Even with the strides that social media sites have taken in the last few years, some business owners still wonder if they should be on social media. And if so, which social network suits their purpose best. The first thing that entrepreneurs need to understand is that they must have a presence on a platform that is frequented by their customers and target audience.
Social networks such as Facebook help companies connect with their existing customers and interact with them. This helps improve customer loyalty by enhancing the customer’s experience with the brand. Furthermore, people are likely to recommend a brand that they like and interact with frequently. In fact according to a Nielsen survey, 93% of social media users put more importance in referrals by friends, and friends of friends than they do on marketing campaigns. In other words, how your existing customers feel about your business will have a proportional impact on new business that you company could get.
Choosing the Right Network
There are several popular social media networks for any business to consider. These of course include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Pinterest. There are many others such as Google+ and Tumblr. The first and most essential thing that social media managers need to understand is that they don’t need to choose one network over the other. However what they do need to realise is that each network offers them the special opportunity to address a specific section of the customer base.
Facebook: Facebook has the largest audience that you could hope to find on any social network. In fact over 71% of adult internet users are also Facebook users. This is a great option for small businesses that offer products and services and would like to harness the immense popularity of this platform. It is a great place for businesses to share information, about the company and the industry at large, with customers, engage them and to sell their products. It is also an excellent place to elicit feedback, offer customer service and to plan and organize events.
Some small businesses that are using Facebook in unique and effective ways include Cone Place, a fast food restaurant in Kokomo, Indiana. The establishment uses Facebook to communicate with its customers and encourages them to share their thoughts with the brand. Customers in turn love to share their reviews and experiences with the staff. The Reviews and Visitor Posts section offer new customers a wonderful perspective on the business.
The TwoDo Salon in New York is changing the way it communicates with its customers. The brand understands how important social media is to its customers and has accordingly improved on its policy. The brand posts pictures of satisfied customers and offers viewers a sneak peek of what goes on behind the scenes. While the brand has a list of 300 people who liked the Facebook page, the manner in which it reaches out to its clients is phenomenal. The business allows clients to make their booking through the Facebook page. It also uses its Reviews section very well. The videos that the brand posts are engaging and keep customers coming back for more.
Twitter: When businesses create social media accounts they seem to think that they are all at par. This isn’t really true. Twitter is better suited for medium sized businesses that are in several locations. This helps the company keep the customers engaged and informed of the latest offers, deals and events.
Linkedin: If yours is a B2B business then this is the social media platform for you. Linkedin is also a great choice for businesses that offer services that are considered serious and dignified. For instance a law firm would find LinkedIn more useful than Facebook and Twitter. Small business may find it useful to join industry related LinkedIn groups that would keep them connected to their peers.
Pinterest: The attraction of Pinterest is of course to pin a photo or content that is of interest to the customers. This is why this social media site is an excellent choice for businesses that sell lifestyle products such as clothing, accessories, food and home décor. It is an excellent place to curate content and offer clients a fun place to find interesting information. A business could curate content based on a theme such as the holiday season. It could pin photos and content that may include its own products and other interesting information.
It is vital that small businesses understand why they choose to use one social media network over another, or perhaps have a presence on several sites. They must use their social media presence to interact with customers, offer them content that is engaging and finally they must have a consistent and comprehensive social media policy.