to an elite club—elite only because the members are fast decreasing. More and more entrepreneurs are embracing the power of social media and throwing it into their marketing mix. The process may take some time, but using the social media websites costs next to nothing (if you want to publish ads or use some particular services, you may need to pay them a nominal amount).
As far as social media usage is concerned, business spending has been on the rise for the past couple of years. In fact, since 2009, the spending on social media has increased at an average of 34 percent annually. As reported by Forrester, the total spending on social media was $716 million in 2009 and is expected to increase to $3,113 million by 2014. The numbers tell a story about the growing importance of social media for businesses. After all, there has to be a solid reason if businesses are spending this much.
Establishing Your Business on Social Media Websites
You can be spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting a social network. There are so many of them apart from Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter that it’s easy to get confused about which one to use. The misconception regarding the various websites is that a business should stick to only one of them. Entrepreneurs often inquire about which website is the best one for them.
They need to realize that social media websites aren’t competing, but rather co-existing. Hence, you can create a business page on as many of them as you like. You don’t have to restrict yourself to, let’s say, Facebook just because it’s the most widely used social network. The option to create multiple social media pages works to your benefit.
Four Tips You Can Follow
To take your small business down the social media route or consolidate your existing position on Facebook or LinkedIn, you can follow these four tips.
1) Highlight the content you feel is going to attract the interest of the most fans on your social media page. For instance, if you are using Facebook, you can “Pin” or “Star” the posts which you think are the most important. Across the social media websites, you can keep the important content fresh and in the public view.
2) Learn about how the content settings work on the various social media websites. There are numerous options offered by almost every social media website as to the layout and design of your business page. Unless you already know how to set your page according to your preferences, you may find the process difficult. Use a design with visual appeal to attract more fans.
3) You also have complete control over the content posted and who posts it. One of the drawbacks of using social media websites is that anyone can post on your page unless you restrict their access. Make sure you only allow Friends, Followers, Fans, etc., to post content on your main page.
4) Use the graphic design and images in a way that suits the theme of your social media page as well as your business. Flashy and bold colors are out of place for a business targeting middle-aged people. Dull and dreary designs are a strict no-no when targeting teenagers.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to work out how social media can contribute to the growth of your business. It is simply a matter of accepting the fact that it can help your business. Once you get over the initial apprehension, you will find it quite easy to establish your business on various social networks. This is one responsibility you can hold yourself accountable for. Actually, your assistant or administrative support can do most of the social media activities, with little direction from you. The bottom-line is that using social media can take your business to the next level.