The socials!

For those starting out in business today, social media might seem invaluable to success.

Around two billion people are active on Facebook at least once a month. That’s almost a third of the world’s population. LinkedIn has over 500 million members. Twitter has over 320 million users daily. Then add the number of people using YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo and other social media platforms, and it’s easy to see why they’ve become the go-to for 21st century entrepreneurs. And these platforms are also making young people more entrepreneurial than ever.

The importance of social media in business is growing at tremendous speed. With more and more people joining social media sites and using them regularly, the social media industry is bound to become even bigger in the coming years.

Experts agree that an entrepreneur’s online presence should span multiple social media platforms, but too many sites can be overwhelming to manage. It’s not just knowing how to share content, but understanding that not all networks are the same and some might not be right for your business. Different networks have different communities you will be speaking too and therefore expect varying types of messaging and focus. Copy in a tweet might not work well within a Facebook post . Having a clear vision of how to use social media is key to managing time, boosting productivity, and ultimately impact. Also, never forget that these platforms should work alongside more traditional forms of communication. Being able to have a phone conversation, a face-to-face meeting, network offline and write a formal letter are all essential business skills for anyone.

By giving your business brand the social media touch, you not only generate more business but also connect with your customers better and serve them on a higher level. Social media also proves to be a powerful tool when it comes to growing brand awareness, it helps you create conversations with current and potential customers. However it cant just be about creating these conversations and it cant be a one way street, you must be prepared to engage back.

On the awareness front, social media advertising may be new, but is growing faster than ever imagined and there are some very good reasons why:

  • Lower ad costs: When compared to traditional advertising methods such as print media, TV and radio, social ads are not only dependable, but also cheaper.
  • Targeted reach: Traditional advertising doesn’t give you the luxury to reach out to your target audience the way social media ads do.
  • Real -time analysis: Knowing if your ad is working or not is integral in order to improve it. Social media ads allow you to constantly keep track of how well – or how bad – your ad is performing. It also allows you to make instant changes if necessary.

To wrap up, before focusing on a particular social platform, find out whether your target audience is on it. You can do this by searching for relevant conversations about your product or industry. Grab your audience’s attention by using eye-catching visuals with your content. Images and videos play a big role on social media channels. They not only increase engagement, but also boost social shares. There are a few more pointers on the infographic below.

If you want a higher engagement rate along with better brand awareness, then work on building your authority by sharing real value, not everything in your feed can be retweets! Along with borrowed content, your content should also have something original, adding to your credibility. Remember people who engage with you want to know who you are/ what you business stands for.

Social media is ultimately all about building conversations. If you use social platforms for one-way communication, you will only grab so much attention. Get involved. Show your personality by conversing, tagging and mentioning others. Be willing to open yourself up a bit.

Always measure your efforts. Don’t aim in the dark. Use the tracking tools provided by the platforms along with other external tools such as URL shorteners, Google Analytics, etc. to measure your social media activity. You might be tweeting, posting, commenting alot, but if it isn’t leading to the main goal then you need to ask yourself where is your time best placed?

Last, but not least, remember to switch off. Social media can become a bit addictive. Don’t lead your life through the socials!

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