7 Tips to Grow Your Business Through Social Media

by Wanda - 1 year ago

A decade ago, Facebook and Twitter were mostly reserved for people who wanted to keep in touch with loved ones, follow celebrities, or be part of a new cultural movement. Now, social media is among the top-most tips to grow your business.

These same social media channels (amongst others) have become indispensable marketing tools for small business, with huge potential for generating leads, opportunities, brand awareness, PR, and even sales.

All this without costing much more than a little time and effort,

Whether you’re in charge of your company’s social media accounts, or you have your own small business that you’re trying to promote through the social networks, one thing remains the same: you want to grow your follower base, expand your reach, and generate as much interest as possible in what you have to say.

Social media can be a highly effective marketing tool – but only if you approach it the right way. Many small businesses fail to make the most out of the opportunity primarily because they have no strategy, they try to do too much too quickly, or they do too little too slowly!

It pays to listen to the successful businesses that have ‘cracked’ social media. For many of these, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and/or Instagram have become the central hub of all their marketing activity – more important even than their website, in many cases.

Social media ‘experts’ are generally not shy in sharing the secrets of their success. They know that one of the secrets of succeeding at social media is in sharing knowledge and content.

So it’s quite simple to find tips from those in the know. But we’ve saved you some of the legwork by scouring the web for the best tips for growing your business through social media.

Whether you’re looking to expand your presence on Facebook, crack Twitter or Instagram marketing, or stand out on LinkedIn, here are seven of the best tips around…

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Get Your Profiles Looking And Sounding Sharp

Develop a professional, engaging profile on each of the networks you have a presence on. Create your profiles with your ideal target audience in mind –

So, first identify exactly who you want to attract to your network.

Then set about ensuring that when these people land on your profile, they like what they see and read, and want to connect with you.

Make sure that you upload a professional photo (and background image in the case of LinkedIn and Facebook) and make it clear what you and your business do.

Leave first-time visitors in no doubt about the benefits of connecting with you and try to speak their language –

No industry jargon!

Actively Build And Grow Your Community

In order to generate curiosity and interest in your business, you must take active steps to connect with your target audience. You want large numbers of people following you, but not just anyone.

Use the search facilities of the various networks to hunt down people in your target audience. In the case of LinkedIn, you can actively grow your network by using its powerful internal search engine and sending connection requests to these people.

The important thing here (whatever your preferred network) is to get active. Don’t simply rely on organically growing your network. Invest time and energy into it, especially at the beginning.

Focus on building a community rather than simply a network.

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Create High Quality, Engaging Content

Content is the crown jewel of any social account! It’s what attracts people to you and engages them. It starts conversations – and conversations lead ultimately to more business.

First and foremost, be sure to use all the tools at your disposal.

Articles are great, but wherever possible, spice things up with images and videos.

Even LinkedIn allows you to post videos now – so use it.

Make sure that the images and video you use are of consistent high quality. This is not only important for capturing potential customers’ eyes but also for creating an amazing look and feel to your whole feed.

When potential followers visit your account, they will decide whether to follow you based on your profile and the content that you have there. It stands to reason that high-quality, relevant, good-looking, engaging posts that answer the main questions in their heads, or spark curiosity or interest, make it more likely that they’ll want to start a conversation with you.

To uncover content ideas, brainstorm content themes. Try to mix it up with inspirational quotes, expert tips, eye-catching pictures and video, and thought-provoking questions, for instance.

Also analyze what’s working and what’s not in your current feed. Which types of posts attract the most likes and comments? Which themes and topics have the best reach?

Want to narrow it down even further to get your content right? Try assigning a certain topic to each day of the week, like ‘Tip Tuesday’. If you’re a personal trainer, for instance, this might mean you post a high-quality video of a favorite exercise and caption it with your tip for making the exercise more effective.

This is also a great trick to ensure your audience always comes back for more.

Get Active: Community Management And Outreach

Think about a time you visited a store and received exceptional – or terrible – customer service.

You probably remembered this experience long after you left the store. Perhaps you told family and friends, or shared a review online.

The time you invest with followers on your social media accounts is just as important as customer service in a ‘bricks and mortar’ store.

Regular engagement is the name of the game on social media.

Activity such as liking other people’s posts, commenting (and responding to comments), sharing information, asking and answering questions, helping out in your area of expertise … all this generates goodwill amongst your target audience and ‘wins points’ for you and your business,

Put simply, the more you put in to social media, the more you’ll get out of it. Activity gets you seen, it gets your profile visited, it increases your following, and it generates interest in your business.

Being inactive puts you right at the back of the queue and makes you essentially ‘invisible’. Unfortunately, many small business owners take a passive approach on social media and are therefore not getting much out of it.

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Don’t Sell On Social Media!

Unless you’re running product promotions on Instagram for example, social media is not generally the place to sell. It’s a fantastic place to market your business – but that’s not the same as selling.

This one is really important: The quickest way to lose a following on social media is to openly sell to people who have no interest in being sold to.

You market on social media by growing your reputation, building authority, demonstrating know-how, and increasing trust with your audience.

Build the relationship online with social media but, to close a deal, take it ‘offline’. For many industries, face to face or over the phone is still where sales are made. And it involves different skills and approaches to those you use to market your business.

Think of social media as the lead generator; but have a sales system offline or away from your social accounts, that converts these leads and monetizes your social media activity.

Keep A Consistent ‘Voice’

It’s important for developing your brand to decide on your ‘voice’ and to maintain a level of consistency with your posts.

On Instagram, for instance, some businesses use the same photographic filters, the same color palette, the same fonts, or the same hashtags for all of their posts. They develop an unmistakable and unique style that helps them stand out.

Write captions for articles, images and video posts that talk to your target audience. If you like to challenge, question, or provoke with your posts, that’s great. Similarly, some brands focus on humor and wit; others are more conversational; and others again like to keep it ultra-professional at all times.

Social media is a great place to express personality. Whatever you decide on for your business ‘voice’, express it loud and clear in social media posts and you will develop a strong identity amongst your community.

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Make Time - Even If You Have None!

Social media success won’t come from simply logging in once a week, replying to messages, and logging out again.

You need a plan and a schedule that you stick to.

Social media can sometimes slip down the list of priorities unintentionally. It is often classified as something to do when you have the time. Guess what? Time slips away and you never have enough of it. There is always something more urgent or pressing when you’re running a business.

Try to allocate time daily for building and growing your social media accounts and treat it as a priority.

Remember – daily activity gets you seen; inactivity means you’re hidden.

Don’t have time for content creation? Outsource it. Some businesses even outsource the management of their social media accounts because they know how important it is to remain active – but it’s best if you can engage in person.

Social media management can take up time that’s not really available – but there is usually a workaround. You need to plan for it. Create a calendar that details what you will do and when over the course of a week or month. Then stick to what you commit to.

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There are no big secrets to making a success of your business using social media. Base your strategy on what’s worked for other businesses, make a commitment to follow this strategy, and then take consistent action to carry it out.

You should then start to see some better results from your time on social media.

Do you have another tip for growing your business using social media? Share the love! Comment below or share it on our #GreensTeam Facebook community.