Social media is the #1 most asked about topic when I consult with small business owners and startups. It exceeds any conversation about finance, legal structure, or target market analysis. But the 1st step to knowing how to use social media better is to understand why use it in the first place. Business owners need to understand that social media for your business is critical, but is MUCH different than your personal social media accounts. In this article, I want to share with you a few business purposes for social media accounts.
To Generate Leads
If you are going to spend time learning social media, or going to pay someone to manage your social media accounts, you must have a goal. Using social media for business purposes is all about getting returns. These returns can take many forms, but the most common for businesses are leads. You want people who visit your accounts to send you an email, give you a call, or come into your store because they want to learn more about your business. This is a great purpose for any business who doesn't make online sales, has a store front, or offers a service to clients.
To Generate Sales
If you don't have a shopping cart online, your purpose is to convince people to want to learn more about you (generate leads). But if you business makes online sales, then this is purpose applies to you. Generating sales is a top priority for a business who wants people to put in their credit card and purchase something immediately online.
To Brand Your Business
Branding is a very important purpose, but it works better as a supplement to generating leads and sales. You, as a business, want to be of top-of-mind awareness with anybody who wants the products or services you sell. Consumers may not needs your services today, tomorrow, or in the near future, but they may need you months or years from now.
To Provide Great Customer Service
The best part of social media is the interaction you can have with individuals. Social media is all about having a conversation. If you are not conversing with people, then you are loosing out on one of the biggest advantages of social media. Many great companies use social media to get input from their raving fans, to promote events and ideas from their target market, and to put out fires with public relations issues. It does not replace a good physical customer service presence, but is a great extra that will go a long way with many consumers.
To be successful on social media, you must have a reason for being on social media. Aim with no purpose will not work; you need to have a purpose for all that you do online, whether that be lead generation, sales generation, building brand loyalty, or providing customer service.