Any respectable business in 2019 has a presence on a few social media sites. However, if you’re a small business, how do you make sense of the 60+ social platforms that exist nowadays, and how do you pick which one(s) to build your brand on, without diluting your time and money?
Any respectable business in 2019 has a presence on a few social media sites. After all, you’ve probably been told that if you’re not on social media, you’re missing the mark. And when you look at these statistics, one can understand why this rings true:
74% of Canadians spend at least 3-4 hours per day online, 61% of that time is spent engaging on social media, 52% of that time is spent shopping
72% of Canadians use a mobile device to access the internet
52% of Canadians have five or more internet-connected devices in their home
62% of Canadians prefer making online purchases from Canadian businesses
63% of Canadians follow companies, brands/products on social media
86% of Canadians have made an online purchase online in the past 12 months
However, if you’re a small business, how do you make sense of the 60+ social platforms that exist nowadays, and how do you pick which one(s) to build your brand on, without diluting your time and money? This article will explore the real reasons your business should be on social media, and which ones Canadians are using the most.
Social media can help with many of your business goals. Here are the top 10 ways we believe Social media can be profitable for any business, even the smallest ones:
1. Increase your brand awareness - Think people only connect with brands they already know on social media? Consider that 60 percent of Instagram users say they discover new products on the platform. Social Media is perfect to get your brand in front of customers by using the platforms they spend the most time on.
2. Humanize your brand – To connect with customers—and potential customers—you’ve got to show the human side of your brand. How are you embracing your brand values? (Do you even have brand values?) How are you looking out for the best interests of your customers and employees? Does your product really work? The ability to create real human connection is one of the key benefits of social media for business.
3. Stay top of mind – Most social media users log into their accounts every single day. And many are checking their social media multiple times a day. This allows you to remain present, and because you don’t always have to promote or sell something, you can build true engagement with your users.
4. Establish your brand as a thought leader – No matter what industry your business is in, social media offers you the opportunity to establish yourself as a go-to source of information on topics related to your niche. Like brand advocacy, thought leadership is a great way to build customer trust.
5. Increase website traffic – Social media posts and ads are a great way to direct traffic to your website. Sharing great content from your blog or website to your social channels is a great way to get new readers as soon as you publish a post.
6. Generate leads – If you read our article titled How do I get new clients using the Internet, then you know that Social media can be a very good driver of leads for your company. In fact, many social networks offer advertising formats specifically designed to collect leads.
7. Reputation management – Your customers are talking about your business on social media whether you’re there to respond or not. If someone says something about your business that isn’t true, or if an upset customer takes to social media, it’s best to be there to address the negative before it turns into a major issue. Similarly, if someone sings your praises, it’s the perfect time to send them plenty of thanks and draw attention to their kind words.
8. Customer Service and customer support – You can imagine our surprise when we contacted a major national brand on social media with a customer service issue, only to have them respond that they do not use their social media for customer service inquiries. Nowadays, people expect brands to be available on social media for customer service. Companies who do not meet those expectations are actually damaging their bottom line.
9. Keep and eye out on your competition – It’s also important to know what people are saying about your competitors. You can be aware when your competitors launch new products, run promotions or release news reports or data.
10. Targeted advertisement – Social ads remain a rather inexpensive way to promote your business. You can also target your audience with demographics, geography, language and even online behaviours to craft specific messages that speak to them and to make sure you optimise your dollars.
The 5 platforms Canadians use the most
Now, let’s take a closer at the five platforms Canadians use the most:
Facebook is easily the largest social media site in the world, and one of the most widely used with approximately 1.18 billion daily active users.
For businesses, Facebook pages are the gateway to market among this holy grail of users. Facebook’s tools cater to the business that wants to form an authentic relationship with their audience. It allows marketers to create and distribute quality content that’s helpful for users. And it allows sales and customer services reps to connect with consumers interested in your brand. This is why true Facebook marketing requires a consistent, long-term commitment.
LinkedIn is easily one of the most popular professional social platform. It is used across the globe by all types of professionals and serves as an ideal platform to connect with different businesses, locate and hire ideal candidates, and more. It boasts over 400 million members.
LinkedIn pages empowers your organization to engage with the world’s professional community. This is where you can establish your thought leadership and positions you as a trusted influencer in your niche. Recommendations and endorsements on LinkedIn can go a long way to solidifying your reputation as a trusted entity in your field.
Instagram was launched as a unique social networking platform that was completely based on sharing photos and videos. This social media platform is now part of the Facebook empire and counts approximately 400 million active users.
200 million instragrammers visit at least one business profile daily. Humans are visual creatures and thus, instagram is the perfect platform to humanize your business and showcase your company personality.
This social networking site enables you to post short text messages (called tweets), containing a limited number of characters (up to 140), to convey your message to the world. With the growing craze for online shopping, Twitter also makes it possible to promote your businesses and even shop directly through tweets. Twitter counts approximately 320 million active users.
This image-messaging social platform enables you to chat with friends by using pictures. It allows you to explore news and even check out live stories that are happening around the world. It counts approximately 300 million active users.
Know that while Snapchat can be a great tool, it’s not ideal for every business. Before you commit your time, make sure your target audience is there. If a younger demographic is part of your target audience, increasing your social media presence using Snapchat for business will help you reach them (more than 70% of Snapchat users are under 34 years of age).
We hope this was a good introduction to social media for business. When Social Media Marketing is done successfully, everyone benefits. For more advice on how to take your Social Media efforts to the next level, book a free consultation with us today!
Would you like to learn more? Here's an awesome presentation from Gary Veynerchuck on the state of Social Media platforms.
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