How businesses use social media

There are now over 3 billion users across the globe using social media (Statista). With over 50% of the world’s population using these platforms, it’s no surprise to see more businesses using social media as a way to connect with their audience.

In 2021, you’re probably aware of this potential, so in this guide, I want to inform you on how businesses should be using the platforms to get the best return on investment.

Why are businesses using social media?

Social media isn’t all about engaging with as many people as possible and gaining millions of new customers. Yes, these are all great but there are multiple objectives that you should be setting yourself to focus your social media marketing efforts.

Here are a few examples of social media objectives which will inform you on how you should be using social media:

· Engagement

· Reach / Exposure

· Conversions

· Relativity

· Sentiment

· Community

These core principles highlight the reasons why businesses are using social media in 2020.

Not all of these objectives can be assigned a monetary value so it is hard to measure the return on investment for your business. However, if we take something like sentiment, we understand that this can have a positive impact on the way your audience/customers feel which can have a direct impact on the choices they make. If you are unsure on how you can measure relativity and sentiment, it’s simple. You want to keep an eye on the way people react to your posts. Are they liking your post? Are they loving your post? Are they angry with your post? These reactions tell you if the content in the post is relevant to the audience and if it is having a positive impact on their life. A positive reaction is great because it can tell you how good your content is and how relative it is to the audience.

Is social media right for your business?

Many people will say that social media isn’t the right choice for their business, specifically those operating in B2B. Now, social media can work for any business, but you need to be selective with your platforms. For example, if you are operating in B2B, you want to focus your attention on LinkedIn. Don’t waste resource on a platform like Instagram if your audience isn’t hanging out on that platform. Double down on your strengths!

There is also the argument that businesses operating in B2B can utilise Facebook as part of their social media marketing strategy. This is down to the fact that Facebook has over 2 billion users worldwide. You are bound to find your audience within 2 billion people, but it could be more challenging. The only way you will know if this works for you is by testing.

With regards to B2C businesses, there are a wide variety of platforms to select from. To get you started, think about your ideal customer and the type of business you are. If you are an artist wanting to showcase your work, then you need to select a visual platform like Instagram or Pinterest. All B2C businesses should be using Facebook due to the power it offers and the user base it possesses. Once again, you can only know if the platform is right for you through testing.

The main point to note is that you should never chase all social media platforms. Be very selective and focus all your energy into building an amazing community.

How much will it cost you?

Calculating the cost of running social media marketing is extremely variable. First of all, you need to decide if you are going to be using paid promotion. If you are using paid promotion (which is recommended) you can set yourself a monthly budget so that it is easy for you to forecast. With regards to daily posting and organic (non-paid) social media you need to factor in time and the labour cost. Social media is a very time-consuming gig, so you need to very clear if you can afford to do this yourself or whether you need to bring someone in to support.

You also need to factor in all the in-direct costs. This can include the software packages you are paying for to create content for social media.

Ultimately, the cost of social media marketing comes down to how much you are willing to invest. However, there will be a minimum investment of both time and money that is required for you to be successful on these social media platforms so you need to know if this is a marketing approach you can afford.

At the SME Centre of Excellence, we have brought together credible support all in one location to help businesses find the right support, at the right time, for the right price. If you want to chat about your business or work through a current challenge you are facing, contact us today.

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