The Internet and social media have changed the way we do business forever. No more direct mail flyers or paying for ads in newspapers – it’s the age of technology and it’s here to stay. But it’s amazing to me how many people don’t use social media to grow their business, because they don’t think it will make a difference.
The fact is, there are 3 billion people using the internet each day, with just over 70% of these social media users.
So by hooking into Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media networks to market your business, you really have a lot of opportunity to reach potential customers. The beauty of social media is that you can grow your business online, and you don’t need to spend a cent to do it.
Of course you can always pay for Facebook ads or boost posts to generate an even higher reach. But, simply by consistently posting interesting, insightful and meaningful content on social media, you can build an audience of loyal followers and drive customers to your business.
Here are my 5 online business tips that can help you use social media to your advantage.
1. Start an online business with social media on your mind
From the moment you start an online business, you need to think about how social media will play a part in your business model. Do you want to concentrate on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or all three? The more platforms you can access the better, but managing these can be time consuming if you’re a WAHM, so you may want to focus on just one or two platforms.
The key to getting it right with social is to go in with the attitude of ‘sharing not selling’. You want to create a conversation that gets people talking and sharing your content. The more likes and shares your content gets, the more people will know who you are and what you’re offering.
Some businesses take shortcuts by buying followers just to get their numbers up, but it’s meaningless if there’s no engagement and no one interacts or cares about what you’re doing.
2. Think about ways to share great content
Audiences have a short attention span, something like 7 seconds which is about as much as the proverbial goldfish. To capture their attention you have to get creative. The following are just some of the ways to connect with your audience and gain new followers:
- Share visual content – photos and short videos will drive home your message much quicker than text.
- Use infographics – shared and liked 3x more than any type of visual
- Share customer reviews – over 80% of consumers trust online reviews
- Use hashtags to connect – keep them concise, relevant and conversational.
3. Use competitors to keep on track
We’ve all been there. You think you’re doing really well with growing your business with social media, then whammo, you happen to see a Facebook page of a competitor who’s doing it oh so much better.
It can be disheartening but before you have a hissy fit, try and get a little zen and learn from the situation – is there anything they’ve done that you can apply to your own social media posts? What kind of content are they sharing and how often?
A little envy is natural but don’t get sucked into being an internet troll – that’s just not cool. Give them a ‘like’, a positive comment or a share and you’ll feel a lot better.
4. Quality is better than quantity
Regular posting on your social media platforms is ideal but when you’ve got a lot on your plate it can easily get put on the back burner. The good thing to know is a gap here and there with posting isn’t going to put people off from following you or being interested in what you say – as long as you keep posting quality content and you’re adding value.
If you know you’re about to hit a busy period, you can always do some Facebook scheduling ahead of time:
- Start creating your post at the top of your Page’s Timeline
- Click the dropdown button next to Publish and select Schedule
- Below Publication, select the date and time when you want the post to publish
- Click Schedule.
5. Stay focused on building your audience
Maintaining and growing your audience on social media is key when you’re running an online business. It’s a simple way to share relevant information and interesting content your target audience will enjoy – as well as keeping them in the loop about the products/services you provide.
If you spend time on building your audience you’ll have people to see and appreciate your efforts, and it’s a good feeling when you can share your successes, big and small on your journey.
An area where social media can really grow your business online is audience feedback. Comments on social media can give you first hand information on the things you might need to change, as well as reinforcing what you’re doing well, and that’s something we all need to hear from time to time!
Want to know more about how to grow an online business? Drop us a line and find out how we can help!