How to effectively use social media for business

How to effectively use social media for business

There has been a great deal written about the necessity of businesses to listen and participate in conversations about their brands, products, and experiences online. The importance and value of this cannot be underestimated; however, there is another part of the social media strategy that is often discussed in broad terms, with few practical answers provided…and that is content.

Why do businesses fail to create enough or the wrong type of content for social media?

Think of social media as a party. If you walked up to everyone at a party, said two words, then walked off, you wouldn't expect them to have a favorable view of you; however, this is how most businesses treat social media. Their posts are rare, inconsistent, and often self-congratulatory. 

Imagine now that you went to the same party and spent time with all of the guests, listening, then joining into their conversation with something of value. All of the guests at the part would wax lyrical about you and what you had to say. Overall your social currency would increase. That's the opportunity social media offers your business.

Time is short and precious to waste on social media

You ( or your people ) don't have the time to run an effective social media strategy. Simply because you're all too busy running your business and because you're not sure if the time you invest on social media will deliver a quantifiable return on investment.

You're not alone in this belief. Inertia, lack of time, and lack of internal skills and resources are the most common reasons businesses don't embrace social media opportunities. 

Hold that thought while we provide you a quick list of what a well-implemented and managed social media can do for you and your brand.

– Increase the visibility of your brand and that of your business
– Build professional networks and attract the best people to your organization
– Develop and grow relationships with customers and influencers
– Repurpose and publish original content that demonstrates your peoples' expertise
– Generate new leads and boost sales for your business
– Drive website traffic and brand engagement

A simple way to maximize the value of your social media strategy

When you look at this list, there are a lot of free opportunities that social media provides to extend the reach of your brand and awareness of your business, as long as you have a fast and efficient way of creating, managing, and measuring performance.

5 steps to create a business social media marketing strategy

1. Set up your pages

Firstly, you need to have your business social media pages set up. If you're in the B2B space, start with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. If you're in the B2C area, you may want to swap LinkedIn for Instagram.

Below is a list of links on how to set up the accounts:

How to setup Facebook
How to setup Twitter
How to setup Instagram
How to setup Linkedin

2. Understand who you are targeting

Understanding your target audience is key to any marketing strategy. The good news is you already have an existing customer database. Use this to develop a profile of who you think you want to connect with. Try to think of it in terms of an individual. Include age range, location, and, most importantly, what drives these persons (e.g., needs, fears, desires). You may need to create multiple profiles to cover the range of your potential target audiences.

3. Have a clear understanding of what you want to say

Do you want to keep in contact with customers to stay front of mind? Do you want to demonstrate your corporate responsibility, professional knowledge, skills, and understanding of the current issues they face? Do you want to make them feel like that they are first to know about a new product or service? Do you want to make offers or invite them to VIP events? You may want to choose a series of focuses, based on your business type and typical sales cycles. The most important thing to remember is that you need enough content to run 12 months of the year and that everything you post must be of value to your target audiences.

4. Understand how often you should post

Channels like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn suggest you post at least twice a week. Twitter recommends you post multiple times a day; however you can post the same thing numerous times on the same day. For more information on optimal posting, click on the links below:

How to have Social Media & Email marketing done in 10 mins a day
Digital Asset Management XL.Today style
How to create higher Facebook engagement
How to create higher Twitter engagement
How to create higher Instagram engagement

5. Your content strategy

Creating enough content regularly is challenging, and where most businesses run out of steam. However, it's much easier if you have a Digital Asset Management solution directly linked to your campaign workflow like XL.Today™. XL.Today™ provides you with a Digital Asset Management solution, allowing you to store all of your images and brand assets securely in the cloud. It also has features that make it easy to find channel-optimized images for social campaigns in just a few minutes. Couple this with a smart campaign workflow, built-in social media best practice, hashtag research, and even a novice will master social media campaigns in minutes. With XL.Today™ you can review all of your social media campaigns results in near real-time, and even compare campaign results and develop ROI reports on campaigns and even individual posts*.

*ROI reporting from Ecommerce and POS are only available on XL™ subscriptions.