For many businesses, growing your online presence is a key step to success. This is especially true for ecommerce businesses but it applies to almost any business operating in the modern market.
With platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok all hosting over one billion monthly active users, it will probably come as no surprise that social media is a fantastic tool to help you get in front of your target audience and grow your business online.
But how do you actually do this? Let’s learn together!
Growing your business on social media isn’t as simple as posting a few pictures on Instagram and hoping for the best. Smart businesses take a considered approach and develop a strategy for growth using the following steps:
- Define your goals
- Know your target audience
- Select the best social media platforms
- Develop a brand voice
- Create consistent content
- Work with influencers
- Engage with your audience
- Keep up with trends
We’ll cover each of these steps in more detail below.
1. Define Your Goals
Without clearly defined goals you’re likely to waste considerable time on social media. Your goals act as clear points of focus, offering you direction for all your efforts on social media platforms – they’ll shape your strategy and also help you set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure success.
Your social media goals will depend on the overarching goals of your business, but may include things like:
- Increase brand awareness
- Generate leads
- Boost website traffic
- Generate sales
Each goal should follow the SMART format. For example, an actual lead generation goal may read as: “To generate 15 leads from social media activity every month.”
2. Know Your Target Audience
Knowing your target audience will help you identify where their attention is focused and develop content that resonates with them.
Look to discover key information such as:
- Online behavior
- Main challenges
- Current understanding of your area of expertise
This can be done in several ways such as using analytical tools, talking directly to customers, and using surveys.
Once you have this information you can build a content strategy that appeals directly to them and the challenges they want to overcome.
3. Select the Right Platforms
There are countless social media platforms to choose from. Each requires time and effort, so trying to be active on many or all platforms can be very time-consuming or lead to poor performance. It’s important to pick the right ones for your business.
Select the social media platforms where your customers are most active and that make sense to your brand. You may also want to research the unique features of each platform and how you may be able to use them to engage with your audience.
For example, the best social media for artists would be a visual platform such as Instagram where they can show off their worl. A recruitment company specifically targeting hiring managers would likely benefit most from being active on a professional networking social platform such as LinkedIn. Whereas a gym clothing brand may benefit more from targeting its audience on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.
4. Develop a Consistent Brand Voice
A consistent brand voice will help build familiarity between your business and your audience.
You can create a brand persona as part of your brand guidelines. For example, you may establish a brand persona as a thought leader within your industry. Examples of this can often be found in the tech space, such as IBM and Microsoft. Alternatively, you may develop a brand persona as a relatable brand. Examples of this type of persona are often found in the confectionary space, such as Coca-Cola.
Once established, it’s important to maintain your brand voice across all communication channels including social media, email, and website copy. After all, consistent content will help you become better recognized by your audience.
TOP TIP: If you use Instagram, take time on your Instagram bio. This is where potential customers will get to grips with who you are and the type of content you produce.
5. Create Engaging Content
Great content is what will make you stand out from the crowd, helping you grab your customer’s attention.
You can use your audience research and brand voice to help create content that will resonate with your audience. Delivering that content in a mix of formats such as video, images, audio, infographics, and written content will help you engage your audience in different ways.
Having a video strategy in place is especially powerful when it comes to engagement. In fact, one study by Hubspot found that 83% of marketers believed that video has a direct, positive impact on sales.
However, to find the best type and tone of content for your brand it’s best to experiment, using analytical tools to assess which types of content perform best for you.
6. Leverage Influencer Partnerships
Working with influencers in your niche can not only help you grow your reach but can also add an established level of credibility to your content and marketing.
Finding influencers is relatively straightforward, but can take some time. You also want to ensure that you find influencers that align with your brand and will represent you well. Here are a few easy methods:
- Search your follower list for any influencer already engaging with your brand
- Search hashtags relevant to your brand niche to find those with top-performing content
- Use tools such as Scrunch to search for influencers using filters relevant to your brand
Once you have found and engaged with influencers, you can work with them to create sponsored content, develop product reviews, or work on collaborations.
7. Engage and Respond
Don’t forget the “social” part of social media!
Your social media platforms shouldn’t be all about broadcasting but should be about building a community and a buzz around your brand, products, and services. To do this you must engage with your audience and respond to their questions and comments regularly.
You can do this in many ways – we recommend creating polls, running Q&As, and inviting questions on your posts. It’s important to show genuine interest in what your audience has to say and to act on their feedback.
8. Stay Up to Date With Trends
Staying up to date with the latest trends will help you grab your audience’s attention on social media.
It can be helpful to develop a social media content calendar to plot and stay on track with key dates that are of interest or important to your audience. You can also spend time digesting content from influencers and other brands in your niche to see what content is popular.
9. Analyze and Optimize
If you want to understand how to use social media for a business, analyzing your social media performance can help you find areas to optimize and improve.
Some social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, have built-in analytical tools for those that use business profiles. However, for a deeper level of analytics, you may want to invest in third-party tools such as Social Sprout.
You can use these tools to identify key performance areas such as reach, engagement, click-through rates, and conversions. These insights can help you see what’s working and what isn’t, helping to inform decisions on how to progress with your social media strategy.
- Interview with Revelation Organizing: Read about how this business uses social media to connect with clients
With over half the world’s population (60%) now using it, it’s clear that social media is a powerful tool when it comes to growing your online presence. After all, getting your business in front of customers on social media platforms (somewhere they’re already spending time) is infinitely easier than trying to convince them to spend time elsewhere.
In this guide, we’ve offered you everything you need to know about how to grow your business on social media – from defining your business goals and knowing your target audience to staying up to date with trends. Use the tips, tricks, and information in this guide to start maximizing your brand’s online presence today!