Social media is constantly changing with now over 800 platforms to be engaging with new and existing customers. Trying to decide which social media platform is best for your business (if any) is an important part of your digital marketing strategy. It’s important to remember that social media posts should utimately be a vehicle to promote your business and drive users back to your website.

So what are some of the key benefits to your business?

> Global reach
You now have the opportunity to reach and interact with an audience that you never could before. Your post can be shared, liked, retweeted, pinned, the list goes on and you can soon be promoting your brand globally. Many of our clients are sole traders but using social media consistently they are reaching customers from all over the world that they never could with any other form of advertising.
For example on Twitter the best way to be noticed is by noticing others. Ensure only 20% of your posts relate to things directly happening in your business. The majority of your posts should be passing on hints and tips about your industry, posting articles or thanking new followers.

> Legitimise your brand
Your social media should reinforce your brand and at the same time give your business personality. A potential customer may visit your website to find out more about the services you offer, however if your site hasn’t been recently updated they may well look to your social media to find out more. Here they can see recent posts, upcoming events and promotions, interactions with customers and more. However, whilst social media can be fast to do, remember your posts should always be on brand as this may be a potential customer’s first contact with your business.

> Improve customer service
It’s a great opportunity to improve customer service and understand what your customers think of your business (both good and bad!).
Our clients will often tell us that they have avoided using social media as they are concerned that they could be leaving themselves exposed to bad feedback in a very public forum. A new client of ours had an extremely negative review about their business on their Google Plus account which was very prominent when you searched for them online. But the real damage was no response to the poor review so our advice is always respond immediately and encourage the customer to talk to you about this issue offline. Whilst you can’t stop people leaving a negative review, it’s how you handle these issues that will tell potential new customers what your customer service is like. Remember, you can’t respond to conversations that you don’t see and even if your business isn’t on social media it doesn’t mean it’s not being discussed there. We see it as a force for good and find it a great forum for our customers to leave positive reviews and feedback.

> Improve your results in search engines
Google (and other search engines) are paying more attention to how active businesses are on social media when ranking a website in its search results. If you have engaging content which can be shared, it lets the search engines know that people enjoy your posts and may well give you an advantage over websites that aren’t active on social media.

Remember, your website should be the hub of your digital activity, however social media can become an invaluable way marketing your business and could give you an advantage over your competition.

Happy blogging/tweeting/liking/sharing/pinning…

Written by. Louise Buscombe

Louise Buscombe