Do you want to know a secret? Piggybacking on social media is the best growth hack for small businesses. Social media had opened gates to new dimensions of marketing opportunities for any business.
Average Reading Time: 7 minutes
What you will learn
- How social media can help your online business
- Which social media platform fits best for your business
- How to create a business plan for social media
- How to advertise on social media
Social media can help you to make your first sale in an online business. Also, it can help you to grow your online business into new heights.
So, what makes social media so powerful in ecommerce? How can you build a winning business strategy on social media?
Come on, let’s find out how to use social media for your business.
How social media can help your online business
Social media is something that we cannot live without.
There are around 2.7 billion social network users who wake up to social media every day. And, this impressive engagement has made social media a great marketing tool for any kind of business.
Let us assume that you sell muscle car accessories online. There are social media groups with hundreds of thousands of die-hard muscle car lovers. Can you imagine the marketing opportunity, which you could have gained by tapping into these gold mines?
Also, on social media, people converse and set trends. By actively involving in such conversations, you can identify early stages of great trends for your business.
Social media is mostly about sharing visual content. It can be an image, video or animation; if you can create some content to resonate your target audience, your business can go viral!
The most beautiful thing about social media networks is that the number of nodes in your network can multiply easily. People share your content in their own networks, which can help your business by connecting another set of potential customers for your business.
Apart from attracting potential customers to your online business, social media can serve as a great customer service tool too.
Most of the people would love to drop a Facebook message asking for information about your products or services, rather than actually calling you.
Also, when people talk about your products and services on social media, it can help your business by building a great sense of trust among others.
People tend to trust the recommendations from “regular” people on the internet. So, if you can get 10 people to shout about your products, you can grow that to 100 in no time.
Well, now we know that social media can help to grow your business. But, from where should you to start?
When we say social media, there are many social media platforms. Should you use Facebook for your online business? What about Twitter? Also, there is Instagram. LinkedIn is catching up too.
Depending on the niche of your business, different social media platforms will work differently for your online business.
Also, should you only consider the big players like Facebook or Twitter to build your online presence? What about smaller and more targeted platforms?
Buckle-up, time to learn everything you need to know about social media for online businesses.
Which social media platform fits best for your business
Different social media platforms are built around different concepts.
Something that has worked on Facebook may not work well on LinkedIn. By understanding this difference between different social media platforms, you easily pick the right social media platform(s) for your online business.
Apparently, you should select the best social media platform for your business depending on what type of content you create.
For example, if you can share a lot of eye-candy photos or short videos of your products, Instagram can work well for your business.
If you can create content about how to use your products, social media platforms like Pinterest will work best. Also, you can use YouTube for video content of “how to use your products”.
If you are targeting business to business (or B2B) services, LinkedIn can provide unparalleled opportunities for your business.
Then, what about the social media giant Facebook? Well, undoubtedly you must have to create a Facebook page for your business. Facebook has the largest share of social media users, and if you don’t show up on Facebook, it is just stupid!
Apart from the big players in social media, you can also find some industry-specific social media platforms. One good example is Trip Advisor. Also, you can find a lot of small (niche) social media platforms for the food industry.
Even these industry-specific social media platforms do not have millions of followers; their members can be super interested in that specific industry. So, by being on such social media platforms, you can have a better ROI for your time and money.
Remember; at the beginning choose maximum three social media platforms to build your business. Otherwise, you will get overwhelmed, and won’t be able to handle any of them properly.
Before you start, spend some time, and see what kind of people using those social media platforms, and what kind of content is being shared. Then, you can decide whether your content is capable of creating conversations on these platforms.
How to create a business plan for social media
Now we know that social media is a great tool to grow your online business. But, unless you follow a proper plan, soon you will get drowned without knowing where to go.
Unless luck is your superpower, you need planning to achieve things. So, we will see how to draft a realistic social media marketing strategy for your online business.
First, we need to set the goals for our social media plan.
