Social media in business
What is social media?
Social media is a channel of communication that uses the internet. Users can engage in conversation, exchange information, and produce content for the web via social media platforms. Social media can be found in many different forms. These can be blogs/microblogs which are short blog posts made for quick and direct audience interactions, wikis, social networking sites, photo sharing sites, instant messaging, video sharing, podcasts, virtual worlds, and widgets among others.
Social media is used by billions of people worldwide to connect and exchange information. As an individual social media can be used for learning new things, communicating with family or friends, and for entertainment. On a professional level, it can be used to broaden your knowledge in your field as well as to connect with other people that work in the same industry as you. Social media gives your business the opportunity to interact with customers, get their opinion and build brand recognition.
How to start social media marketing?
When it comes to small businesses having a social media manager can be quite an expensive and unnecessary investment. But investing in advertisement can be a great way to expand the reach and grow brand awareness. Setting aside a little bit of time and investing some money can be a great way to see exponential growth in your business, especially in the early stages.
Based on your target group you should use a certain social media platform as they all have a target audience and content that works well on that platform. It is good to search which social media platforms are going strong in different countries as they are not the same ones in all of them. If you are targeting customers in the age group of 60-70 in Finland, they are more likely going to see your post on Facebook than on Instagram. With young people, this would be the other way around.
Consistency is important in social media marketing. When you are consistently posting content, it makes your company look more trustworthy and it gives an idea to the customer that you care about your company. Quality over quantity. It is better to post quality content consistently than multiple poor-quality posts every day on all possible platforms.
The first thing is to identify your audience. Identifying your audience means that you don’t aim to reach everyone but focus on a certain group of people. This makes marketing more effective and cost-efficient. To find your target audience, you are most likely going to need to collect some audience data and do market research. Next up is defining your goals. For goal setting, there is a method called SMART which helps you create foundational goals and make you reach your overall objectives.
S-M-A-R-T goal strategy
The “S” stands for specific. Having a specific goal makes achieving your goals much easier. In social media, a specific goal would be to gain 1000 new followers on your company’s social media channels. Specifying your goals makes them reachable as working towards something set is much easier than towards something that is not specific and clear.
The “M” stands for measurable. To know if you have reached your goals, you need some measurements. Using metrics to track your progress helps you modify your goals. If there is something that is not as effective as you first thought in social media marketing, you can modify your metrics to something that will help you reach that goal.
The “A” stands for achievable. Your company should be able to reach all its objectives. Unrealistic goals can cause conflict between workers and endanger the business plan. If the company’s goals are unreachable, it is a smart idea to readjust them a bit.
The “R” stands for relevant. The social media marketing goals should lead you to your big business objectives. For brand awareness, you want to get social media followers to click on posts about your company’s offerings so that they know more about the company and what it does.
The “T” stands for timely. Instead of having plans for the near future, having goals to reach in a certain time period is much more useful. This way you can see concretely if there has been a process towards your goal.
Social media has grown into such a big part of today’s business that if the social media side of your business is not working the business is suffering. Social media is much more than just a platform for individual entertainment. It is a tool for gaining brand recognition and for building business contacts that help your company to grow. It unlocks business opportunities that were impossible to obtain a couple of decades ago. Social media is a useful tool for your business as it can help you grow massively, but it can also ruin your business completely. For this reason, it is fundamental to know about the correct use of social media as an entrepreneur in 2022.
The University of South Florida, Introduction to social media:
Mailchimp, How to market on social media effectively: