How To Grow Your Business with Social

News flash: Social media is not a passing fad. As of early 2015, 75 percent of all small to medium-sized businesses use social media to promote their organizations. Furthermore, even if you aren't talking about your business online, your consumers are.

This is why social media can help your company grow, and can help improve your business in new and innovative ways. Your social media presence begins the moment a consumer makes an online post about your business. In addition to extending your advertising message’s reach, these powerful tools also provide a free way to test the effectiveness of your advertising copy and gauge consumer sentiment.

Isn’t that wonderful? You get free marketing research from people eager to pass it on to you! Win-win… win!

Consumers Talk A Lot

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, consumers like to talk a lot. They say, “Yeah, I got this watch at Target for $40. It was a steal.” They say, “Joan said to try out the Longhorn in San Fran, and I did, and it was great!”

That chatter translates online, as well. They hop on Twitter and thank their friend for the recommendation. They say, “Thanks @Joan! #greatmeal at @Longhorn in #SanFran!” Boom! Social media ad placement, free of charge! Not only that, but by using the Longhorn Twitter handle, they’ve given the company a way to create a brand ambassador.

Now, if Longhorn’s social team is on spot, they’ll catch that and take advantage of it. If not, it’s a lost opportunity.

Consumers go online to share when a business has great service, but more often, they voice their opinion of bad service.  This is yet another reason why it’s in your organization’s best interest to join the online conversation. Participating in the online community offers you a chance to solve consumer issues and present your business in the best possible light. Actively taking part in social media also helps you to stay aware of consumers’ wants and desires.

Social Media Icons

Consider What Devices Your Audience Will Use to View Your Content

Most social media consumers view content on their mobile devices. 89 percent of Twitter users and 68 percent of Facebook users view social media on smart devices. If you use paid advertisements with these services, it’s important to create your advertising campaigns with this in mind. Social media services are beginning to provide enhanced geo-targeted advertising that will allow you to target consumers who are near your business. Twitter has offered this service since 2011. Mobile device users who are in the area you target can receive an advertisement you choose to offer. This is a powerful tool to use consumers’ mobile devices to drive traffic to your nearby storefront.

Test Your Social Media Campaigns, Then Test Them Some More

Social media is an effective tool to test your digital content. You can use social media to test run advertisements you intend to run on a paid platform. By measuring which content you post on social media receives the most likes and shares, you can find out what posts your audience responds to most often. With this information, you can save advertising dollars by using the content that most effectively delivers your brand message.

You can also use social media to A/B test your ads. A/B testing involves publishing several versions of an advertisement and then rating your consumers’ responses. You can run small test campaigns to find out which ads work best, then commit to a full campaign once you have a better idea of what advertisements are more effective.


Grow Your Business with Social

You can use any instance that a consumer engages your online presence as an opportunity to grow your business. Promotions such as giveaways, contests and discounts are standard tools used to attract new and existing consumers. Social media takes this concept to a higher level. With social media, you’re not limited to promoting to consumers who read a particular publication or are in viewing range of a specific billboard or poster. Social media allows you to promote your business wherever your consumers are on their mobile devices or computers.

In this same way, you can monitor what consumers are saying about your business and work to resolve any issues they may have as well as improve your service. Additionally, if a consumer from out-of-town has a bad experience with your organization, you now have the opportunity to reach out to them as they voice their online opinion of the experience.

Social media is an inexpensive, and prevalent, tool that businesses use to promote their organizations and build relationships with their consumers. If you’re not exploiting a social media service to promote your business, it is very likely that your competitors are. If you haven’t claimed your digital identity, the public is building a digital identity for you — without your input. Social media’s flexibility makes it a great tool to analyze what advertisements impact your consumers the most. It is also a powerful tool to monitor and cultivate consumer satisfaction.

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