Social Networking For Your Business
Just yesterday I visited a former client of mine, who excitedly invited me to see his website. While it was a very functional and informative site, his excitement rested on his social network links. And boy, was he connected! His business was on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, YouTube and Reddit! While his exuberance was infectious, it was almost like having one drink too many. I state this because social media for businesses should deliver proper returns on investment. Social media pages or connections shouldn’t just be “for style” as some say in the Caribbean.
Social media marketing may be paid or free. But we may all know by now that social networks are
businesses; therefore payment accelerates activity in the world of social media. Because social media is cheaper than traditional media in most cases, there is a temptation by businesses to devote a lot of time to such activity, without necessarily getting a healthy return. In this article, I hope to guide you towards choosing the best social media fit for your business.
- Go where the people are. I learnt this at a very early age, with my grandmother reminding me to “cater to the masses” when it came to her industry, Fabric and Textile. The same principle applies to social media. Where is your audience most likely to cluster? For example, if you’re in the Food and Beverage Industry, photos and recipes would be highly desirable for your target market. So, Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram may be your go-to social media marketing hubs. But, what if your audience is over fifty? Chances are Instagram may not be needed for such a product. (Check out the stats on the age ranges of each medium in your country before making a decision.)
- Start small. It is good to start with one channel, get comfortable with it and then determine whether you want to add another channel; and if such is even needed. Imagine trying to work with (like my former client) seven channels at the very outset of starting social media for your business! It can become overwhelming and it will certainly be time consuming.
- Interact, interact, interact! Posting every day is not effective if all you do is post prices, specials or pictures of your building. Use social media to ask questions of your customers. Create polls, offer rewards for feedback. Engage your customers and excite them so that they remain fans and so, most importantly, they buy from you!
- Bigger is not always better. You may have 2,000 followers, while your nearest competitor has 5,000. However, your engaged followers is over forty percent of your fan base, while Mr. Competitor hardly has any engagement. Whose platform is better? Yours is! Why? Engaged audiences are more likely to purchase from you…and this is the whole point of creating a business profile, is it not?
Always remember, Rome was not built in a day. Getting a faithful and useful fan base for your business takes time. Once used in the proper way, social media can be a powerful means of improving your bottom line.
Lots of love & good vibes, Veoma Ali
Veoma Ali is an Advertising Executive, with a Ph.D in Communications and a Masters in Business Administration.