A presence on social media is something that most businesses are either engaging in, or considering. For those companies that are already active on social media, they may be wondering how they can enhance what they are doing, while companies considering social media, will have a range of questions they need answered before they climb on the bandwagon. In this post, we’ll begin decoding social media for you, starting with our top 5 Social Media questions – answered.

1.  Why do I need to be on social media?
2.  Which social media platforms should I use?
3.  How can I get prospects and customers to pay attention to my business on social media?
4.  What content works well for social media?
5.  How will social media really benefit my business?

1.Why do I need to be on social media?

In the past, to do business without a telephone was to not do business at all. While that remains true, businesses today must have two additional points of contact in order to succeed: a website and a presence on social media. Branding, market awareness, sales, customer service – these are just some of the areas that are significantly impacted not only by being on social media, but by following a solid social media strategy. No business leader should today ponder whether they should be on social media or not because customers expect a forward thinking business to be accessible via this medium. How can a business make the best use of social media? Well that is another point of discussion altogether and one which we address in our blog article ‘Social Media Marketing – it’s not a question of ‘if’ – but ‘when’!

2. Which social media platforms should I use?

While we’ll all agree that your business must have an active presence on social media, a business must choose the most suitable social media platform in which to invest its resources. You don’t need to be on all of them! In deciding which social media platform will serve your business needs best, you will need to first understand what each social media platform offers you. The most commonly used platforms currently include: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. This article from Viral Heat uncovers the benefits of each platform and once you are familiar with that, you can begin pairing your social media strategy with the most suitable social media platform. If you don’t yet have a social media strategy, use these guidelines to help you plan one, or ask us at The Formula to help you.

3.How can I get prospects and customers to pay attention to my business on social media?

Although we incorporate social media into our marketing strategies to enhance branding and promote awareness our products and services, it is important to remember that social media is not really a platform for you to directly peddle your wares. Imagine if you met up with a group of friends and immediately hauled out your briefcase to try and sell them your products – you wouldn’t be terribly popular! The same is true for social media. To do social media well, you need to be an engaging, helpful and likeable entity or you will only push people away. Use social media to create and maintain meaningful conversations and to share knowledge and humour. For more in-depth insight, read our previous blog post To do Social Media well, you must get personaand follow our guidelines to social media marketing success.

4. What content works well for social media?

Because social media is about creating conversations with people, you ideally need to extend the discussion you have in the boardroom, or your sales meeting to your social media communications. Answering commonly asked questions, addressing wide-spread fears, sharing breaking news items, sharing trends that impact your customers and industry – these are all good topics for social media content. Text based posts are good, but be sure to upload suitable images and incorporate links to your blog articles and video content. This not only benefits your SEO (search engine optimisation) but also serves to add variety to your social media communications. Know that what you share over social media will significantly impact your brand, so ensure that what you put out there is content that you would be intrigued to read yourself. For more on this read our blog post In Social Media – What is Seen is What is Remembered!

5. How will social media really benefit my business?

Your active engagement in social media bears various fruits. These include:SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – qualified links to your website and blog posts from social media hold credibility with Google which in turn impacts where your website ranks during an internet search for your products and services. Customer service is also positively impacted by social media as it provides another touch point for your customers wishing to engage with you. Reputation – almost everyone in this day and age will conduct an internet search to find out more about a person or company.
Your presence on social media enables prospects to get to know your company better and lets you showcase your knowledge and reputation with existing customers. Lead generation – if you are approaching social media in the correct manner, you can also expect to see an increase in website traffic which in turn could translate into more leads for your business. For more information on how social media can influence customer service read our blog post Can your Customers Dot-Complain? Customer Service Has Gone Social!

Give Garth Dahl or Shiraz Khatib a call on 021 556 5661 or email us: info@theformula.co.za – our consultations are free and we look forward to keeping your company abreast of the latest trends in marketing!

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