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Social Media -- Do Businesses Need It?
August 16, 2019
John Vuong
Social Media

Social media is no longer targeted at the younger generation. These days, people of all ages from around the world use various social media sites to connect to people and gather information. It is also a great avenue for marketing a business.

With its continued prominence, it has become a necessity for businesses to have a presence in the key social media platforms. Here’s why:

What Are the Benefits of Social Media?

What Are the Benefits of Social Media?

Being present on social media can benefit your business by allowing you to:

  • Create a personality for your brand. It also helps you engage with your consumers. You don’t need to constantly post about what your business offers. It can be simple things like pictures of your staff or events that you’re holding.
  • Increase credibility. If you don’t have a social media account, consumers may look at your company and think that you don’t exist.
  • Be on par with competitors. They are most likely on social media, and to compete with them, you have to be as well. It also gives you an advantage over new competitors.
  • Double customer service efforts. A great number of consumers don’t want to call or talk, prefering to send an online message.
  • Generate online reviews. Customers can leave feedback after an interaction or a purchase. This makes it easier for potential customers to learn about your business from the perspective of their peers. Additionally, reviews send a very strong signal for search engine ranking and can boost your ranking.
  • Take advantage of targeted marketing. With Facebook, for example, you can target a demographic (in terms of age, location, professions, and interests).
  • Expand your reach at a low cost. While posting on social media is free, boosting advertising actions may not be.
  • Acquire new customers. If you’re not on social media, people may wonder if your business is still operating, costing you leads. Actively posting on social media can attract new customers and can make them want to contact you over a competitor.
  • Encourage customer loyalty. Social media helps build your brand personality and loyalty with your existing customers.

Which Social Media Sites Can a Business Use?

Which Social Media Sites Can a Business Use?

Below are some of the social media sites you should consider:

  • Google My Business

It’s important to claim your business on Google My Business and set it up properly. Typically, when you are in the process of verifying your account, you need to get a postcard with a pin. This can take a couple of weeks, but once you verify it, you can access it and make edits. Here are a few tips when you’re setting up your page:

    • Your business name. This should be consistent throughout all the marketing avenues you use.
    • Include your physical address. If you don’t have an address, you can instead use the area or cities that you cover.
    • Write your business description. For this, you’re allowed up to 750 characters. Make it natural; don’t focus solely on the SEO component. Instead, focus on delivering your message to your target audience.
    • Upload actual pictures of your company, team, or projects.
    • Post on a regular basis. Doing so gives you the opportunity to appear on the knowledge panel on Google. The knowledge panel is the area at the right of the search page that displays information about a business when a user types the business name. It gets removed every week, so posting consistently makes sure your business continues to appear in this area.
    • Gather quality reviews. Start building positive social proof for your business by asking clients to post feedback for your business.
  • Other Prominent Social Media Pages

It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to sign up for every option available right out of the gate. Consider which one would be more beneficial for your business. The most significant social media sites are:

    • Facebook – Facebook emphasizes on networking. It has the most options when it comes to advertising and tracking progress. You can share videos, photos, texts, and links.
    • Twitter – Twitter has over 300 million active users, making Twitter marketing an excellent means to promote your business. It is a text-only and topic-centric platform and is great for receiving and disseminating quick information, as well as being up-to-date with trending topics.
    • Instagram – Instagram is an image-based platform and may be more useful for some businesses than for others. If you own a spa clinic or a dress shop, you can benefit from Instagram since you can show images of products or before and after shots.

What Is the Significance of Hashtags?

Hashtags enabled on social media sites allow you to group your content together. If someone is looking for a specific topic, for example, dentistry, they can type “#dentists” which will lead them to a consolidated list of all posts featuring that hashtag. Posts can be sorted by top, most recent, and other categories. It’s a means of working your way into a conversation and boosting engagement.

Hashtagging is most relevant on Twitter and Instagram. Few people search hashtags on Facebook. On Instagram, you can add up to 30 hashtags in a comment on your own post. Those hashtags will draw people into your page, like your post, and give you engagement. With Twitter, on the other hand, because of its character limit, it’s advisable to only add three hashtags.

It’s possible to add a geo-location on the hashtag for a more targeted approach. To determine which hashtags to use, Google top hashtags for your location or your industry. Experiment with different hashtags and see which ones work.

What Is the Importance of Live?

Recently, Facebook and Instagram have incorporated Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, and Instagram TV.

With Facebook Live, you can invite your customers to ask you questions, for example, about your products and services. It allows you to directly engage with your customers and those who are watching on the sidelines will get that information the same way.

Instagram Stories is similar. It allows people to comment on your story so that you can create a conversation with your clients easily.

How Can Businesses Use Social Media?

How Can Businesses Use Social Media?

The first step is posting and telling your clients and customers to follow you. If you have a mailing list or send regular newsletters, place a call-to-action at the bottom like “Follow us on Facebook” or “Check us out on Instagram”. If you post consistently, people will come to you. Look at what your competitors are doing, figure out what’s working or not working for them and replicate it on your own scale.

If you’re a small business owner, you may have very limited time on your hands. Choose one platform, in particular, the one you think is being used by your target customers the most. Post at least once a week. You can have a staff member, like your receptionist, check your social media page every morning for about five minutes to see if customers are commenting or sending messages. It is important to respond to customer engagement in a timely manner.

It may seem like a herculean task, so take it slow. Take it one step at a time and make small goals for yourself. It will become much easier in the long run as you reap the rewards of your efforts. Consistency is key.

If you need assistance with your social media efforts, you can contact Local SEO Search. We help businesses understand the importance of social media, what engagement really means, and how they can set themselves apart from competitors. Call us at (416) 888-8756.

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