Social media marketing (SMM) is the third key facet we recommend for a business’s digital marketing strategy. Once you have a high-quality website and have optimized it for search engines, it’s time to use social media to promote your brand name and interact with your customers. Read on to learn how to use social media for business marketing.

Why Is Social Media Marketing Important?

These social media facts demonstrate why this marketing tactic is so popular.

  • Nearly 180 million Americans have a social media profile on one of the many social networks available.  
  • According to Business 2 Community, social networking is the number one online activity in the U.S. An average American spends 37 minutes per day on social media.
  • People use social media to connect and be entertained.
With that many people spending that amount of time on social media, a business without some type of social media presence would be missing out on millions of potential customers.

How to Use Social Media for Your Digital Strategy

Social media marketing is much more than directly selling your product. Rather than posting sales pitch after sales pitch, SMM gives you a significant opportunity to build trust with people and promote your brand name.

When you become a trusted name in your industry, users will come back to you for information, with the potential of that user eventually coming back to purchase your product.

According to Jonathan Czaja, Facebook Director of Small Business for North America, 70% of business-to-consumer marketers have acquired customers through Facebook.


Recommended social media strategy:

  • Become a recognized expert in your industry
  • Produce helpful and educational material for users

Tactically, here’s how you build trust and promote your name on social media:

1) Fill out ALL of your information.
niche-510x219When you start building out your social pages, these networks are going to ask you to fill in a lot of information. Fill in as much as you can. It helps users get to know your business and connect them to your website where they can go to learn more about your products and make a purchase.

2) Offer information that is helpful and informative and relates to your niche.

This could be in the form of:
  • Blog Posts (yours or other sources)
  • Videos
  • Memes
  • Images
  • Facts/quotes
Do this by posting fresh, relevant content multiple times a week.

3) Use the right tone.

  • If you’re a company that likes to have fun, let your posts and content reflect that.
  • If your company is in a highly professional and serious industry, post content that demonstrates that.
  • Be true to who your company is while also being respectful of the mindset of your customers. Example: If you’re a funeral home, it wouldn’t be appropriate to post funny pictures and videos.
4) Interact with customers and users by responding to their questions or comments.
Ask questions to encourage your followers to leave comments on your page.  

5) Let your followers get to know the people behind the company.

 Post behind-the-scenes pictures or stories.

6) Reach out to influencers (experts) in your industry and build relationships.

Influencers are great resources for businesses. These individuals will have a lot of followers on their pages and can greatly influence their followers to follow you by sharing the content you produce or share on your social page.

Which Social Media Platforms Should You Use?

Once you understand the Why and the How, it’s time to get started. Figuring out which platforms to use can be overwhelming. There are a lot of social platforms to choose from. Some of these include:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Snapchat
  • Foursquare
  • Reddit
  • Linkedin
  • And many, many more
The secret? Choose the social platforms that your customers use! Odds are, there are others like them on that same network who may want to buy your product, too. With that in mind, we recommend for every business to start with Facebook and Twitter, if nothing else.

Here’s why:

facebook-and-twitter-user-stats-together-800x340

What’s Next?

While SMM will help you build a trusted brand, there is one more step that’s needed to maintaining and establishing that brand: Reputation Monitoring. Reputation monitoring is the process of protecting your brand name across the Web–on social media and off.

Customers post reviews about their experience with different products and services on the Web. The product or service your company offers is no different. Many customers will have good experiences with your product (if not, you’ll need to relook at the product you’re selling to improve customer satisfaction), and, inevitably, some customers will have a bad experience (whether that was due to one of your employees having a bad day or miscommunication about your service, etc.).

Company reviews that appear online can make or break your business. Monitoring these reviews is important for your brand name. Even if you get negative reviews, the way you respond to them could earn you some business.

According to Yelp, 65% of consumers are reading between 2 – 10 reviews when researching local businesses. Furthermore, 72% of consumers give the same weight to online reviews as they do to personal recommendations. That’s huge!

By actively responding to reviews, you are protecting your reputation, building up your credibility and trustworthiness with not only your customers but also potential customers who may be doing research about your service.

Conclusion

Hopefully, now you know a little bit more about how to use social media for business marketing. Social media marketing can be an effective strategy for your business if you know who your audience is, where they hang out online and what they’re interested in. Getting to know that audience can help you be successful all around–not just on social media but on your website and in your search engine optimization, too.

Next up: Pay-Per-Click Advertising