Using social media to drum up business isn't as simple as setting up a profile page and posting every few weeks


When you’re thinking about how to market your business, traditional media sources like print, radio ads and television may often come to mind. While these mediums are still great places to reach people, more and more people are spending a lot of their time on mobile devices — going through the infinite scroll of their social media platform of choice.

Check out the following four ways you can use various social media platforms to gain awareness and business for your company.

1. Consider your customers' demographics
While you may not be a marketing professional, you can still do a little marketing work to help make your efforts more effective. To discern the demographics of your customers, you first have to think about who your ideal customer is.

Related: Web Wise

What is the age of your ideal customer? Think about gender, occupation, interests and other discerning factors of the types of people you want to attract. Use this information to create customer profiles of your ideal consumer.

2. Choose applicable platforms
Now that you are all set with your customer profiles, you will want to decide where to best spend your time and money advertising. Choosing the right social media platform is like choosing the right radio station to advertise on.

Think about where your ideal customer would spend most of their time. If you’re thinking about advertising to newly engaged couples, Pinterest is going to be a great place to start. But for the plumbing industry, Facebook and Twitter are better options to reach your customers.

Related: To Market, to Market

3. Create relevant content
There are several different ways to engage with potential customers on social media, but they all involve the content. Over the years, “content” has become a huge buzzword in marketing circles, but it’s rather vague. When I refer to “content,” I mean the stuff you decide to post.

Try to mix up the types of content you post, but always keep in mind that these materials should be interesting to your target customers. This content could range from blog posts on your own website to articles or posts from other sources. The more people there are who find your posts engaging, the more shares and likes you’ll get, and the more people will see your company as an expert in your field.

You can definitely promote your products and services on social media, but make sure this isn’t all that you are posting. If your Facebook or Twitter feed is nothing more than stock photos of your equipment with links to your website, no one will have any reason to like or follow your social media page. You can advertise your products, but make sure these advertisements are highlighting either deals your company is having, or pepper them in around other more interesting content.

Related: 5 Easy Ways to Ensure Small Business Loan Approval

For an in-depth guide on content creation, see this article on some of the best practices of web content creation.

4. Know when to boost your posts
Depending on the social media platforms you choose to use, paid advertising and boosted posts may be a route you’ll want to consider. With Facebook selectively tailoring users' newsfeeds and Twitter having a real-time feed, your prospective customers may not even see the posts you’re putting out there.

This means you might have to shell out a little bit of money to get your brand in front of the right people. Welcome to the world of paid social media marketing. Most large companies have increased social media spending for 2017, and you should possibly consider it as well.

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All social media platforms have different advertising portals, but they all work pretty much the same. You choose the type of engagement or action you want people to do, and you choose the types of people you want to see your ads.

Types of ads could range from getting more people to follow your page, getting people to visit your website, creating engagement with your posts, or making purchases on your website.

Once you know what type of actions you want to get from your ads, you’ll then think about the types of people you want to see the ad. You can choose from age, gender and occupation. These may vary depending on the social platform you’re advertising on, but they’re all pretty similar.

Now you have a bit of an idea of the ways you can engage with potential customers on social media platforms. Just remember that this is just a general overview. If you really want to delve deep into social media strategy and advertising, there are many more in-depth resources out there.

About the Author
Erin Black is the marketing coordinator for On Site Companies of St. Paul, Rochester and Mankato, Minnesota, and also St. Louis, Missouri, and Omaha, Nebraska.


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