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What is Social Media?

If you want your business to be successful, then chances are you need some sort of social media strategy plan in place. No matter how far along in your plan you are, this is a good place to reassess and expand on it. Social media helps your business develop a presence in the places where most of your potential customers and clients spend their time. More than half of the global population spends their time on social media. When you gain followers and drive user engagement through social media, your brand will grow more reputable and recognized.

what is social media

What is Social Media?

In order to tackle social media and create your own strategy, it’s important to have a firm grasp on what exactly the term means. In short, social media is any digital tool that allows users to quickly create and share content with the public. There are different types of social media. Social media can be what most people think of right away; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Or it can be discussion forums, video hosting sites, or other less-known platforms.

Social Media Networks

There are several social media platforms available for you to compare and decide between. However, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the most used social media platforms. These are used to engage with your audience and offer a humanized and personal approach. These platforms allow your business to respond to inquiries, explain promotions, or just respond to comments. They also offer an opportunity to reshare customer photos or customer comments. This can be done through retweeting or reposting content on your Facebook or Instagram stories. 

While the previously mentioned social media networks are usually the most popular, another social media network to consider is LinkedIn. This is similar to Facebook by allowing people to post thoughts, pictures, or even videos. The difference is that it revolves more around job networking and professionals.

Video Sharing

YouTube has a wider age range of people who use it, which makes it another great social media tool to be familiar with. YouTube, a video sharing site, can be used as an important marketing tool. It allows your business to share longer videos and content that you might normally not put on your other social media platforms. You can also use this to connect with your viewer comments and you can even give a shoutout to loyal customers in some of your videos. You can do product testing there or explain more about what your company is doing. 

Instagram can also fall into this category with new updates such as their IGTV Video option that also allows longer videos to be posted into their own category on each account. 

Snapchat is another evolving video platform to consider. But, there are also several other types of social media.

users for social media

Discussion Forums

Discussion forums are a tool that is often overlooked by many businesses. But, it is a great way to go to your potential customer’s problems and possibly answer burning audience questions. There are many websites that offer this social media format, but two of the most used continue to be Reddit and Quora

Reddit

This site allows your business to accurately find your target audience. This is a strategic place where you can share your content to communities who have a built in interest in it. This is possible since users are broken up into millions of small communities called “subreddits.” All these subreddits cover different topics. Chances are that there is a topic that is extremely close to your product or service. It is a great place to find potential customers. 

Quora

Another great place to find your target audience is this site. This is where people from all over the world post questions about a vast array of topics. These topics can range from mechanics, computers, makeup, sewing, the list goes on. Although this seems like an unlikely place to be aware of, it’s one of the top online destinations in the world. That is why you should know Quora and care about it.

It’s a good place for your current loyal customers to also use to get the word out about your business. After all, about 81% of purchases are from products people they know promoted or mentioned. Recommendations in general are just as strong especially when they are genuine and not paid for like some influencers are known for. This is a place for ordinary people to have discussions and it will benefit your business if you are part of those conversations. 

Pinterest

A rather unlikely place to consider for your business, Pinterest is continuing to grow and has more than 400 million people use Pinterest every month. This is a great place to catch up on the latest fads and to portray your business as trendy and up to date and relevant. This is a place to showcase what your business is all about in engaging and interesting pictures. Users can save images that they like to “boards,” or collections, of other related images such as recipes, outfits, or how-to guides they find interesting. 

importance of social media for business

Importance of Social Media for Businesses

Social media continues to grow and isn’t going anywhere. Businesses have the option to engage and tackle the ever-changing and daunting online world. Or, they can fall to the wayside and not take advantage of the free tools provided. 

Awareness

Social media is important for businesses because it helps transmit what your business is all about to current and potential customers. It allows people who might never walk into your place of business get a glimpse of what your business is about. This can be happen when current customers share your posts or create posts themselves about your business. You can even find and hire an influencer to post about your business.

Engagement 

Engagement is one of the most important aspects about social media for businesses. It allows your brand to engage with people all around the country and even the world. It allows you to express your business’s voice in a way that typical marketing cannot. The online environment is constantly changing and moving. It’s a thriving place full of millions of people who are just waiting to try your latest product or service. With social media, your business can respond to their thoughts and even conflict manage situations. 

social media

Uses for Social Media

While awareness and engagement are very important reasons for your business to be on social media, there are also other uses for these platforms. 

Advertising

Social media marketing is an important use for social media for your business. There are many ways to advertise your product or service on these social media platforms and different types of ads. Facebook is a very effective advertising platform. Facebook also allows you to receive very detailed analytics about your audience. This is important for your business because it helps you adjust some of your advertising plans and also allows you to save money by not wasting resources on ads that are not working. 

Customer Service

Just like engaging your social media audience is vital to portraying your brand and voice, it is also useful for meeting your customer’s needs quickly and efficiently. Many times people will post or write about a poor or outstanding experience on Twitter or any other social media platform. Being present on these same sites allows your business to address such posts and do some damage control. This is an opportunity to exceed your customer’s expectations. You can also show other readers what your business is all about and how attentive you are to the needs of your clients.  

Retention and loyalty

Another use for social media is simply to retain your current buyers and fans. Social media allows you to give special promotions or offers for your loyal customers. It allows your business to share your customer content and keep up with your most loyal buyers. These platforms help you keep an eye on what your customers love. It also gives them a place to share about that love through reviews or posts. 

Social Media ROI

While all of these social media uses and important tactics for your business sound nice, it wouldn’t be helpful if it didn’t also make a positive impact on your return on investment. You can calculate this by taking into account your profit or net income and dividing it by the time and money spent on developing your social media platforms. You then take this number and multiply it by 100. Calculating this will help your business continue what is working and stop what isn’t. To have a successful presence online, your business should also be gaining and getting better. 

social media definition

The Best Social Media Strategy for You

There are a lot of different options when it comes to social media and choosing the best social media network for your business to have a presence on. Something important to note is that your business does not to be on all of these platforms. Especially when you start off, your business should focus on just a few at a time and do those well. There’s nothing worse than entering a business social media page to find that it’s been completely abandoned. Make sure you pick the ones that work best for you. Then, make sure you upkeep it and keep it current and relevant. 

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