Did you know that over half of the world’s population has a social media profile? 

In the UK, between 44-85% of businesses use social media. Give your business’ social media an edge using this guide, whether you’re looking to set new industry trends or stand out in a busy crowd.

We’ll take you through how you can use your social media to build a healthy following for your business and reach new sales heights. Find out:

  • Why social media is important
  • How to grow your audience
  • How to engage your audience
  • How Countingup can help

Why social media is important

Social media can be a powerful business tool – acting as an all-in-one hub for your marketing, inquiries and feedback. This is why some industry-leading businesses only use social media when marketing their products. 

Social media marketing provides a cost-effective way to share your business with potential customers. With knowledge about their user’s interests, social media websites allow you to attract bigger and more relevant audiences to your website – boosting your sales and brand awareness. Unlike traditional marketing, social media gives you insights into your customer base so you can tailor your messaging and draw them in with ease. 

Social media also allows you to engage with customers and gain feedback. Social platforms are filled with communities of people engaging in conversations about their lives and hobbies. Often, they will share the products they use and recommend and review what’s on offer. By following changes in consumer behaviour and community trends, you can make sure your business stays at the forefront of your customers’ needs and wants.

Your social media account can also act as an inquiries management system for your business. Social media easily allows potential customers to find and contact you with questions. 

How to grow your audience

Some of the most successful businesses on social media combine different strategies to grow their audience. Check out each of them below.

Organic and paid promotion 

Posting regular updates and information about your business is one way to grow your audience organically. If you change your opening hours, launch new product colours, or expand your delivery catchment, your audience can grow if people like your content. 

Unfortunately, organic growth isn’t always the fastest way to grow your audience. Many social media platforms allow businesses to use paid promotion tools to help circulate posts more widely – allowing you to reach larger or more relevant audiences. This way you can access the audience your business needs and fast.

Giveaways

To celebrate exciting news or big product launches, many businesses host giveaways to grow their social media following. This tactic asks your customers to engage with your business’ post or account in some way (typically ‘sharing’, ‘liking’ and ‘following’). Each action then enters them into a prize draw. 

This strategy can be especially effective from just organic growth alone. This is because social media websites promote content that people like and spend time engaging with. For the cost of a single product, you can gain followers interested in your business. 

Giveaways can seem daunting at the beginning of your business journey, especially if you’re on a tight budget. However, some space in the budget to give away some more valuable prizes can help your social media following grow quickly.

Note that you will be required to follow certain rules when hosting competitions: both for the type of prizes you give away (for example, no alcohol to anyone under 18) and the specific rules each social media website has for competitions. Make sure you’re aware of each before you start a giveaway.

Influencer collaborations

‘Influencers’ are people who are more prominent and active online within the hobby communities mentioned previously. This is because of their perceived knowledge and trust when discussing products. Another marketing tactic is to provide free products to influencers to feature in their online activity on social media

This typically comes in two forms: providing a product for review or paying for an endorsement. Influencers’ followers will, in turn, seek to find out more about your product if they are interested or if the endorsement is convincing. 

More popular influencers charge for this type of advertising. However, collaborating with lesser-known personalities can be a great way to boost brand visibility and sales for less cost. 

Joining in on trends

This social media strategy is simple: follow and participate in viral trends, whether they’re a dance challenge, captioning a picture out of context, or using a filter. 

Social media websites promote and share posts that are popular, so as trends spread and take over people’s feeds, your business can join in and advertise at the same time. Platforms Twitter have a page available to users to show what’s trending while Facebook has a popular topics portal.

Because of the sudden nature of these trends, your business can find sudden popularity quickly if used properly. Unfortunately, references become dated quickly and can be easily taken out of context so make sure you know exactly what you’re participating in.

How to engage your audience

Engaging your audience is as simple as repeating the steps above.

Regular giveaways become more effective for your business’ brand awareness when you have a strong and engaged customer base to begin with. Social media platforms generally reward engagement and some provide interactive features to encourage it. 

For example, Instagram’s story function provides a number of interactive tools to conduct Q&A sessions, fun pop quizzes, real-time product ratings, and music captioning.

Using combinations of the content formats suggested above, and the engagement tools of each platform, you can begin successfully using social media for your small business. 

How Countingup can help

Growing your social media following won’t happen overnight. If you’re looking to share well-designed graphics or jump on the next viral trend, you’ll need time to spare. With Countingup, that’s exactly what we can give you. 

We automated your financial admin so you can spend time where it matters most.

With your business current account and accounting software in one app, it’s easy to stay on top of your business finances. Gain complete confidence in your books while trading by using our automated invoicing tools, expense reminders and real-time profit data.

Find out more here and sign up for free today.

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