The Importance of a Social Media Presence for Businesses
Here, you can learn how vital a social media presence is for your business. We explore social media branding, strategies and tips to get more exposure for your business pages.
The first recognizable social media site, Six Degrees, went live in 1997 and enabled users to upload a profile and make friends with other users. In 1999, the first blogging sites became popular, creating a social media sensation that has forever changed how the world communicates.
And while—for the most part—social media is intuitive and user-friendly, there are still a few areas where people need further insight and support, especially as it relates to their business.
Here, we will talk with you about the importance—and the benefits—a social media presence can bring to your business.
The importance of social media for businesses
Without a doubt, social media plays a critical role in your business digital marketing strategy. Platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram can help your business connect with your customers, both current and potential, and can increase and promote brand awareness.
52% of social media marketers
believe social media positively influences their company’s revenue and sales.
Posting updates, news and business information online all work to communicate with your audience, meet consumer needs and build trust before a direct relationship is established. You can also post about your products, services, sales offers, new employees, business anniversaries and more. Building social media presence can also help “humanize” your business and make you sound more relatable and real.
These platforms also give your business the ability to personally connect with your audience. Simply put, social media creates engagement, interaction and establishes a forum for communication. It can bridge the gap between you and them.
The benefits of social media for your business
Here’s the benefit we believe in the most: Social media allows you to be the storyteller for your business. You create the narrative, and the story is yours to tell. And, if you do it in an engaging, truthful way, you are automatically putting your brand in front of interested audiences. They will follow you because you have something they want or need, and you’re sharing posts in a way that resonates and connects with them. Winning!
Here’s the next benefit we love: Social media is a no or low-cost marketing strategy. LinkedIn and Instagram are free. Facebook is free until you want to, what’s called, “boost a post.” This means you’ll pay a nominal fee to push your post out beyond your followers. You can choose the demographics you want to reach, and, again—for a fee—Facebook will get your post in front of your desired audiences.
And perhaps the most essential benefit of building a social media presence for your business is the ability to effectively foster relationships with your customers, potential customers and followers. It creates dialogue and educational opportunities through the story you’re telling.
How to increase social media presence for your business
There are Facebook marketing strategies, Instagram marketing strategies, LinkedIn marketing strategies . . . oh, my! Not to worry. It’s all approachable and manageable when it comes to social media presence.
You can build your social media strategy easily and effectively as long as you have a plan.
Hold a meeting with your marketing and communications team. It all starts here because two heads are better than one, three heads are better than two and so on. Here in this discussion, you will build your content for the month.
This effort is called “building your editorial calendar.” Whether it’s in a Google Doc or an excel sheet – create a grid that shows the month, the dates, and the social media platforms you’ll be using to post information. Under each platform is where you’ll write your post (we’ll talk more about how to write for each platform in the following few paragraphs. Trust us – we’ll get you there.).
Okay, so get those engines revving!
You’ll want to talk about:
- What you’re hearing—and learning—from your customers and clients.
- Highlight a service or product and explain what it is, how it works and how it can benefit a business or a consumer.
- Highlight an employee, explain what they do for your business, and, again, how this person can be a benefit to another business or consumer.
- Look for a monthly celebration and call it out, e.g., if you’re a healthcare provider and it’s Nurses Week, call that out and thank them for their service. Or, if it’s Heart Month, have your employees wear red and have a week of posts citing people you know who help those dealing with heart issues, or even people within your business or family you’d like to honor and celebrate.
- Consider the leader of your business. They can post a message at least once a month (you may have to write it for them), and encourage them to share tips, messages of hope or even a simple hello along with an elevator pitch. If you are the business owner, put any shyness aside and approach branding yourself on social media.
Once you’ve outlined your topics, start assigning tasks: Someone needs to research and write the post, ensure you have a designer to create a graphic or a picture to accompany the post and then make sure you have someone else review it for content, accuracy, etc.
Decide what days you will post the content. We suggest one post per day, five to seven days a week.
When it comes to writing for Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, be sure to consider each platform’s respective audience. Facebook typically has an older demographic, so you’ll want to keep it fun yet professional. When it comes to Instagram, content brevity, images, videos and hashtags are key. Keep it simple, and the image or video should be fun and engaging. LinkedIn is strictly a business audience, so you’ll want to sound engaging and professional.
Additionally, when it comes to writing your posts, you’ll want to focus on relationships and build those connections, not just the sales aspect. First, you need to establish trust with your followers, and then, once they reach out to you, you can talk about products, services and sales.
The point being, you’ll want to alter your content slightly per social media handle to address the right audience.
Social media branding strategy
When it comes to branding and social media, the secret lies in making sure you have a consistent logo, color palette, bio, boilerplate and handle. You will want to ensure that your posts, fonts, graphics and images are signature to your business’ writing and branding guidelines. Simply put: Make it look and sound like your business.
Over time, your followers and potential audience members will “feel” the consistency and recognize when a post is for your brand.
You’ll also want to post pictures of your team, your office (both inside and outside), events, products and more. Have your followers get a feel for who you all are and what you do. You should use infographics, too, to tell your story! They’re engaging and offer a visual way to tell your story.
Once you have your brand guidelines in place, it’s time to focus on your voice and tone. Do you want to sound professional at all times? Do you want to sound conversational, as though you’re talking with your followers? Do you want to sound fun and silly? Figure out your tone, and then stick to it. Even the smallest of details make a big difference. Do you want to call them your customers, clients or partners? Choose a word and stick with it. Do you refer to your employees as team members or associates? Again – choose and stick with it.
Consider your hashtags. Say you’re a company selling restaurant products to local restaurants, and your company’s name is Restaurant Suppliers (humor us and let’s move on). You’ll want to use the hashtag #RestaurantSuppliers consistently. Others could be #weloverestaurants, #restaurantsupport, or #wehavealltheutensils.
Commitment and consistency
Increasing your brand awareness using social media is a daily goal. Ensure that you and your team are committed to executing the strategies and all of their related tasks. Committing to this goal will help you not only get started in the right direction but will also create a habit that can only benefit and enhance your business’s social media presence.
Be sure to analyze your analytics
Analytics provide you with insights into what posts are working and those that are not. Meaning, analytics can tell you what posts are getting a lot of attention, likes and “follows.” Analytics is a crucial part of evaluating your social media presence.
So how can you check out your analytics? Easy.
- Facebook Business Suite: Enables you to manage your Facebook and Instagram business accounts and can reveal detailed insights about your audience, content and trends.
- Ads Manager: Lets you view, make changes and see results for all of your Facebook campaigns, ad sets and ads.
- Events Manager: Can help you set up and manage Facebook Business Tools and report actions taken on your website, your app, and your actual office location.