Step 1 – Setup your objectives
So, what exactly are we trying to achieve through our social media?
You may be trying to move your customer support on to the social media. Or, you may be trying to find new customers for your business through a brand awareness campaign. You can even keep a close connection with your existing customers to keep them updated about your new products.
Likewise, try to figure out what are your end objectives. If you know where you should go, you can find the best route to go there.
Step 2 – Pick the right tone for your content
Social media is all about either sharing visual content or conversations. Once you know your objectives or goals, keep that in focus with your content or conversations.
For example, if you need to attract more customers to your online business, keep sharing the photos or videos of your products and services. Also, you can encourage the existing customers to share your content in their smaller networks.
If you need to move your customer services, try to actively participate in related conversations, and answer to the comments and reviews. Set KPIs to answer the messages within a specific time limit.
When you have your goals in mind, you will be automatically navigated in the right direction in your social media marketing campaign.
Once you know your goals, and after you have selected the right tone for your content, you can move on to the next stage.
Step 3 – Create a content calendar
When you create content in social media, always remember to make them relevant to the current events.
For example, during any major festive seasons or events, you can create some relevant content to make them spread sooner.
Rather than sharing some generic content every day, try to tie your content with any recent events. This will attract and engage more people for your content.
You can easily achieve this by maintaining an event calendar for the next 3 to 6 months.
Also, you can use the tools like Buzzsumo to see what kinds of social media posts are more popular in your industry. These sorts of data reflect the current trends in social media. By knowing such trends, you can create content that is relevant for the social media users.
Step 4 – Assign duties
Let’s admit, handling social media for business is not an easy task. When you run a business, you have so many tasks to handle. So, after some time, your social media campaign can easily get left behind.
So, if you feel like you cannot handle all these tasks, you can ask from may be one of your family members to help you out.
Assign clear and conscious duties for them. Like, ask them to reply to all the messages within 15 minutes. Or tell them to create two posts about your products every day!
Step 5 – Use scheduling tools
Obviously, you cannot stay online 6.00PM every day to publish your evening post. So, in such cases, you can use scheduling tools to automatically publish your content at preset times.
Some social media platforms have this feature built into their systems. Like, you can schedule the Facebook posts to automatically publish at any given time.
So, you can plan and create your content, say on the weekend, and set them on autopilot for the rest of the week.
How to advertise on social media
Social media networks have the best customer databases. That because we actually go and update everything about our lives on social media.
If you like muscle cars, you join fan groups who share the same interests as you. Also, we explicitly mention our likes and dislike on social media.
When we go through a life event, like when you graduate, had a baby or even travel somewhere, we update that on social media.
So, social media is a huge pool of data about nearly three billion people around the globe!
This data offers us an extraordinary opportunity to create highly targeted ads.
For example, if you sell baby clothes, you can target the new mommies and daddies on social media. And, with such highly targeted ads, your ROI can be super high!
We will discuss advertising later. (We have a whole article lined-up for advertising).
Here are some extra readings:
Let us wrap up
As we have been telling you over and over again, social media networks are real gold mines for businesses.
Social media can help your business to attract new customers, strengthen your relationships with existing customers and to identify the trends in early stages.
With all these benefits, if you do not adopt a social media marketing plan for your business, you are literally leaving money on the table.
When you run a business, you have so many priority tasks to handle. So, your social media plan can easily get left behind, and lose all the engagement. You can avoid this by outlining a social media marketing plan for your business.
Remember to understand your goals and pick a tone for your social media content. Create an event calendar and make sure to keep your posts related to the current events.
You can use scheduling tools to make your posts run autopilot! So, you won’t get overwhelmed by your social media plan.
Since social media platforms have one of the best user databases, target advertising works best on social media.
Hey, in this article, we were trying to give a basic overview of how social media can help your online business. There are so many things to discuss in detail. Stay tuned with us.
Up next: Advertise your online business