Today, social media is the primary method small businesses to promote their products, services and brand for free. If you are starting your own business and asking yourself ‘how do businesses use social media?’ then continue reading this article where we will cover three areas that socials can support: 

  • Marketing
  • Customer Service 
  • Insights

How do businesses use social media for marketing

If you are just starting out with your social media marketing, it may be best to pick one marketing goal to focus on, such as building brand awareness, or focus solely on sales. Establish your social media for this purpose and then create strategies for others afterwards. Here are some of the main goals that businesses use social media for:

Brand awareness

Building your business presence on social media will allow more people to connect with your products, services or cause. 60% of Instagram users say they find new products on the platform. Whether local or national, creating awareness can help draw followers to you when they require a service you provide. To start growing your following and brand awareness, you can take the following steps:

  • Keep a consistent content schedule and post regularly on your channels. 
  • Post a variety of content, such as imagery, videos or written blogs to see what gets the best results from your followers.
  • Follow companies in your industry and influencers in the sector, and try to communicate with them on the platform to gain some recognition amongst their audiences.
  • Create a company hashtag and ask your clients to use it on social media.
  • Ask your customers to leave reviews via social media and reshare their posts.

Expertise

Commenting on industry news and sharing blogs you’ve written is a good way to showcase your expertise, get your content in front of more people and establish your business as a ‘thought leader’ in your field. Being seen as a thought leader is a strong way to add influence to your product/service.

Engaging with an influencer or expert will also get you in front of their followers as well as your own. Not only will this establish credibility and trust, but it will get your business name in front of more eyes.

Staying front of mind

As most social media users check their accounts more than once a day, a regular posting schedule will improve your visibility in your followers’ feeds and stay ‘front of mind’ to your followers. This way, when an individual needs a service or product you offer, they will be more likely to think of you first.

Sales and business development

The reason for spending time on all this social media activity is to increase your sales. By sharing content, creating a community, and building your following, it gives you more opportunity to direct users to your website or contact details. 

Over time, when you have established varying forms of social posts for different levels of your funnel, you should see your business pipeline benefit from your social media efforts.

How businesses use social media for customer service

Just as much as businesses can now get in front of more consumers, social media helps customers contact companies more directly. This communication works both ways on social media, and you can leverage this for customer service in the following ways.

Be a support hub

Supporting your customers directly builds trust and loyalty. You can do this by: 

  • Monitoring comments, shares, and tags closely. If there is a discussion about an issue or bad experience, make a point of addressing it directly and making amends. This could be the difference between customers coming back to you or not.
  • Responding to comments as much as possible. Followers respond better to businesses that make them feel heard, even if the customer doesn’t have an issue for you to solve.
  • Using Instagram stories or highlights to showcase some FAQs (frequently asked questions), so your followers can find answers fast.
  • Making it clear you can be contacted about customer services enquiries via Tweet or private message. Set notifications and respond in a timely manner.
  • Pinning an important Tweet or post at the top of your feed. This information may save your followers time looking for the facts or from contacting you unnecessarily.

Reputation and crisis management

If you have received bad reviews or realise there is a problem with stock, social is the place to address the issue. Owning up to your mistakes shows authenticity, and consumers are loyal to brands they perceive as honest. Using social media to comment on wider issues is a good way to keep your followers up to date with any industry news that may impact your service.

Using social media to share insights

Social media is a great place to learn about how well your communications are resonating with your audience. There are free insight areas on each platform that can give you a variety of data to improve your engagement efforts.

Source content ideas

Spend time on your platform to learn which kinds of posts perform the best. Monitor popular topics and styles, and create your own! Follow other accounts in your industry to see what types of content are trending and create your own versions that offer more value to your audience than the rest.

Learn about your community

Your insights on each social media platform will tell you about your followers’ engagement. The more you understand their behaviours, the better you will be able to provide for them when you create your posting schedule and content ideas. In turn, you’ll gain higher engagement.

Competitor research

Monitoring what your competitors do well (and not so well) on social media will show you where you can gain an edge. Following accounts that you think have great feeds, even if they aren’t in your industry, can give you inspiration for your own feed.

Industry news

Staying on top of news in your industry via social media will not only improve your knowledge but the way you can serve your customers. Reading news on publications from your sector, instead of more general news sites, will include up to date research and reports that will apply to your audiences, and you can use this information in your business strategies. 

Followers will gain trust in a business that knows its stuff and can improve their service accordingly to the benefit of the customer. 

Keep your business running smoothly

Now that you’re spending your valuable time building your social media presence, make sure to save time on financial admin by equipping your business with the right tools from the start. The Countingup 2-in-1 business current account and accounting software automates the time-consuming aspects of bookkeeping and taxes, so that you have more time to focus on running your business. Find out more here

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