In our previous post, we talked you through the steps you need to take to deal with negative reviews on Google. The major takeaway tips from last week is that you should:
- Always take the time to reply to negative reviews and monitor the reviews coming in—you never know who else is looking at these before they contact you
- Reach out to reviewers to see how the situation can be improved
- Have more positive than negative reviews that saturate your Google Reviews
But what we haven’t covered is how reviews, comments, visibility and interactions via social media can affect your business in a positive way, building your connections and growing your image—all for free!
What Can Social Media Do For My Business?
Social media has grown immensely and changes the way that businesses reach their potential clients while cultivating a brand image. Social media reaches the masses in ways that traditional marketing tactics does not always achieve, making businesses more visible on a larger platform than ever before.
Social media is free to use for anyone with access to the Internet. If you total up the estimated amount of users worldwide for 2017, there are 2.51 billion potential viewers via social media. Facebook is still the largest of these social networks, with an estimated 1.968 million users. These numbers aren’t going to drop anytime soon either! Looking ahead to 2020, there will be an estimated 2.95 billion social media users worldwide.
As you can imagine, the amount of people you can reach with social media alone is staggering, especially if you use more than one network to get your business out there. Social media has the potential to get your business in front of viewers in any part of the world based on common interests and word of mouth from people who “influence” others based on their reach. That’s where the term “Influencer” pops up.
ANYONE can be a Social Influencer and Help Grow Your Business
The idea of an “Influencer” or “Social Influencer” is still relatively new. Since the late 2000’s and early 2010’s, brands and businesses have identified people who have a certain reach or connection to a mass audience, and actively get in contact with them.
Brands and businesses will approach the person and make them an Influencer. Influencers then promote a product or service on behalf of that brand or business through their networks, which gives the brand/business a humanistic voice to connect to an audience and pushes fellow social media users to take a Call to Action.
This isn’t to say that every business or brand needs to a set of handpicked “Influencers”. ANYONE can be a social influencer—without the official title, extra followers, or large-scale audience.
Consider that everyone on social media has their own personal network of friends, family and acquaintances. This means that the user has influence over their friends, family and acquaintances. Whatever they post, whatever they “Like”, whatever they watch, and essentially whatever their interactions are on a social network, can be seen by others on that same network. They can single-handedly create a bit of buzz.
Whether or not the user knows it, they are subconsciously influencing someone else’s thoughts or decisions. And don’t forget, every user has this same potential to post, “Like”, watch, or interact with content and make it popular or give it a good reputation. This gives your business a very present, very visible platform…
All, for free.
How Do I Take Social Media and Use It To Advance My Business?
All this information can be daunting. It’s almost the equivalent of being thrown into a Lion’s den with the weapons and defence tools you need, but not knowing how to use them. It’s time to learn how you can unleash the power of social media on your business. Let’s take a look at three basic steps it takes to use social media to advance your business without needing to spend a cent:
1) You need to be present to show your social connection!
All businesses and brands should be present on Social Media Networks to reach users—including clients, target audiences and potential audiences. Part of being present is choosing the most effective Social Media Networks to be on. This can involve a bit of research on your part to see what similar businesses are doing for their social media. Or you can look at statistics and reports that show which networks are the most effective for your business.
For example, if you’re in the Real Estate business, a large portion of your clients are in the active Facebook user target, and likely not on Tumblr. When choosing networks to be involved in, try to think where your target audience will be found, and then branch out from there.
Facebook is usually a safe place to start, followed by Instagram, Youtube and Twitter. Most of the active users are on these networks and there is a diverse audience. You will likely find your target audience and be able to expand your reach to a potential audience and people that maybe have never heard of your name! By showing your presence on social networks, you are starting the connection, drawing in more people to what you want to sell or serve them.
Think of it like pollen for a bee—the pollen has to be there, present and enticing in order for the bee to sense it and interact with it. Otherwise, there are plenty of other flowers to choose from!
2) Know About Conversations on Social Media
On any social media platform, you’ll want to do a search of your business, brand or service to see if people are already talking about you. This will give you rough idea on just how many clients and target audiences are out there. It also gives you a list of people that you may want to connect with in the future—whether it be through an email, social media follow, or including them on your site.
If you know what is being said about your business from comments and indirect reviews, you also have a much better understanding of who your clients are, who they are talking to, and how you can improve your business to meet their needs.
It’s a survey of your business without the formalities. You’ll have a better understanding of what people are expecting from your business or what their experience is with you. In turn, you’ll have the information and results to make better-informed decisions.
3) Make Yourself Known and Get Involved In the Conversation
While it is wonderful that people are talking about you on social media, you have to talk about yourself too—after all, if people don’t know you exist, they can’t connect back to you!
Make sure that you are searchable on your chosen social network, have your services and business details listed, and make it a mission to find your audience and get them involved in conversation. Many social media networks have tools you can use to boost your engagement levels with your audience. By boosting engagement, you’ll show your audience that you care about their concerns and you prove to them that you are worthy of their time and commitment. It will also make people more excited and interested in whatever you are selling.
Being known and conversational, garners you the ability to change people’s perception of you. Say for example, if you are able to address a customer’s problem publically on social media and fix it for them. They will likely have a positive public response on that same social network, which will spread to the people they reach, but also spread to people that your business reaches.
At the very least, social media gives you some control of your public relations and brand image just through commenting, replying and interacting with the audience, which in turn, draws a more people toward your business as opposed to others, which maybe don’t have the same levels of engagement. It makes your business the preferable choice because you are actively in your clients and potential audience’s mind.
What Other Steps Can I Take With My Business and Social Media?
While we’ve given you the basics of how Social Media can connect you to an audience and make you stand out amongst other businesses, there is plenty more that can be done.
Once you have your basic footing in social media, you can think about Social Media Marketing and Brand Development as a next step. Social Media Marketing is a fairly new way of marketing yourself as a business or brand, and it all takes place via social networks. There is a mixture of both free and paid for strategies when it comes to Social Media Marketing. Brand Development comes with Social Media Marketing as you work towards building an overall image and establishing your place in the market.
The power of Social Media Marketing is incredible and many companies have gone on to achieve successes based on their social media marketing alone. If you think Social Media Marketing is your business’ next step, don’t hesitate to get in contact with Bailey Creative. We can work with you to plan a Social Media Marketing strategy, and boost your SEO in order to reach as large of an audience as possible within your budget.