The easiest way to stand out from the crowd in this modern world is to go “viral” on the internet. The interconnectedness of social media networks is what makes this possible, and it can be a very important tool you can leverage on for your business.
Gone are the days where you needed to print flyers, spend a fortune getting an advertisement slot, or visit door-to-door to promote your business. They do still take place, but there are many alternatives to the traditional way of marketing now, one of those being social media platforms.
The harsh reality is that having a social media presence is no longer optional. If you really want to build a presence for your brand, and want to reach out to almost half the population of the world in the fastest, cheapest way possible, you need to start building your social media platform for your company!
In fact, so many people reported to have first been introduced to businesses through social media. For example, 83% of Instagram users said that they discovered new products or services through the platform. It has also been reported that 64% of Twitter users and 51% of Facebook users are more likely to buy the products of brands they follow online (source: Verizon).
In this article, we will be covering the essentials of what you need to know about using social media for your business, and by the end you can decide which platform is best for you.
Now, you might be thinking, “What’s in it for me? Just some extra work?” With these few steps, you could bring more eyeballs to your brand.
Let’s dive in, and see how.
Using Social Media to Meet Your Business Goals
First, let’s set down some goals you might have for your business, and at the same time, discuss how social media can help you meet those goals.
Goal 1: Creating brand awareness and new audience
One of the first things you need to do as a business owner is to gain attention from potential customers. You want people to know who you are and what you do. This is where your marketing strategies play a crucial role.
About 54% of the world’s population has a social media account. That’s 4.2 BILLION users across the globe. (Source: Hootsuite) Which means, by promoting your business on social media, you have a chance to go outside of your usual target audience quicker. Not to mention, it makes it far easier for you to expand your digital presence, which in turn raises the patronage of your physical outlets as compared to not having any presence online.
Goal 2: Create new leads to drive revenue
Most social media platforms are made for networking! This can increase your consumer base which can translate into higher earned revenues.
You can also make use of your platform to reach out to brands for collaborations or even to influencers, and make use of influencer marketing to grow your business too!
Goal 3: Maintain customer relations
The beauty of using social media for companies is how there are various analytics features, where you can also track the engagement of your content. Using these features gives you insight valuable analytics! For example, you can find out which products are more popular, and which ones are not. And while you are at it, you can also save money as you can cut down on items that are not popular. Now this is definitely a hack!
What’s more – you can also directly engage with your consumers, which not only enables you to receive more feedback, but it also provides a personal touch as it shows you genuinely want to interact with your consumers. People love when brands ‘humanise themselves’ – a great example is the Twitter account for fast-food chain Wendy’s. Their content is relatable humour that drives their engagement and reactions tenfold. You can use your social media page to carry out social media campaigns, polls, surveys to find out what customers want.
Now, let’s talk about how you can choose the best platform for you.
How do I pick the right platform for me?
Before we delve deeper into the different available social media platforms, you need to keep some of these factors in mind when choosing what works best for you.
Knowing your audience provides key insight on what your content will be, and where best to put it. So, it is important to do your homework and research on your potential customer profiles. From there, you can further breakdown your customer profile by gender, age, interests, etc. This is going to be your cheatsheet into creating content that would best attract your desired customer profile!
Content that represents your brand
Do you want your content to focus on pictures, videos, written articles? Or would you want a mixture of both? You need to take a stand on what kind of content you want to feature on your preferred social media platform.
For example, if you are an F&B owner, you would want to feature photos of your dishes so you might want to go for photo-based content. Or, you may also choose video, which is actually a great option for all industries if you need to showcase videos explaining about your business, or client profiles, etc. Similarly, depending on what your industry is, there are so many options for you – blogs, videos, photographs, podcasts and even user-generated content.
Once you have given a thought about the factors, you can take a look at our compiled list of the best platforms for you to consider for your business!
Some special features the social media platform can provide for businesses are Facebook Insights for analytics, and the Facebook Ad Library to promote your business.
- Highest user base among all the other platforms.
- Very easy to create an account and a business page.
- Can turn your business page into a community for your consumer base.
- You can also use it as an online store using Facebook Marketplace.
- Requires a lot of engagement with the community.
- Less popular among generation Z, which might limit your audience outreach.
Instagram for businesses offers tools such as adding contact information, insights to post views, and followers, and even promoting posts from within the Instagram app. Not to mention an eCommerce platform where users can shop right from the platform.
- Similar to facebook, you leverage the platform and turn your IG into an online store.
- Relatively large user base that is still growing.
- Perfect for visual branding since the focus is on pictures.
- Great way to engage with consumer base due to the numerous features in their “instagram stories”
- If you do not have enough visual marketing content, you may not be able to leverage the most out of this platform.
Whatsapp for businesses allows you to directly connect with your customers, highlight your products and services, to automate, sort and quickly respond to messages and deliver important notifications to customers.
- Very easy to get in touch with your customers directly.
- Huge range of customisation which includes creation of newsletters and linking your profile to your website.
- Ideal for digitisation of your business.
- Simultaneous communication from multiple employees is not possible through one registered account for the business, and this may not be ideal for larger enterprises.
- Could lead to drained work-life balance from the constant need to respond to customers in time.
One of the most prominent ways businesses use YouTube is through their YouTube Ads. It is also one of the most widely used video sharing platforms so it is a platform where you can upload video content for your business.
- Long video durations – for verified accounts it goes up to 12 hours, and 15 minutes for unverified accounts.
- The links you provide in your YouTube video acts as a natural backlink and this can be extremely helpful to boost your SEO.
- It is super easy to share your videos, and you can actually share them across other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or even embed links to share them via messaging applications.
- Not everything becomes viral so you need to put in effort to market your videos.
- Your videos need to be creative in order to attract people to watch it.
Having its growth accelerated with the pandemic, TikTok is one of the fastest growing platforms where even businesses have picked up, and leveraged on its popularity. An example would be DuoLingo – where their videos follow the trends and have achieved high reach on their TikTok page.
- Fasted growing social media platform: Reported that by 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017 (Cisco via Forbes).
- Perfect for short, attention grabbing content – making it the platform with the highest engagement rate for brands.
- The audience skews towards Gen Z, which can limit your consumer base.
- TikTok’s natural analytics information only lasts up to 28 days, so you would need to track manually for an analysis over a longer period of time.
Now that we have discussed the pros and cons for each platform, it is time for you to decide which platform suits your business needs the best. As mentioned earlier, your industry plays a huge factor in the kind of content you want to post and the platform to use.
For example, if you are an F&B owner, you might want to leverage Instagram’s ability for visual branding since you might want to feature a lot of photos, or Facebook so that you can have customers leave their feedback and take advantage of the word-of-mouth effect.
Business owners in the beauty industry might want to try their hand at using TikTok or YouTube to showcase the beauty transformation videos, or even instagram to feature their best works and services.
At the end of the day, the decision depends on the factors above, as well as how the platforms can help you with your marketing strategy on social media.
We hope our article has provided you with enough insight to get you started on using social media for your business! If you are a company that is just starting out, you are bound to have a lot of things to think about while setting up.
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