Social Media for business use can look very different depending on your industry, your desired outcome and your other marketing efforts. Most people think the only reason to create a social media strategy is to get new customers or clients. And although that is often the case, there are many other uses for it. You can use it as a communication channel, an education tool, as a customer service tool and even as a forum for Market Research and focus groups.
When you’re planning your social media strategy, you want to determine what your pages will be used for. And this is true whether you’re using Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest or another social platform. And you may want to use your social presence for all of these purposes, but your strategy and messaging can adjust based on what you’re looking to do. Follow along as we break down various uses for your company’s social media pages.
Social Media for Communication and PR
Digital platforms are an excellent source for getting important messaging across to your followers. This type of outreach would not necessarily be posted with the intent to sell, but more for the intent to notify or inform. Examples of this would be:
- Press Releases.
- Ownership or staffing changes.
- Address changes or additional location announcements.
- Industry or business news.
Social Media as an Educational Tool
Besides the obvious definition of using social media for the education industry, all businesses can use their platforms to teach their followers. This type of marketing can sometimes be referred to as Expert Marketing because it can show off your “expertise”. You can educate your clients with posts like these:
- Answer top questions asked about use of your products or services.
- Show unique ways to use or care for your products.
- Share background or historical information that makes sense for your industry.
- Post video or topics from seminars or speeches you’ve given.
Social Media as a Customer Service Tool
The public has high expectations when it comes to receiving good customer service from a company. And if you don’t provide it, they’ll often let you know by way of bad reviews. One way to alleviate some of the issues can be to use your social platforms as an extension of your customer service team. You could try:
- Make announcements regarding closings, openings and changes to hours.
- Answer frequently asked questions via video and make them easy to find.
- Allow messaging to your pages and have someone respond in a timely manner.
- Create automatic responses for your messaging that offers realistic response times or ways to get in touch with a real person.
- Share information about processes like returns, sign ups, troubleshooting, etc.
- Respond to reviews, especially the negative ones, in the same way the review was left.
- Respond to comments, especially if a question is asked or a concern is brought up.
Social Media for Market Research
Using your platforms as digital focus groups can offer you a plethora of flexibility when it comes to launching new products or offering new services. When, in the not-so-distant past, you had to be able to physically bring people together in a room to discuss a new product, you can now offer it to the masses and get instant feedback. This is where data collection is going to be key. Be sure you have a plan in place to track all of the amazing info you’ll receive as a result of these types of posts. A few ways you could do this would be:
- Share videos of your prototypes and start to gather opinions or thoughts on it.
- Pose questions in the form of “this or that”, “which color”, “what’s your favorite”, etc.
- Create private groups to keep top secret ideas under wraps but allow discussion to an audience size of your choosing.
- Invite people to live events like tasting nights or a place to get a free sample.
- Share customer surveys.
- Test different types of posts (video vs pictures vs long form or short form, etc).
Social Media as a Sales Tool
Selling your product or service is the icing on the cake when it comes to results from your social media. Being able to see a direct ROI from the work (and dollars) you put into your social strategy is extremely satisfying. Social Media is considered to be a “top-of-the-funnel” marketing strategy, though, so you’ll want to focus on gathering information so you can remarket to them later. Sales posts should make up less than 20% of your posting strategy. Here are some ways to use social media to your money-making advantage:
- Post clear instructions how your customers can order (website, through an app, etc).
- Share posts and videos about your top selling products.
- Announce specials, sales, discounts and coupons.
- Give detailed descriptions of your services and share about who would benefit.
- Encourage email sign ups. Remember that remarketing we talked about?
- Create groups for live videos so customers can see the products in action.
- Sell with language as if the person is standing in front of you. Posts like: “Do you want to buy this? How about this? Ok, then, how’s this?” will just make people shop elsewhere.
Social Media success most often comes from creating a strategy that encompasses a variety of post types and platforms, which starts with deciding the purpose for each post. When you use your pages to create happy, well-informed customers who are seeing the type of products and services they want to see, they tend to purchase more from you, leave great reviews and share about their experience with their friends and family. Once you’ve determined the purpose/s you wish to you use your social media for, we hope you’ll use the above ideas to create a robust social media strategy.