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How social media can boost your business

Date posted:  5/23/16 09:00:00 AM

Social media provides an avenue to communicate with your customers and market yourself as an alternative way to traditional methods. By capitalizing on its power, you can better equip your company for success.

Identify goals 
Before you begin using social media platforms to market your operation, determine your ultimate communication goals, suggested Forbes contributing author John Rampton. Decide which platforms you plan to use, how you want to portray your brand on social media and who your target audience will be.

By identifying your objectives and developing a strategy for your social media use, you can bolster your online presence and connect with a wider audience of potential customers.

Become familiar with hashtags 
Hashtags are a powerful tool used on a variety of social media platforms. According to an article by Forbes contributor Neil Patel, this tool is an integral part of the social media dialogue.

With a hashtag, you can cultivate greater engagement as these symbols are universal and increase overall exposure of any post or tweet that includes them. Integrate them into your social media strategy with short, meaningful phrases to build more engagement among your followers.

Mobile is king 
Mobile devices have become a key element in modern society. According to Salesforce, 85 percent of people surveyed indicated that mobile devices are a central part of their lives. Smartphones and tablets are used more frequently for everything from reading news to connecting with loved ones.  

Consumers are also using their mobile devices to research products and even make purchases - especially with the dawn of the mobile wallet. Tap into this mobile market by implementing a social media strategy that consumers can access easily while browsing websites like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Improve customer service 
With social media, you can reach out to current customers and ask about experiences, address concerns and improve their overall satisfaction. You can quickly and efficiently tackle any complaints or questions customers have regarding the services and products your business offers. 

You will also need to determine which person on your team is the best choice to manage your social media presence, including addressing any tweets or posts from your customers. Select someone who can convey strong customer service skills through any platform. 

Humanize your brand
Social media provides you and your business with a unique opportunity to let your customers know you are human. You can have fun interactions with other users, respond to posts and make consumers feel as though they are more connected with you and your brand. 

This can boost engagement and improve the interactions between you and other social media users. 

Be creative 
When posting, remember to only share things that are interesting and relevant to your audience. While it might seem like tweeting or posting a higher volume of content is effective, it can be distracting and not accurately portray your expertise in a subject matter. 

Take the time to craft fun posts, pictures and campaigns that will engage social media users.

In addition, don't be afraid to use popular culture as a tool to connect with your audience. Know what is trending and tailor your strategy to what people are currently interested in. This can increase the interactions you have with current and potential customers as popular topics tend to gain more attention from users. 

Add an online store 
According to Entrepreneur, you should optimize your business by allowing other social media users to purchase items without ever leaving a specific social media platform. Providing the smoothest and most efficient experience for your customers will encourage them to continue turning to you for goods and services. 

In addition, they may recommend you to friends and family, which will broaden your customer base. 

Be shareable and interactive 
Allowing others to share your content, tweets, posts and photos will increase exposure. When creating content for social media, try to make it appealing to your target audience and strive for shares and likes. 

Consider boosting your interactions with others by posing questions or asking for customer participation. For example, if you own a donut shop, consider asking your followers to share their favorite flavor. You can even consider getting a little creative by framing the question like "If you were stuck on a deserted island and could only have one flavor of donuts for the rest of your time there, which flavor would you choose?" 

Pose questions so consumers engage by responding and use the information to your business's advantage. If everyone loves glazed donuts, fire up the ovens, and video or live tweet how you are cooking the fan favorite. 

Social media can serve as a fantastic tool for your business. Develop your own strategy and improve the connections and relationships you build with your customer base.