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Social media can be a powerful tool for businesses to market themselves, provide better customer service, and even earn some extra income, all for free! Yet despite it’s exciting potential, social media can also be a minefield if you don’t have a plan, you don’t know where your audiences are, or you’re not sure where your time is best spent.

To help your business make the most of social media we’ve compiled this list of easy to follow guidelines for growing your business through social media.

1. Choose your audience

Before you even create a social media account for your business, ask yourself who buys your product and who you think will buy your product in the future. Once you’ve identified your target market do some research and find out what platforms they use to engage with businesses. Leading Twitter consultant Mary Collins sums it up perfectly when she says, “Think of each social media platform as a room you’ll be pitching your business to, and then choose to pitch in the room which has the most customers for your product.”

2. Give your audiences something they want for free

Today the most effective marketing gives audiences something they want, and then sells them something later. Your business could approach this many ways, from publishing useful advice in your area of expertise, running promotions through your social media channels, or simply keeping your content entertaining.

 3. Include social media links on your website, email footer and other places you already communicate

Don’t forget to promote your social media within existing networks. If they are already your customer you already know they engage with your brand, and may share your content with their own followers giving you free promotion.

4. Posts with images receive 94% more views than posts without images

In fact, 34% of marketing professionals say that their visual communication is the most important part of how they engage with their customers online. Start sharing photographs of your business and you’ll see an instant improvement in engagement.

5. Video gives you the best return on investment

Over half of all marketers say that video has given them the best return on their investment when it comes to selling products and seeing a returning on their expenses. It may seem daunting if you don’t have a big budget to create a video, but there are loads of helpful guides out there to get you started producing your own. We like this article from Entrepreneur for explaining the basics.

6. Stay professional

How you treat customers and engage in conversations over social media platforms is as important as how you treat customers face-to-face, maybe more so as conversations in the real world aren’t seen by large audiences. Always stay professional, be polite and remember to think twice before posting something that may appear controversial or offensive to someone, even if they will never be a customer.

7. Go the extra mile for your customers (in front of your followers)

You’ve grown an audience of potential customers, but how do you set yourself apart from the other companies like you that they follow? One simple way to show your business off at its best is to go the extra mile for customers when you’re talking to them online. Most often this could be through giving outstanding customer service online, but really your imagination is the limit. One UK supermarket chain recently picked up a follower who was moaning on Twitter about running out of milk when it was snowing and sent round one of their local delivery drivers with milk and biscuits as a surprise. The cost of the product and the employee time cost nothing in comparison to the value of the promotion they received when the story went viral.

 


 

7 easy ways to grow your business through social media
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