Building and maintaining an active presence for your business online – top tips using social media
When you run a small to medium size business, you often carry out the roles of several employees within a larger company. Hopefully this article can help shed some light on getting the most out of your limited and valuable time, working on internet marketing and public relations using social media.
“Businesses who are relentless in building a following on social media are in fact creating their own publishing platforms, growing their marketing channels and content distribution networks. It is a digital asset that grows every year. Over time it can provide huge leverage and marketing independence if done right.”
Understand the demographics
- 72% of all internet users are now active on social media
- 18-29 year olds have an 89% usage
- The 30-49 bracket sits at 72%
- 60 percent of 50 to 60 year olds are active on social media
- In the 65 plus bracket, 43% are using social media
- Time spent on Facebook per hour spent online by country. Here are the top three. USA citizens get the top gong at 16% followed by the Aussies at 14 minutes and the Brits at 13 minutes.
- 71% of users access social media from a mobile device.
The paradigm of social media only being used by the younger generations should be put to rest now!
Harnessing social media for your business
Social media is an often overlooked tool at your disposal to keep in touch with customers, keeping them interested and up to date with your services. Many people feel like social media has a life of its own, that they will never be able to get the hang of it, but remember social media can reach potential customers that wouldn’t normally get to know that your company even exists.
Tweets are something we see in our everyday lives, at the beginning of our favourite shows there are hashtags displayed on the screen, our news programs engage with viewers by reading out live tweets and adverts run competitions that utilise tweets, shares and #hashtags. You can make the most of this by spending a little time getting to know twitter.
Top tip: discover new accounts
Try checking out the “Discover” tab within your twitter account and see what is trending in your area. Twitter’s algorithms are constantly trying to connect you with other people and companies it sees as relevant to you, often these are not ideal, but occasionally twitter will suggest companies and accounts to follow that you would never have considered and could potentially open new avenues for generating leads for your business.
Diversify your lead generation sources
Your online presence is all about balance, just as with the rest of your business, so a good mix of sharing your own website’s content, social media messages from other accounts and up to date blogs will make your company stand out from the competition. By giving your customers something interesting to read they will build up more of an affinity to you and your services than they would to a company that just posts a flyer through the door.
Rather than forcing your marketing messages onto potential customers, seed your messages across multiple areas where customers could stumble across your brand, to reap the rewards of “pull marketing” instead of the usual interruption style “push marketing”
Social Media Stats you NEED to know
- Social media marketing budgets are projected to double in the next five years. (SocialTimes)
- The top three social networks used by B2B marketers are LinkedIn (91%); Twitter (85%); and Facebook (81%).
- However, just 62% of marketers say that LinkedIn is effective, while 50% say the same for Twitter and only 30% of B2B marketers view Facebook as effective. (FlipCreator)
- This one may surprise you: Google+ actually averages more visits per month than Facebook. Google+ receives 1.2 billion visits per month compared to Facebook’s 809 million. (iMedia Connection) Building a solid presence on Google+ is now an essential tool for B2B marketing
- Grandma and grandpa are crashing teenagers’ social media party. The fastest-growing age cohort on Twitter is 55-to-64 year-olds, up 79% since 2012.
- And the 45-54 age bracket is the fastest-growing group on both Facebook and Google+. (Fast Company)
- The collective spending power of millennials will surpass that of Baby Boomers by 2018, and millennials will comprise 75% of the global labor force by 2025. (AllTwitter)
- Millennials are, in general, not loyal to employers (91% expect to stay in a job for less than three years) but are loyal to brands (95% want brands to court them actively).(AllTwitter)
Build a personality for your brand
A simple tweet a day about the weather in the local area, an event in your town or to a local cafe you went for lunch will build up a personalised image to your followers increasing the chances of common ground, beliefs and ethics – extending the influence of your branding beyond the visuals of a simple logo and colour scheme, to more fundamental emotional triggers.
These followers could one day need a service from you and building an active social presence to get visibility on their social media streams increases the likelihood of your business being there in their social streams at the moment they need your service. If they feel passionately about ethical issues in common with you, such as supporting family-run businesses, buying organic or being eco-friendly, you will multiply your chances of converting these leads into customers.
Build a blog to prove yourself within your industry
By adding blog content to your website you can link to these pages in your tweets and social messages and give your followers something more involved to read about. Have you noticed how many people walk around looking at their phones, sitting on a bus, train, waiting for a friend? People entertain themselves looking at social media and keeping that content fresh will mean they always have a reason to check back to see what you are doing.
Click here to see a great example of small business blogging to market a chocolate manufacturing company.
Some tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t try too hard to sell products directly through twitter – post links to product pages that people can visit if they choose.
- Acting like a REAL person on twitter will make for a more interesting follow
- Post real links to real content that are related to your industry – become a ‘content curator’ to get far more followers
- Follow interesting people yourself, support other local business and they will support you back.
- Engage with customers that retweet and reply to you.
Other articles in our blog and internet marketing information category might hopefully fill some other gaps in your knowledge and allow you to generate a higher return from your investment of time and resources online.