Social media is booming right now. With new platforms like TikTok popping up, they are an essential tool for businesses to use for marketing and customer acquisition. While not every brand or business may be able to compete with the next big social media influencer, one can use different platforms to interact with their existing customers and fans and use those channels to gain new followers and get their name out in an effortless way.
As a small business or startup, you may hear that to best get your name out, you need to have your business on every social media platform possible and be posting constantly to get new followers to grow the business. This is simply not true. If you are just on social media to crank out content and try to gain followers, then you are doing it for the wrong reasons. When first starting out, the point of social media is to think local. Find people already in your network and who are already customers or fans of yours who would want to stay up to date on what is happening with your business? Target those people first by deciding what platform they most likely use and go from there. Don’t worry about getting as many followers as possible and getting thousands of likes; start small and grow into bigger things.
While the content you create is important, it’s all about what platform you choose to post on and how you use it to engage with your followers. Take Codelation for example; we have the largest followings on LinkedIn and Facebook and the weakest followings on Instagram and Twitter. Why is that? Because our audience (startups, entrepreneurs, and developers) are most active on Linkedin and Facebook. Those are the people we attempt to reach. Demographics are a huge part of deciding between platforms. Most millennials and gen-z users are on Instagram and Twitter, whereas the older crowd of 30-50 year old are more likely to be active on Facebook. Linkedin, however, is a very versatile platform and has many people from the ages of 20-60 on it as it is widely used in the business world. Most people in the job market have an account that they frequent.
Knowing your audience or intended audience is the most important component of deciding what platform you should use for your business. Find out where your target consumer is located. If you’re seeking out college students, then Instagram may be the way to go, whereas if your target market is people in their mid to late 30’s and 40’s, then you should be focusing on Facebook instead. Knowing your target audience will help you better understand where you should be posting on social media. This will lead to better engagement in the long run.
Another critical aspect of social media for businesses is being in the right place at the right time. If your product is in high demand and you can market it to the right people, the launch may be more successful because of that. For example, if you are a company that makes snowboards, you won’t want to launch new products on June 1st. Instead, you will probably wait until October or November to launch and market new products. While you may post about your seasonal products all year round on social media, your best bet is to decide your target time of year and hit marketing and social media harder during that season.
Another aspect of this is innovation. Launching your product at the right time can make the difference between being first or being last. Suppose you are out in front of your competition and able to release your product first. In that case, you will be seen as the first available solution to the problem your product is made to solve. If you can be the first with a quality product, that will put you ahead of the competition both in time and in reliability.
Having a social media presence as a business can allow you to humanize your company and product and give consumers a behind-the-scenes look at your business and its people. You can use this to highlight your employees. Share their stories and backgrounds to help bring some personality to mix with the other professional things posted on social media. Adding a human element to your company allows consumers to connect with your brand and what you stand for. This also shows that you care about your employees and could influence potential future employees to work for your company. Showing that you have heart is a fantastic way to connect with potential customers and draw in new fans and supporters of your business.
Having an active social media presence is vital to growing your business. While you don’t have to be on every platform, being searchable allows consumers to learn more about your business and the background of the product they are buying. Many consumers want to buy into a brand and learn about the social causes they support if they’re environmentally friendly, locally owned and operated, and so on. These things matter to consumers. Buying a product is no longer about just the physical product, but now more than ever about the company behind the product and who they are. Social media is a powerful tool. If used correctly, it can help your brand get more recognition, gain popularity, and increase sales of your products.