Here Peter Hanley looks at Business with Social Media and how it can drive you to greater sales and profit without breaking the bank.
Good social media is a must for every business.
The sole purpose of Social Media is to drive potential buyers to a sales situation, be it a WebSite with a big bad Buy button or a live encounter.
This will differ to many explanations but let me tell you that we are in business for one purpose only and that is to make money.
Entertainment is only to solicit customers or we would not bother. Forget Brand Building, this is for the big guys we want to seduce them imagery to transport them to a sale.
Unfortunately, in this new world, we must use Social Media to be better than everyone else.
What we must not do is ignore this phenomenon or disrespect it.
Half done media is worse than no media so let's look at why.
What is the best social media for your business?
Naturally, this will vary from business to business and we shall have a look at quite a few ideas but on top of my list, there are just two.
First of all, there are a couple of must-do items.
We don't disrespect that this can be a good sales outlet for some, but for most, it is a contact directory.
It might be a business, a Bank, a Customer or whoever is looking for a background in you.
You will have a nice photo and a great Bio with a work history. Now some will say is a photo really necessary and my answer is it is branding if you don't want to be seen getting out of business.
I don't have the Pro package because I don't push the selling side but I am there and see searches regularly.
Make sure LinkedIn is current and sells you and your business to any or all lookers.
This is probably falling in popularity with some ages but still forms a very important part of your portfolio.
I use Facebook regularly to check on a business and to see how active they are. Inactive sites turn me off so make sure you are always up to date.
Facebook is still good for advertising and re-marketing and is relatively easy to manage.
Again, it needs to be current and tell people where they can get to you.
Many businesses hide their email address on a website from visitors cloaking it with a login.
This is done for two reasons. The first is to add you to their email list which is a good idea.
The other is so they don't get spam mail with people building up a list.
I do email people and sometimes they need the address. Just go to the Facebook site and it is generally under contact details. A great opportunity if you need it but don't use it for spamming.
Most of us probably have a Facebook feed that downloads and casually glances at it only stopping on the interesting bits. Get a clue here, make sure you have an interesting bit.
I just did a quick search on mine and picked up a customer's birthday wish, yes I sent a message from myself and my business. Will it sell anything? No, but will I look like I care?
These are my two must-do media outlets that every business should have going at all times.
Instagram, do not ignore the raging bull
In case you are unaware, Instagram is owned by the Facebook group. They bought it in 2012 for a mere one billion dollars. It's now worth between 50-100 billion depending on the degree of excitement in the writer.
Personally, I avoided this for some time because I could not see a future in a few happy snaps from the younger age group.
I believe many of us were on that boat until the family snaps drove the Grandparents to join in spreading the age from 20-year-olds to 80 a big spread of customers.
Instagram was not easy, the pictures needed to be good and It could only be done from a mobile phone, and in most cases still like that.
Then a strange thing happened. People around me started telling me that Instagram worked better than the other media. a photo of the product got a far greater response on Instagram than all the other media.
These are small business users that are going almost exclusive Instagram.
My Daughter runs an online shop and was a late user of this media. Just in my quick check just now four pictures of a product on Instagram nill on Facebook. Guess why? Results.
Another group of pictures was by Nike.
So small business and one of the world's biggest competing for my attention.
Furthermore, Instagram is going to become a selling tool. In the US, now in 2019 beta testing has started with the top 200 corporations and a buy button. A direct pitch to their followers to purchase a product, pay and get delivery.
This really knocks my theory on entertainment.
Instagram is getting the owners' attention and will devour the market in the next couple of years.
So get to Instagram now and start building your following
YouTube is another giant in the making
You will have searched for something on Youtube and stayed online to play as you jump from video to more videos that get your attention.
What you may not know is that YouTube searches nearly equal that of Google. This is a massive market and it really is underachieved by businesses.
It has always been too hard and too expensive to use the channel and get a result for most businesses. In fact, in the USA only about 20% of businesses had used it.
Things have changed and it is no longer hard to do a video. Your mobile phone or tablet can do a good job and have you on-air quickly.
You can sell things,
you can brand your business
or do videos on how to do things.
Traditionally it has been a different market but it has changed and is now a necessity.
This free Ebook from Noble Content will take away a lot of doubt and I will give you other reasons.
1) it is good for SEO as it keeps people on your site for longer.
2) Add a link that delivers people to your site.
3) When customers ask how to do something, refer to your video.
Make a couple of videos and start putting them on Youtube for customers to see. This will give you new points of contact
You now have two must and two need media
Is there more, you may well ask, and the answer is a definite YES.
It is evident that media does come in quickly and fade the same way.
In some cases, Twitter can be great if you want to build a profile of fans. Donald Trump has used this really well and I follow a news feed where I get a current event in a regular manner. This really builds your brand and is very good for many business owners.
Messenger growing in use
I never really liked this product because it did the same as many similar things on the market. SMS was my choice of product because it is easy, cheap but limited.
I now see Messenger being adopted by many businesses as a form of communication. This is really one to watch.