What is Social Media? and how does it work is, believe it or not, still a question on so many business owners’ lips. We live in a time with a generation that hasn’t really had anything like it when they started their business. Heck! Mobile Smart Phones only made their first appearance in 1992…
What is Social Media?
websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.
Source: Definitions from Oxford Languages
As seen in the definition above from Oxford Languages. Social Media is simply apps and interactive software, more commonly known as ‘platform’. Platforms where people from around the world can interact and share ideas, information, interest-based posts, videos, images, etc. The list of these platforms is endless. And they are changing and evolving daily.
People all around the world use Social Media to connect and stay in touch with family, friends, and other communities they show interest in.
It is also important to understand that Social Media is internet-based.
Social Media for Business
Social Networks were initially created for the public to use as a means of connecting and communicating with friends, families, and communities. It eventually evolved into a powerful Business tool and became a unique resource to engage and communicate with customers – or potential customers, almost immediately.
The popularity of the different platforms under your Target Market is what makes it successful for your business or not.
Hold up! Before we carry on enlightening you on what Social Media is and how your business can benefit from it, please remember that your business DOES NOT have to be on every platform you come across. The reason being is that some of them will benefit your business and others might just waste your time… and who has time to waste when they are running a business??? Not us, that’s for sure!
The use of Social Media in Business
Simply put, businesses use Social Media for the purpose of marketing their products or services, promoting their unique brand, connecting, and communicating instantly to current customers, and finding new buying customers.
Businesses can also utilize this technology to see customer feedback and reviews, which pose as important information that can be used to improve the business and customer experience.
Understanding that, currently, social platforms are most popular under the age groups of 18 to about 30, will be a guideline to decide whether it will be beneficial for your business or not. Even though this is the majority that uses this technology, growth in popularity under older generations, shouldn’t be written off completely. It is important to stay up to date with the growth of Social Media for all ages, as you might just see a time when the older generations will also start using these platforms as regularly as the younger group does currently.
Best practices for Business
Once you established that Social Media is the route for your business to go in order to grow, there are a couple of key points that are important to consider in the new journey you’re heading towards.
Once you dive into the Social Media pool, do yourself a favor and do as much research as possible. This will ensure you find the best platforms for your business and understand each of the platform’s rules and regulations that need to be strictly adhered to.
Failure in following the rules and regulations may result in your pages or profiles being suspended and/or deactivated. And trust us when we say, it is not easy to get into the good books of the platforms once you stepped over the line, for many reasons. I’m sure you can imagine a couple of these reasons…
Researching your competitors is also an important step in your strategy path, as you will learn more about how your target audiences are already interacting and searching for what you offer.
2. Strategy and Goals
It is important to create and establish a well-thought-through and educated strategy as well as SMART goals for your Business Profiles and Pages. It will ensure that you do not become unnecessarily overwhelmed with the admin that follows.
Incorporate the rules and regulations of the platforms as well as quality content into the strategy in order to build trust, educate and create brand awareness under your target audiences. Remember that your ultimate goal is to educate your audience and to SELL your products and services, so ensure that you incorporate quality funnels into the strategy.
3. Measure User Engagement
Incorporate Analytics tools into your strategy to learn more about your ultimate target audience that is more likely to become loyal, paying customers in the end. Most, if not all, Social Media Platforms have analytics tools available, specifically created for their platform.
4. Relatable and Quality Content
Keep your content relatable to your target audience and keep in mind that CONSISTENCY IS TRULY KEY. Not only is consistency key, but also QUALITY. You can only imagine how bombarded your audiences already are with all the information and advertising staring them in the face minute-by-minute when they are on Social Media. So, it is important to post regularly and consistently so that you can stay on top of the minds of said audiences. Give them new, give them fresh, give them a break from the bombarding…
5. Engage with your Audience
Remember, you decided to jump into the Social Media Pool, now you need to BE SOCIAL. You need to consistently engage and entice engagement from your audience to keep them interested in your business. Show them why they should choose your business above your competitors.
Social Media provides your business with countless information, analytics, ideas, and inspiration to improve your Business’s Brand Awareness and Growth. Below is a list of some of the benefits we think is the most important for businesses.
- Mobile apps make these platforms easily accessible to your target audience.
- Social Media Marketing is available on most, if not all, platforms.
- Social networks provide an inexpensive way to grow brand awareness, improve your marketing and grow your sales.
- Track, measure, and analyze engagement with your business.
- Enables, almost instant, customer relations management.
- Connecting to your audiences personally through these platforms builds trust and brand awareness.
- You can personify your business and be relatable to your audience.
- Learning about your desired target audience and your actual audiences, allow for more accurate audience building.
- Discover what is happening in your industry and with your competitors instantly.
- Reach your customers, and potential customers, and gain valuable insight directly from those who need your products or services the most.
- It allows your business to stay top of mind.
- It increases website traffic when your audience clicks through from your posts and ads to the relevant landing pages.
- You can use Social Media to generate instant leads and follow up while they are still hot.
Types of Social Media
There are multiple types of Social Media and below is a list of some of the most popular types:
- Social Networking: Focus to connect and share with other people
- Media Sharing Networks: Focus on sharing formats such as images, videos, etc.
- Blogging and Publishing Networks: Focus on publishing content online
- Bookmarking Networks: Focus on finding and saving content
- Review Networks: Focus on business reviews through consumer experiences
Examples of some of the most popular Social Media Platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WhatsApp, TikTok, and YouTube.