Every business needs some form of a social media strategy. Building an online presence is critical to elevating brand awareness, establishing trust with customers, and guiding prospects through the sales funnel.
Social media marketing and branding is a long-term game that takes patience and consistency. Your company has a unique story to tell, and social media is the perfect place to do so. This article uncovers how to use social media for business. We also dive into methods to deliver unique value to your audience.
What is Social Media Branding for Small Businesses?
Social media branding for small businesses is a critical long-term strategy. It involves building an identity online through one or more social media channels. Establishing a presence on social media enables your business to interact with present and future customers. It is also the perfect place to tell the world what your company values.
To understand how to use social media for a small business, you must know how social media branding plays an essential role in the sales funnel. Before anybody buys from your business, you must establish trust. Building this relationship is a long-term journey, including your content strategy and interactions with customers online.
The social media branding process is relatively straightforward:
- Identify your target audience
- Form your identity and social media channels
- Develop content that the audience is interested in
- Figure out a long-term system focused on design, value, and consistency
Importance of Social Media in Business Communication
Your business must have an online presence to communicate with customers. Here are a few reasons why an effective social media strategy should be a top priority.
Social Media Boosts Brand Awareness
Posting on social media consistently keeps your brand at the forefront of customers’ minds. However, you can reach a wider audience if your followers share your content. The more you engage with social media platforms, the more your audience will share. People outside of your regular followers can learn more about your business and its products through organic reach.
Social Media Establishes Trust With Your Audience
There are several different types of content for your business to post. However, one thing remains constant: you should provide value to your audience. When you post valuable content, people will like and trust your brand more. As you build a bond with your audience, they are more likely to buy from you and share your page with others.
Here are some examples of content that can build trust with your audience:
- Sharing helpful tips related to a problem in your industry
- Keeping your followers updated on future deals, promotions, and contests
- Running contests that reward your followers with free products or services
Social Media Gives Your Brand More Personality
There is no limit on creativity with social media and your business. Through innovative content, you can establish a personality online. Publish content that resonates with your ideal customer. This strategy also applies to engaging with your followers directly. For every comment or mention on your social media page, there should always be a reply.
How to Use Social Media Effectively
So, how can your business maximize its potential through social media? Below are several best practices in leveraging social media to reach your long-term business goals.
Develop a Plan
Building a social media presence starts with a plan. Research your competition to see how they interact with their customers. Study what works well, and then build that into your own unique strategy. Set meaningful goals that are measurable, specific, and attainable. Hold regular meetings and reviews to ensure your team is on track.
Identify Your Target Audience
Assessing who your ideal customer is will guide all your content development. Your social media plan should solve the needs of your target customer. If you do not post engaging content, you could lose your customers to a competitor.
Create a Content Calendar
Next, outline a social media calendar and ideal channels. Having a post ready for each day will keep your team on track. Break up your content into different categories. As you outline the calendar, ensure that you are satisfying each of the different types.
Understand Which Channels You Will Use
Knowing which channels to post on will also help in executing the plan. We define the right social media channels for your business at the end of the article. Your social media calendar should advise you on what content and media to use for each channel.
Build Your Audience
Once you identify your ideal audience, you can deploy campaigns to grow that audience. Launch contests that incentivize your followers to share your content. Depending on your marketing budget, you can also launch paid advertising campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and Google.
Establish Community Partnerships
There are several local businesses who you can partner with in your community. Other business’ customers might also benefit from your services, and vice versa. Collaborate with these companies to launch mutually beneficial campaigns.
Which Social Media Platform is Best for My Business?
As you decide which social media platform is for you, there are two things to consider:
- Which social media channels do your customers use?
- What type of content will you develop?
Social media branding for small business is all about attention. Therefore, your business needs to post on the channels where your customers hang out the most. The critical thing to remember here is that social media is constantly changing. The platforms most relevant today may not be relevant a few years from now. Your marketing team needs to constantly research and keep up with where the attention is.
Secondly, you should pick the social media channels that best match up with your content. Your social media strategy might look different if your content is focused on videos. Below is a quick breakdown of the top social media channels and when you might use them:
- Facebook – best for organic engagement and reach with videos
- Instagram – best for mobile videos and photos, especially user-generated content
- LinkedIn – best for business-to-business (B2B) marketing campaigns
- Twitter – best for sharing ideas, interacting with followers, advertising future events, and publishing polls for customer feedback
- Pinterest – ideal for driving content to your website through videos, infographics, and images
- YouTube – best for long-form videos and informational content
- Tik Tok – great for posting shorter, user-generated videos
Final Wrap Up
Knowing how to use social media for business is essential for success. Building an online brand involves creativity and patience. It is the perfect vehicle to increase brand awareness, strengthen relationships with customers, and help drive traffic to your website.
Although social media is constantly changing, you must always provide value to your customers. You need a strong content plan centered around your audience’s unique needs. When you constantly put out helpful and engaging content, the sky’s the limit for your business.
About the Author, James Webster
James Webster, founder and CEO of ROK Financial has almost two decades of experience within the financial services industry. His passion for helping small business owners and his innovative way of thinking, has allowed him to run multiple successful businesses including National Business Capital & Services. Under the National name, the team was able to help secure over $1 Billion in financing for small businesses nationwide.