Social media has changed the way we interact online. This applies to actual social interaction and how businesses connect with consumers. The majority of businesses include a social media strategy as a part of their overall marketing strategy. It allows you to share inform, educate, and entertain your clients. If you don’t post on social media, you are not doing everything that you can in order to expand your business. Explore the benefits of using social media platforms.
Who Uses Social Media?
So, who uses social media? Everyone you know, from grandma down to your nieces or nephews, are on Facebook or Twitter. Most professionals regularly use LinkedIn. From sharing photos to liking and sharing updates from friends and family, Facebook was at the forefront of getting social media into the hands of the masses. Now, there are almost a dozen different popular social media networks. About three quarters of all internet users use social media websites
Facebook remains at the head of the class, but right behind is Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Google Plus. About 71% of all internet users have a Facebook account, while about a quarter of all users also have an account with one of the other top platforms.
Why Should You Use Social Media?
Millions of people use their social media account as their primary source of online information. With a good social media strategy, you can attract more customers and increase your web presence. Using social media as part of your online marketing efforts is one of the most cost effective ways to reach potential customers and get your name out there. Here is an overview of the main benefits of using social media:
- Reach more people
- Generate more web traffic
- Increase potential sales leads
- Get honest customer feedback
- Interact with your customers or clients
- Hone your skills at targeting a specific demographic
- Build brand awareness
- Keep your customers informed and entertained
The Social Media 80/20 Rule
Having a good strategy will allow you to make the best use of social media in building web presence. There are many ways to ensure you have a solid plan in place, but I generally try to stick to an 80/20 rule of social media posting (from Michael Port’s book BOOK YOURSELF SOLID). Dividing social media posts into 2 separate categories, you can make sure that you are not constantly bombarding your followers with sales pitches.
The 80/20 rule works as follows:
80% of the time, the goal of your social media posts is to tell stories, entertain, inform, and educate your followers. Those posts should be useful or entertaining to the market that you are targeting.
The remaining 20% of your social media posts can be used to offer products and services. These offers should be real solutions for real problems. Focus on solutions for your target audience. How can they benefit from using your products or services? What is the value of your proposed offers? Stick to honest facts about why they should choose your business.
It may help to plan out your posts for the week, to ensure you are generally following the 80/20 rule. If you have 5 Facebook posts for the week, make sure that 4 of them revolve around topics that your core audience will find interesting and be more likely to re-share, retweet, or pass on to their friends or family.
The way that you use each social media platform will vary, as they each have their own set up and general demographics. Look over the various ways that you can adjust your plan to each specific social media platform.
Create a Facebook page that is just for your business, instead of relying on your personal Facebook account. You should post at least twice per week, using a combination of text with images or video. If you have a blog on your business website, set it up to auto-post to Facebook when a new blog article is released.
With Twitter, you should also create a Twitter account for business use. Twitter is intended for short info blasts and people consume information on Twitter much more rapidly, so try to post at least 3 time per week or more. You will have a 140 character limit to the length of your tweets, which means that you will have to keep your message short and concise. You can also set your blog to auto-post to Twitter.
LinkedIn is geared towards professionals and peer to peer to networking. With LinkedIn, you can make business connections and also get honest feedback from clients. Brand your page and try to actively engage in group discussions. Ask your satisfied customers for testimonials that you can then use in your promotions.
Increase Your Web Presence with A Social Media Strategy
Using social media should not be the entire focus of your online marketing, but you should devote some time and energy to posting on a regular basis. It is the perfect way to reach your customers and engage them in conversation. Release fun and relevant information that they may pass on to others and share on their own social media accounts. If you want to make the most use out of online marketing, to increase your web presence, then you should definitely think about developing a social media strategy for your business.
Hopefully, this information has helped you gain a better understanding of how you can use social media platforms to your benefit. This overview outlines some of the key reasons and methods for using social media as part of a marketing strategy. If you want additional tips and specific details on getting started with Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, register for my FREE program – “HOW TO CREATE AND GROW YOUR WEB PRESENCE” – where you will discover step by step instructions on setting up a website and implementing an effective online marketing strategy for increased web presence. Thank you for reading and remember to check out some my other articles on online marketing and blogging.