How can Social Media help your business?

by Amanda Hayward

In today’s digital age, it is almost hard to imagine a world without social media. It is the world’s preferred communication platform and it is estimated that 4.20 billion people in the world are active social media users.

Even if you think you are not a fan of social media sites, I bet you rely on your phone to keep you up to date with the latest news, weather, or traffic reports. Teenagers rely heavily on social media platforms to voice their views, communicate with peers, and watch clip after clip of their favorite influencer or role model. More than ever over the last few years we have used the powers of social media to stay in touch with family and friends.

We use social media platforms to keep updated on news, voice concerns, celebrate successes, showcase family, and stay in touch.  When we have downtime many of us can be found scrolling through the many different platforms on our devices, but can social media play a part in your business and if so how and why is it important?

Image 1 – Courtesy of Hootsuite

One of the biggest benefits of using social media in your business is to create brand awareness, reduce marketing costs and build customer and brand loyalty. Social media allows you to reach a huge audience worldwide. You can also use your social media platforms to create thought leaders within your business. If you consistently provide informative discussion on interesting and relevant topics, your audience will trust your opinion and look for your views on a range of topics. This builds trust and loyalty with your customers and clients.

One of the best ways to build your social media platforms is sharing relevant content and posting interesting articles, this type of content encourages comments and likes, and hopefully followers will share your content allowing your business to reach new users.

By posting articles/blogs on your website and then sharing the links via your social media platforms you can also increase traffic to your company website.

It is important to understand which platform will benefit your business and not to use a platform that your potential customers won’t be spending time on. As a business we are very active on LinkedIn, and we have found this to be the most effective social media platform for our business. We have made great connections, found great clients and most importantly we are able to keep in touch with our clients and friends. It also allows us to keep up to date with what are clients are doing and allows us to share and celebrate their successes as they do ours. We can share our business news and updates in a quick and impressionable way.

One of the biggest complaints about using social media in business is usually that ‘I have no time to post’ and ‘my time is more important elsewhere’ somehow social media can have the reputation that it is not important. I disagree as I think that if you can just spend an hour or two a week looking for some interesting relevant topics or devise some marketing materials you can really start to build your social media following. And don’t forget by engaging on other people’s posts you can help to build your online presence. Sometimes just scrolling through and looking at other people’s content can give you ideas on what to post or you can learn many things.

By having an online social media presence, you are also helping to boost your SEO. There are strong correlations between social media activity and how/why it is ranked by search engines. So, you may find that your business creeps up the search engines as you get more active on social media.

If your business isn’t on social media or you think you haven’t got the time, take some time and give it a go you may be pleasantly surprised!

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