5 Proven Secrets to Outsmart Your Competitors.
One of the defining actions of Donald Trump’s presidency is his preference for social media. Unlike any American President before him, Trump made Twitter his favorite platform for announcing most government policies, attacking political opponents, and heaping praises on his allies. His critics insisted that Trump had made the affairs of the White House a social media business. According to him, he only made social media work for the US Government.
The former American President did not stand alone in this. Within the last 8 years, public figures, public offices, and political leaders have increasingly turned to social media as a medium of communication. This is because nearly three-quarters of adults in the United States alone depend on social media as their primary source of information.
Social media brings people closer together and makes messages more personal than when announced from a radio-visual or print media. Social media adds a personal touch to the business. This makes people reading the information being put out more likely to act than if the same message was passed across in the mainstream media.
Social media has contributed to the ease of doing business in the last decade. The concept of the marketplace, buying, and selling has been altered significantly by social media. Trade can take place anywhere and people don’t need to travel hundreds of miles to take physical possession of their goods anymore.
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Having social media work for your business can be extremely profitable for your brand. It expands your client base – the only limitation you’d have is your Imagination. With social media, you get to build your brand and engage your target audience consistently with great content. To build meaningful relationships that lead to sales, you’d have to join conversations and respond to comments frequently. This way, you become a familiar, friendly face with the best deal on the TimeLine (TL).
In this article, I get to outline how you can make social media work for your business and outsmart your competitors.
1. Pick a Platform
There are lots of social media platforms to choose from with varying types of audiences. Although you can choose to have a presence on multiple platforms, it is always better to start with the platform where you can easily flow with the conversation and where your target audience is likely to be. Before you select the main platform, you should learn about the nature of the major sites. For example, Facebook is the most common social media platform—nearly everyone is on Facebook. This makes Facebook advertisements an essential part of social media business strategy because it is geared more towards linking friends and family across a wide channel.
A platform like LinkedIn is mainly for career professionals and has a large followership in the business and professional world. Instagram is a visual platform that deals with videos and images—it attracts a much younger and less formal crowd of teenagers, celebrities, and entertainment accounts. Twitter deals more with text than visual and attracts a mixed crowd. It attracts mainly young people from all walks of life, careers, profession, and ethnicity. The discourse here is mostly intellectual within an informal setting. Most people depend on this platform for their news and information regarding important global affairs.
2. Understand Your Audience
To understand the nature of your target audience, you’ll have to spend time on social media platforms that provide opportunities to connect. The nature of your business will largely determine which social platform your target audience is most likely to be. For example, if you’re a retailer with good quality pictures and videos of your goods, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat or TikTok may be good for you.
3. Engage Your Audience
Having a presence on social media is not just enough. Is your presence being felt on the platforms you’re presently on? For you to get any meaningful advantage from social media, you have to engage your audience thoroughly. Comment on their posts, post content they can relate to, share your thoughts and perspective with them. There is always someone that can relate to your posts no matter how mundane it appears to be.
4. Get a Good Social Media Plan
A social media plan should be a part of your business strategy. This will clearly outline what you’re trying to achieve with a social media presence. The following steps are important when it comes to creating a social media work plan to integrate within your business plan.
- Set social media goals and objectives: these goals should follow the SMART framework. For example, you should be concerned with acquiring new customers and raising your sales conversion rates than mere likes and retweets.
- Research your competition: you should learn how other businesses make use of their social media and build on that for your own unique approach.
- Conduct a social media Audit: evaluate how you have been using social media personally and how you can improve.
- Create a social media calendar: this helps to organize your content in such a way that you get to post the right content, at the right time. While creating your calendar, you can adopt an approach where 80 percent of your content is used to inform, educate and entertain your audience while the remaining 20 percent should be dedicated to promoting your business brand.
5. Build Relationships
Making social media work for your business also involves having the patience to build long-lasting relationships with clients. About 40 percent of social media users spend their time researching new products and brands.
This research also includes the personality behind the brand and the kind of interaction it has with its audience. The fact that social media allows you to have a direct link to the consumer is an advantage here. As it assists you to build relationships over time without rushing to try to make sales first. It always a great idea to engage people who interact with your organic posts and content. It also helps if you follow back and engage in banter once in a while—it builds a sense of loyalty and trust that grows gradually.
On a final note, making social media work for your business is not an easy task. You should not venture into it with the hope of making quick gains because creating and maintaining a social media presence takes time, hard work, patience, and consistency. Things may start slowly, but the benefits always pour in like a flood over time.