Social media is just a fancy way of naming all the websites where people share information, pictures and videos in what can only be termed as a virtual community.
Online communities such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram therefore offer various opportunities for business owners to create a buzz about the products they offer, engage with their customers or simply market their business. Social media is therefore a must have for any business.
What do you need to get started?
Your average social media start-up kit is incredibly easy to put together. It is also extensive searches with tons of color coded folders. All you need to start up is the following:
- A social media account: This is the very first step. You need to identify which online community you wish to engage in before going anywhere, and what sort of activity you wish to carry out on it. It is a big determinant in coming up with the rest. Facebook is the best platform to create brand awareness, Twitter is great for customer care and customer interaction, Pinterest is a great way to reach out to the female demographic especially for those selling clothes or jewelry, while Instagram relies heavily on images. Knowing what works for you is essential here.
- A dedicated and creative social media team: Depending on the size of your business, a team could be an entire department or just you and the cashier. Creativity is a big requirement however as it enables you to create content that is valuable to the business while remaining both shareable and entertaining.
- A camera: A good camera at that. This cannot be over emphasized enough. Regardless of the social media platform you decide to engage in, images are key to successfully promote any business anywhere. Human beings are very visual animals.
Now that we have assembled the essentials, the next step would be to use social media to grow your business. According to entrepreneur.com there are these basic ways to grow your business of social media.
- Choose wisely: Choosing the social media platform that rhymes with your business and works for the brand you are trying to build is key. Facebook is the best for start-ups as nearly 75% of adult Americans use the site, while Twitter is the best for established businesses since most customer service questions are forwarded through Twitter. Knowing what platform to use is essential.
- Provide relevant and shareable content: take your time to create content that will pull your viewers towards identifying with your brand. Content should be useful and have an entertaining angle that will compel the viewers to want to share or retweet. This is where the creative and dedicated social media team comes in. You should also never under estimate the value of images in your social media messages. If someone in your team can create funny and engaging memes, you need to give that person a raise. It is also important to engage with your customers
- Use influencers: Influencers refers to already established social media users who command a large following and have a lot of social media clout. They are like the cool kids in high school. For a relatively unknown brand, posting great content online is only half of it; it doesn’t help your business if no one gets to see it. While it is possible to build your own audience, the best way to juice up the operation would be to use influencers in your industry/locality to get your killer messages across. The best way to do this would be:-Contacting influencers to let them know your content has been posted so they can share to their following. This requires that you have had initial contact with them.-Tagging influencers to your social media posts so their following also get to see.-For certain businesses, it would be great business to give influencers samples of your products or free entry to some of your events. This works best among other clubs, clothing stores, pastry/coffee shops etc.
- Jump onto campaigns: Paid campaigns are a great way to reach your customers by providing incentives for your audience to participate. Make sure that your campaigns offer value to the participants including chances to win merchandise.
Armed with this information, you are well on your way to growing your business through social media. The basics, just like the foundation of a house, are what make your business a brand worth sharing. This information is also worth sharing with others to help them grow their brands or businesses on Facebook or twitter.