79% of the United States population has a social media profile. I really don’t even need to go further. I could end the post right here with this statistic. If 79% of the population is somewhere, do you want your business to be there? If you answered "yes," then your business, no matter the industry, should use social media. Simply being present and intentionally representing your brand, on a platform which 79% of the population lives, is beneficial. A strategic social media strategy can also play a major role in the success of your inbound marketing strategy.
How your business can successfully use social media is an entirely different conversation. Some industries have really seen obvious success on social media. To name a few: restaurants, retail, real estate, entertainment and fashion. Many of these industries have a visual product, yet all of them still require informative content to be effective. Yes, some industries are more effective than others with social media marketing, but with intentionality, effort, and commitment, any company, in any industry, can benefit from social media marketing.
4 Steps to Get Your Business Started on Social Media
If you're not currently utilizing social media to support your overall marketing efforts or inbound marketing strategy, these are four steps you can take to get started and moving in the right direction.
1. Use Your Target Audience to Determine the Best Social Platforms for Your Business
The top five social media platforms for businesses are: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, but it is not necessary to be on all. Choose the platform that your target audience is active on and that you can accomplish your overall goals with. TIP: LinkedIn and Twitter can be used to make industry connections with contacts and engage personally for B2B companies.
2. Set Up Account(s)
Setting up your account(s) will take some dedicated time on the front end. Creating your account is an opportunity to be intentional about your profile picture, cover photos, descriptions, and initial connections. Dedicate time to creating images and text that reflect your brand and represent your company. Just having a social media account can help your website’s SEO.
3. Build Relationships with Your Audience
Users don’t look at social media as a marketing and advertisement outlet, they see it as a social outlet. This is a huge opportunity and a wide-open door for you as a business to feel relatable and human to your target audience. Connect and communicate with your audience as a trusted friend and advisor. Engage, interact and communicate in a human way with your customers and prospects.
4. Commit (and Dedicate) Time
You must be intentional about social media marketing. You will need allocate time to keeping your account active. Creating an account to have it sit with unanswered messages or dormant pages with no activity and engagement is worse than not having one at all. Dedicate what you can in advance - put it on your calendar even if its just an hour a week to being active on your social account. You should be reaching out to current customers to connect, asking for reviews, posting and engaging with content (here's how to create a content calendar), and joining groups consistently in order for your efforts to be beneficial to your overall inbound marketing strategy.
Social media is not a fad, and it's not going anywhere. 92% of consumers report they trust social media second to word-of-mouth over other advertising forms. It is here to stay, and there is really no time left for excuses to avoiding social media for your business. You need to be utilizing social media in your marketing efforts, no matter what industry you're in, or what you've been doing in the past. Use the process above to get started growing your brand recognition, your website traffic, and your relationship with your customers by investing in social media marketing.