We live in the age of social media everything. New platforms appear overnight and take the world by storm. Business owners, no matter their field, are kept on their toes when it comes to keeping up with modern consumers. Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and a host of other apps are where businesses need to be if they are trying to compete with a tech-savvy consumer base. We asked entrepreneurs and business owners about how they use social media for business and their replies are listed below. These tips might even help you find the right footing on social media for your business.
#1- Brand building via LinkedIn
With sales and marketing as my primary responsibility at Anvil, it is my role to network and generate awareness for our brand. After years of testing various platforms, I've found LinkedIn is the best platform for brand-building (personally and professionally). For starters, LinkedIn the least tapped in terms of leveraging influencers. Having been a power-users for many years, I've become a bit of an expert on the platform and see this as a big opportunity for 2019 and beyond. Secondly, the platform is ideal for business-to-business marketing. There is no other platform that can target prospective customers (or partners) with ads, based on employer, job title, location and other key factors. One of the secrets to effective content marketing on LinkedIn is to use ad targeting to share high quality content as sponsored content which is more affordable and generally higher-performing than traditional display ads. Last week, LinkedIn announced interest-based targeting for it's ad platform which will make it even more powerful going into 2019. Lastly, the platform is ideal for generating awareness and credentials via thought leadership to build your network (posting updates and writing articles on LinkedIn Pulse). Most recently, I've been leveraging 1st-degree connections for outbound sales efforts, generating meaningful results after just a few months of outreach.
Thanks to Kent Lewis, Anvil!
#2- Give a real face to the company
I personally amplify my companies content through my social media. I RT, like and share on my personal accounts. When someone comments, I like to hop in there with my personal account (or have my team do it) so that it gives a real face to the company. I feel so many companies are faceless online. This gives people someone to complain to or praise. You will get complains resolved before they become big online.
Thanks to John Rampton, Calendar!
#3- Create conversations
One of the strategies we use to grow our business is to have one on one conversations with our followers & customers on Instagram. The act of reaching out to customers on a first name basis to thank them for their support of your business has tremendous benefits. The main benefit we see is that it shows your appreciation for the customers and followers support (and who doesn't love to be appreciated?). When customers and followers feel appreciated, they will continue to engage with your posts, spread great word of mouth advertisement and even buy (or continue to buy from you). This method is labor intensive but it's highly recommended for businesses not only trying to grow their sales and followings but to *retain* repeat customers.
Thanks to Robert Remak, Art of The Gentleman!
#4- A variety of ways
I use social media for my business in a variety of ways. The first way is using Facebook Lives once per week to bring new Pinterest tips & any updates on the platform. The next way I use social media is simply sharing articles on updates, new blog posts and service offerings. These methods have helped to propel my business forward and for potential new clients to get to know me in a more authentic way. Lastly, I use social media in order to advertise paid ads to my products and service offerings.
Thanks to Heather Farris, Heather Farris & Co.!
#5- Generate higher engagement and lead to increased revenue
I use social media to increase brand awareness for myself, promote my services and products, and engage with a community of peers and clients. Social media gives me incredible insight into what type of content my audience likes to see. That knowledge helps me write better ebooks, blog posts or articles that generate higher engagement and lead to increased revenue. Above all, social media is a great way to grow brand awareness, build customer loyalty and establish yourself as a creative thought-leader.
Thanks to Christian Lowery
#6- Building and cultivating relationships
I spend a lot of time connecting and getting to know people beyond just a like or a comment on their posts. Social media is a great outlet for connecting you with people whom you may never have the chance to meet. When you can build a deeper relationship with people, you can then find opportunities to either work together, create collaborations, referral and strategic partnerships. I absolutely love having my FB community and I spend a lot of time there sharing business tips, personal wins, struggles (because we ALL go through struggles as business owners) and just being real. I encourage others in my group to connect, share and talk about their businesses openly as well. I enjoy introducing others to people I feel would be a great connection for them. 98% percent of my current clients are connections I have made off of FB and some of them are relationships 2 years in the making.
