5 reasons why social media is vital for business

Since the world began hopping onto the social media band wagon, businesses have felt the need to start engaging with their audience through Facebook, Twitter and more.

While being a business on social media at the beginning was all very straight forward, the digital world has now developed into a tidal wave of content that is desperate to be heard above everyone else’s.

Businesses have become strategic in using social media to manage content, when it comes to reaching out to their demographic and connecting with other businesses. The only way you won’t get left behind is joining the game and finding innovative ways to get your content out there to the right people.

According to The Drum, statistics claim that 85% of Facebook users, who have liked a brand page, said they would recommend it to their friends. Furthermore, 46% of people said social media was important when it came to buying decisions.

So why become social media savvy? Our feature provides you with 5 reasons why it is vital for your business.

Everyone is using it

So the entire population of the world isn’t on Facebook or Twitter, but quite a lot of your audience are likely to be using these platforms. As of October 2013, there were 250 million active Facebook accounts and 288 million users on Twitter. This figure may have increased in the last two years and shows just how effective (and slightly addictive) social media has become.

With technology advancing, your target audience are accessing social media on the move or sitting at home using their smartphone, laptop or tablet. Social media activity never stops (unless the sites go down of course) so it’s important to engage as much as possible.

Research when people go online and schedule content for around the time you’re likely to receive numerous impressions. People during the working week are likely to go online around lunchtime and when they get home from work in the evening. This isn’t to say working hours are a bad time to post things, because these are the occasions when you could potentially grab someone’s attention as social media traffic is quiet. Remember, many businesses use social media to market their trade, so make sure your content isn’t drowned out by other businesses doing the same thing.

Engaging with your audience

Due to the amount of people consistently posting on social media, it’s important to get yourself out there and heard. Many users enjoy scrolling through their feeds but will only stop to look at a post if it appears worthwhile to them.

At Burfield Creative, we have started to experiment with software that offers tools to create competitions on Facebook and interactive polls. Using our client Teahouse Emporium as an example, we found that followers interacted with competitions even more than generic posts (although small animals in teacups have proved popular). Users are more likely to help promote your brand if there is something in it for them, such as the opportunity to win prizes. Competitions don’t need to be complex and can be used to bring more people to your social media page and traffic to your website.

Building business relationships

Especially if you’re a local business, supporting and following other businesses on social media can be good karma. Social media provides the ideal place to see how others are promoting their products and a way to communicate together. Everyone wants to be the best at their trade, but you won’t gain success by ignoring support and advice from fellow entrepreneurs.

Through keeping in touch with other companies, you may also be able to find influencers and potential customers through their networks. However, be careful not to over share other people’s content, especially if it’s been created by a business competitor. While sharing once in a while is fine, aim to create unique content to keep your social media networks fresh and appealing.

Turn social posts into sales

It’s apparent that social media isn’t going anywhere and many businesses are beginning to seek the benefits of using various digital networking platforms.

Once you have established your networks, use social posts to drive traffic to your website. Link pages of your website with a short description, or add an image to entice customers old and new. Certain posts may not work as well as others, it’s a case of trial and error, and seeing what kind of social mannerisms suit your business.

If you’re brave enough, create a Twitter hashtag campaign or launch a competition on your Facebook page. This way, more people are likely to interact, share, like or use your hashtag which will be seen by their network of followers.

Brand awareness

Due to many people spending time on their social media accounts, businesses have realised that they can reach their audience if they introduce themselves via these platforms. This is something that doesn’t happen overnight, so it’s important to be patient and build your network to make your brand go further. If users see others responding to your brand, you’ll soon become someone they trust.

However, it’s not just about using the latest hashtag or constantly linking back to your website. Show your target audience that you are a human being by engaging in conversation with them. Maybe it’s a bank holiday coming up or you’re looking into finding out what customers expect from your business. Get talking and see how social media can help your business thrive.

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