How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business

Businesses across the globe have discovered the marketing power of social media. Social media is an effective tool for not only growing your customer base and increasing name recognition of your company or product, but also in garnering existing customers’ loyalty. Facebook, Twitter, and company blogs have all proven extremely useful as integral components of businesses’ marketing strategies, but many companies, both small and large, are unsure of how to harness social media’s true potential. Below you will find the top four tips for using social media to your business’s advantage:

1. Be an expert.

Your social media accounts are the perfect way to prove your business’s expertise in a specific area. By using social media as a platform to post helpful and informative articles and tips, you help to establish yourself as a reputable source of information. Try to anticipate customers’ potential questions about your industry, and answer them as clearly and thoroughly as possible. Think of social media outlets more as informal encyclopedias, not free advertising platforms. Not only does this increase your company’s name recognition in your field, but it also builds trust in your company or product among readers.

2. Be informal.

Being too formal is one of the most common mistakes among companies using social media for the first time. Posts to blogs, Facebook, and Twitter should be relatively informal and carry a conversational tone, so you should not be using the same business and advertising language present on your website and in your company’s mission statement. The same informal tone that would be inappropriate on your company’s main website is actually encouraged in posts to blogs and social networking sites.

3. Maintain it… to a degree.

One surefire way to lose followers is to neglect your social media site. By establishing a site, hunting followers, and then failing to update on a regular basis, you suggest to your followers that maintaining a presence on social media sites is not one of your company’s priorities. And if it’s not important to you, why should it be important to them? By the same token, however, if you update too frequently, your followers will become tired of you very, very quickly. Updating your Facebook status on a daily basis, for example, is bordering on “too often,” and if you update more than once a day, you’re basically guaranteed to lose followers. Updating a few times a week should be more than sufficient.

4. Be original.

This tip is linked very closely to not posting too frequently because the main offenders of this rule are the companies who insist on updating their social media sites frequently, regardless of whether or not they have anything important to say. By generating too many posts, you risk becoming redundant, because, even with the most interesting companies, there’s only so much you can say before you start to become repetitive. If you update on more than a daily basis, chances are, you’re going to run out of interesting things to say fairly quickly. By spreading your best content out over a period of weeks or months, you are able to hold your followers’ attention much better than if you simply post content for the sake of reminding your followers that you still exist.

Social media sites have the ability to significantly increase your customer base and improve customer loyalty. However, if you abuse your sites as a free advertising platform rather than using them as an opportunity to deliver information to the public in a friendly and knowledgeable fashion, you risk damaging your reputation. In order to harness social media’s full potential, you should maintain your site regularly (but not too frequently) by posting interesting and informative content.

About Andrew Jensen

Andrew Jensen, a business growth, efficiency & marketing consultant, provides business advisory services for clients in the Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; York, Hanover, Lancaster & Harrisburg, PA regions. Andrew advises regarding business growth, productivity, efficiency, business startups, customer service, and online/offline marketing. Follow Andrew on Google+

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