How to grow your business with social media

Social media has become an even more important part of any marketing strategy in the last year. During 2020 the number of social media users increased by 13%. So what more can you do to make the most of this marketing opportunity?

In the UK two-thirds of the population use social media regularly and we browse our social channels for almost 2 hours a day. Women are more likely to be social media users, and the younger you are the longer you stay online.

And in these pandemic times, of course, virtual interaction has become a lifeline for so many people who have to stay at home.

So if your business is not already investing in social media, you’re almost certainly missing a trick. And if you are already social media savvy, well it’s one area where there is always more to learn.

Here are our tips on how to grow your business with social media in 2021.

Set social media goals

Start with the end in mind. What is the point of your business of ramping up social media? If you are a business like Carpet Cleaning London, it may be to increase sales. Or if you are a content site like Prowess, your goal is more likely to be to increase the number of visits to your website. Another company’s goal may be to improve the conversion rate of visits to sales. For example, could it be that visitors from Instagram are more valuable than those from Twitter?

Whatever metrics matter to your business, use them to set goals. Then you can regularly measure your progress against those goals and make sensible decisions about the return on your investment of time and money.

Know your audience

This should be the top priority for any business. If you don’t know your customers you can’t meet their needs. And when it comes to social media, you won’t be able to speak their language.

Identifying the target audience means defining who the users of your products and/or services are, where they come from, their average age, their preferences, likes, and dislikes. Get to know as much as you possibly can about the people who are already your best customers, so that you can use social media to find more people just like them.

Select the correct social media platform to use

There are many social media channels out there, but you should make an effort to use those that benefit you the most. And that has to be the ones where your target audience spends the most time. Your website analytics can already tell you where your customers come to the site from. In addition, you could set up a survey or poll to learn more about current customers. Offering a reward of some kind, like a discount or offer, will increase the number of responses.

After identifying your target audience, you will have a clearer idea of what social media channels you need to focus the most on. You do not have to create profiles on all social media platforms out there. Being too aggressive can have a counter-effect. Instead, identify the most appropriate social media platform for your business and focus your efforts there.

Be consistent and responsive

The key to social media success is consistency. Nobody reaches success overnight. It takes hard work, commitment, and patience. Create a posting calendar and stick to it. You can use tools like Buffer to schedule posts in advance.

But social media is also about relationships, so aim to keep your posts fresh and responsive. Respond to comments from users and mention followers where appropriate in stories and updates.

Focus on quality and integrity

Quality is more important than quantity. Even posting once every few days would be enough if the content is relevant and interesting for the audience. Above all make sure that every post delivers value. Avoid the temptation to focus solely on sales. Try to follow the 80/20 ratio with 80% added value and 20% sales focus.  Your added value posts should be one or more of the following:  informational, educational, entertaining or inspiring.

If you get it right, social media will increase customer trust and loyalty. When they are ready to buy or recommend, customers will think of you first.

Remember to check back in regularly with the goals you set for your social media strategy. Keep on reviewing and improving until you get the balance just right and hit that sweet spot of meeting your business goals together with your customers’ needs.