You know that age-old proverb, “It’s not what you know but who you know”? With the proliferation of businesses and the rise of social networking, this saying stands even truer today. Now, you might be skeptically thinking, “Isn’t social media for teenagers?” No, it’s not. In actuality, most businesses these days have at the very least a Facebook and Twitter account, so refusing to jump on the social media bandwagon can prove to be detrimental to the success of your industry. So what exactly can your business accomplish with social media? Here are three ways your business can leverage the power of social networking so that your business can rise to the top of your industry – and stay there.
Social networking drives business outcomes
What if I told you that having a Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ account for your business would help increase your sales leads and strengthen your ROI? Don’t believe me? Social media statistics show that 46 percent of online users rely on social media when making a purchase decision and 71 percent of social media users purchase products from the brands they follow on social sites. With statistics like that, how could you not have a social business strategy to help build up your brand and acquire more sales leads?
Sharing is caring
There is no faster way to get your fans to “unfollow” you on social media than to solely promote your products and services. Instead, you must think about your target audience: what type of content are they interested in seeing on their social media feeds, and more importantly, what will they want to share? Creating this social buzz around your business is all part and parcel of a successful SEO strategy. It’s a simple equation: more shares lead to more page views, which equal a higher search engine ranking. Think about it. Say you posted a new blog article on your Facebook and your fans go crazy over it. They start sharing it on their personal pages, leading to more views, more likes, and engagement.
These social shares are equivalent to the backlinks you need in order to get a high search engine ranking. When your content is shared a lot, it tells Google that what your business is saying is not only authoritative but also interesting to users. This means that your business is ranked higher on Google, which is integral to your marketing efforts, as 75 percent of users never scroll past the first page of search results. In addition, Facebook has its own updated News Feed algorithm that prevents businesses from posting spam-like content, which they define as stories that just ask for more likes or shares. Instead, Facebook places “high-quality” stories that have high user engagement at the top of News Feeds. These algorithm adjustments can place your business in front of more people who are looking for the services and products you offer, but only if you post relevant and interesting content. Therefore, you must make sure that everything you post on your social media accounts not only pertain to your industry but also appeal to your social followers.
Network your way to a loyal fan base
Social media isn’t just an advertising platform. You must also use it to regularly engage with your customers, ensuring that you are meeting their wants and responding to their needs. Think of your social media accounts as the face of your brand. In this day and age, people don’t want to hear from a business conglomerate who only wants their money. Your social followers want to be engaged, to feel like they’re not just dollar signs in your eyes but actual humans.
Therefore, the purpose of your brand’s social media profiles is to create conversation between and amongst your followers. Ask them what they like about your brand and how your brand can improve to give them a better experience. Also remember that social media marketing is a two-way street: you have to give a little in order to get a lot. Therefore, consider running social media campaigns, giveaways, and coupons in order to promote your company. This way, you not only increase your sales but also create loyal social media followers that will come back to your brand for more.
Ultimately, a successful social media marketing strategy rests on how human your brand is, how regularly you post, and how carefully you monitor your brand reputation online. Though it may require a lot of work and expertise, if done right, your increased ROI will more than exceed the time it will take to build your brand on social media.