Social Media and Your Business – Advice from an Expert

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 Imagine getting invited to the biggest trade show in the entire world – you’re given the opportunity to set up a booth and tell potential buyers about your business. On average about 100,000 people are expected to pass your booth every few minutes!

Would you turn down such an invitation? “Of course not,” you must be thinking. But did you know that you have a similar opportunity right now that you might not be taking advantage of to the fullest? What am I talking about? It’s Social Media!

That’s right! Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are quickly becoming the world’s biggest trade show, or the best place that businesses, companies and brands can market themselves that will get them the most viewership. Have you been considering starting a social media page? Or is it a case that you’d like to breathe life into your near-dead approach to Social Media Marketing? Either way, this article is for you!

The Real Face of Social Media

Social Media is a lot more than just setting up a Facebook page and posting information once a while about your business. In fact the Digital Media Officer for GraceKennedy Limited’s wildly successful Foods Division, Andrew O’Meally relates just how important social media is for businesses today: “Aside from being instrumental in meeting the business objectives, [Social Media] allows you to join the conversation that’s happening in the social space, and show yourself relevant and worthy of their business. It [also] gives you the opportunity to get direct feedback from your fans.”

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No matter what stage your business is at, getting to know your audience and what they like can never be a disadvantage. In fact, Social Media gives you the opportunity to grow your business in an entirely new way – a way that has a higher return on investment than any other traditional marketing medium. Seriously integrating Social Media into your marketing plan can greatly increase your bottom line. Yet, the next question you must be thinking is, “How do I go about this the best way?”

When asked about the choice of an in-house social media team versus hiring an agency to handle it, Andrew was clear: “I honestly believe that social media executions are most effective when done internally. When you’re in the middle, understanding and being immersed in the culture and practices [of the company] then you’re able to disseminate that information in a quicker and much more effective manner. It really does make a difference, and I encourage it right across the board.” Therefore, it’s most prudent to build your own Social Media approach from the ground up internally – the benefits are enormous.

Obviously, Social Media has the potential to grow your business exponentially. Yet, do you still feel a bit unsure about taking the plunge? Here are a few pointers:

  • Spend some time to come up with the main purpose of your Social Media pages, as well as who you’d like to target.
  • Ensure that your approach is structured – Social Media is nothing without organization. Weekly, monthly and quarterly plans are necessary.
  • Constant monitoring and evaluation of what’s taking place on your page is important. Analytics and reports are instrumental.
  • Consistency is important for all pages, so be sure to have brand guidelines to adhere to so the voice of the brand isn’t lost.
  • Have well-planned out crisis guidelines, because things will go wrong – you just need to be prepared to handle it.

It might seem like a lot to handle, but once your team gets the hang of it Social Media might just become the platform that drives the majority of your sales. Presently, Facebook is the most widely used social network with more than 1 billion active users. Instagram is a close second. Like Andrew says, “If you want to reap the rewards of Social Media, it has to be done right.” What are you waiting for?

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