Thanks to Michelle DeNio, Michelle DeNio Consulting LLC!
#7- Marketing strategy and connect with customers
My company uses social media for 99% of our marketing strategy, as well as connecting with existing and potential customers, and ultimately telling the visual story of our brand. Social media is huge in making a connection with people and sharing what makes us unique against our competition, as well as helping us gain brand recognition. We’re an online-only brand, so without a brick and mortar location, we grow by word of mouth, and by increased visibility on all our social media channels. Our social platforms are ultimately our look-book; a way of sharing our story with the world.
Thanks to Natasha Funderburk, Harper & Sky!
#8- Unique way on each platform
The most important first step that many businesses miss before investing in social media marketing is figuring out WHICH PLATFORM your ideal customers are actually on. Do you offer services to other entrepreneurs or businesses? Then you should focus on LinkedIn. Are you selling physical product? Connect Instagram and Facebook to your Shopify account. Do you provide educational materials or create easily-searchable evergreen content? Get a Pinterest business profile. Are you providing news or updates about a niche market? Dial up your tweets. Knowing where to focus your efforts is just as important as the measures you take to grow your following on any given platform. Niche down, grow faster.
Thanks to Kelsey Formost
#9- Share information
As a parenting blogger, an online presence for my business is essential. I use social media to introduce new and old blog posts and provide my followers with relevant information in my niche. I also use it to grow my business and connect with my audience. If I want to provide information and resources that are valuable to my audience, I need to understand them – where they are in life and what are their current struggles – so I can ensure the content I provide is relevant.
Thanks to Valerie Lobas, Thoughtful Neighbor!
#10- Connect to my business's mission
One of my favorite ways to use social media for business is through Instagram stories. For consumers, checking Instagram stories is a habit. I post a combination of behind-the-scenes shots, helpful niche-related tips, relevant sharable content (like quotes), and some promotion. Consumers attach to a brand's why, so I make sure to connect every story I post to my business's mission.
Thanks to Krista Aoki, Reroute Lifestyle!
#11- A number of ways
As a Realtor, leveraging social media is critical to engaging new clients and staying in front of former ones. In addition to posting about current mortgage rates, design trends and other traditional real estate news I have found that people genuinely want to know more about Jodi the person. I try to post pictures of family moments or of my dog doing silly things occasionally because clients appreciate knowing who they are really doing business with. In most service industries customers have a plethora of faces and names to chose from- letting them see the person behind the business card helps form a connection. I’ve heard it said that the key to being successful in business is relationship management and social media helps me nurture relationships.
Thanks to Jodi Moody, Smoky Mountain Realty!
#12- Showcase our products
My business, Regime, is a clothing brand and with that, it entails some fierce competition. While it is true that most clothing brands probably do already utilize social media, but since social media can be used in so many ways, and you can tell unique stories, showcase events, and many other things that it becomes almost a necessity. We generally use social media to showcase products, but we're working on telling unique stories about people and their experiences.
Thanks to Bebas Dhungana, RegimeApparel!
#13- Keep our followers engaged and interested in our content
After our pre-launch giveaways held on our social media pages, we have managed to gain a significant following. Thereafter, every time we publish an article, we would do a social media post on both our Instagram and Facebook pages to let our followers know about the new article. We also do interactive Instagram stories such as polls and questions to keep our followers engaged and interested in our content offers. Apart from organic traffic, we also use ads to bring in paid traffic as they're great platforms to target a custom audience based on our target demographics. Social media has significantly helped to bring more eyeballs to our site.
Thanks to Bernice Quek, Bumble Scoop!
#14- Raise awareness and educate to convert into sales
Once we have raised awareness of our product through social media ads, we provide useful information to our followers. We mainly use attractive images and interactive tutorials to show viewers the benefits of our product and other ways of using it. After we have answered their questions about the product, we go on to gather valuable feedback and reviews from our existing customers. Currently, we have an Instagram story highlight where we showcase all of our customers' reviews so that anyone who is considering to buy our product can be convinced to make a purchase.
Thanks to Charlotte Ang, Fixwerks!