It seems that every business owner is now using social media in one form or another. The trouble is that many of these business owners are spending a lot of time posting on social media sites, but to little or no benefit for their companies.
If used effectively social media sites can have a massive impact on the success of your business. It can help you gain new customers, enable you to recruit talented employees and provide free marketing for your brand.
Here are some tips that will help to ensure that you and your business are getting the most out of your social media sites:
Social media is fast becoming a popular recruitment tool mainly because it’s free to use, enables you to reach a vast number of potential job candidates, plus many businesses are starting to recruit top talent this way. So how can your business effectively recruit through social media? First of all you need to make sure you’re on the right sites. LinkedIn is the most popular one used for recruitment, however many business owners are starting to recruit through Twitter and Facebook as well. If your business is within a niche sector make sure you are signed up to social media sites that specifically target your industry or that you have joined groups on others that have a high number of members within your sector.
You’ve also got to get the tone right for the social media site you are on. LinkedIn is seen as a more professional network, while Twitter and Facebook are more informal and friendly. Depending on your business’ culture and the role you are looking to fill you should choose the appropriate site to promote your role.
Finally, always keep in mind the legal implications of recruiting through social media sites. Although most business owners have no problems recruiting through social media there are times when you could be breaching discrimination laws, sometimes without realising it. Octopus HR, which provides HR and recruitment software, has created a Recruiters’ Guide To Social Media for employers that covers all aspects of recruiting through social media including how to avoid breaking discrimination laws.
Getting new customers
Social media is a great way of getting new customers mainly because it provides a platform for you to reach out to those who would be interested in your products and services that you would not be able to reach through any other medium. When trying to gain new customers through your social media sites you need to find a way of appealing to them in an entertaining way rather than just selling to them. Most people use social media sites as a way of keeping up with people and events they are interested in, along with being a form of entertainment, so you need to either provide interesting posts or fun and humorous ones, with the aim of getting a high number of social shares, for example retweets.
When you’re promoting your products and services it either needs to be through letting your social followers know about special offers or new products or services that you are now offering. If you keep bombarding your social followers through aggressively promoting your existing products and services you will soon bore them and they will stop paying attention to your updates.
Marketing professionals have known the value of brand promotion on social media for years and business owners have been quick to realise the potential of this as well. The fact that most social media sites are free to use and provide instant communication makes them ideal for brand promotion. Again remember to make sure you are engaging your social media followers with interesting, entertaining or useful information in order to retain their interest, along with trying to use images and videos where possible. With promoting your brand it is important to always remain on message and to ensure that you get your brand’s personality across. For instance, if you position your brand as fun, creative and modern this needs to be reflected through all your social media posts.
Although Twitter and Facebook are the most popular social media sites businesses use, think about joining other social media sites as well. Pinterest, for example, has a huge number of followers, while Google+ is fast becoming a popular social media site.
Lastly, consider creating a social media strategy, this will help your business to remain on message on all social media sites, while also keeping you focused on what you want to gain from your social media sites and how you are going to achieve this.
Written by Derin Clark, a writer, editor and blogger