You likely already know that social media can play a vital role in any business. It allows you to connect with customers, build brand recognition, amplify your marketing messages, and so much more. However, while most people know that social media can be powerful, many entrepreneurs are still stuck at an introductory level with the technology, one that revolves around merely posting occasional one-off pieces of content. That’s a shame because there’s so much more that you can accomplish in this space. Read on for a brief look at what I think you can do to realize that potential.
Track market trends
Social media isn’t just a way for you to spread the word about your brand, it can also be a place where you can learn about the market in general. People are taking to social media in increasingly larger numbers to post about their preferences, consumer habits, and many other things that may be of interest to a business. When you listen to these pieces of data, you can gain incredible insights that can inform the work you do at your own business.
A simple way to get started with this is to track specific hashtags or keyword topics. This is a great way to gauge what people are talking about and how often they’re doing so. A good practice here can be to come up with a short but impactful list of keywords that have special significance to your brand or industry. You can create alerts for these keywords on many search engines or you can often pull information by searching on the social media platforms themselves. Once you’ve built up some data, you can use it to gain a deeper understanding of the issues that matter most to your work.
The nature of social media is that it’s extremely public, which makes it a great place to keep tabs on not just your customers, but also your competition. In the same way that you can monitor tags or keywords that are relevant to your field, you can also follow competitors to see what they’re doing in the space. This can be a useful way to have as much information as possible around how other brands are building out their overall strategy.
This can also be a great way to better learn how to utilize social media for your own work. If you’re new to the space, you may be struggling to come up with compelling content or marketing strategies that truly resonate with your audience. By looking to the social media accounts of competitors, or brands you admire, you can gain a better idea of what might work well for your own online presence. Now, I’m not suggesting you directly mimic the strategies of others, but this type of look can often serve as a good jumping-off point for a new social media campaign.
Engage with customers
Social media isn’t a one-way street. If you’re just using social media platforms as a megaphone to provide news about your brand, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to connect with people. I highly recommend looking for ways in which you can make your social media profile an interactive space. Ask for feedback from customers through your posts and encourage them to chime in with their opinions. Not only will this grow your connection, it will also help you learn more about the people for which you’re trying to solve problems.
A note of caution here, remember that these engagements can sometimes be tricky to navigate. Whether an interaction is on a public post or a direct message, assume the content you send out will become public domain. To that end, strive to ensure that you’re maintaining a consistent brand voice wherever possible. These are the little details that can help lend credibility to your brand on social media and beyond.
Finally, I would recommend that you approach social media with the same analytical mindset that you maintain for other areas of your business. Social media platforms provide entrepreneurs with so much data, and yet, few business owners take the time to analyze what these platforms are telling them. Use key metrics, such as follower counts, engagements, and impressions, to analyze the performance of your social media efforts. When something works, seek to replicate that success, if you take a misstep, correct course and move on.
By implementing the above recommendations, you can be better equipped to benefit from social media. Use these tools wisely and you’ll find they have great potential to grow your business.