Must use social media tools to grow your online business

Social media

By this time, the question of whether or not you should be using social media to grow your online business has been answered definitively, and it was a yes. The question that remains in most people’s mind though is How. How do you actually use social media to grow your online business?

Customer Communication Platform

Some people don’t like the phone. Others don’t like email. Others don’t like face-to-face communication, and on, and on, and on. Social media introduces a whole new set of channels through which you have the opportunity to communicate with your customers, and while some people do not like using social media, 950 million people using Facebook, hundreds of millions using Twitter, and millions more using other channels confirm that there is a large potential audience there for you.

The thing to look for when using social media to grow your online business is not how easy can you make it or how many possible places can you spread your message to, but rather what does each audience in each different channel want to communicate about. Tailor your content and your communication style to each audience and each channel in order to make your message as relevant and meaningful as possible.

Monitor the Competition

 

Social media is one of the best platforms to help in monitoring competitors without going out into the field to carry out a market research analysis of them. Your competitors will tell their customers what they are doing and, in turn, those customers will possibly say something about your competitors over social media. Such information is important as it will help you know what you competitors are up to and how other people are reacting to any new developments they have. From there, you can then adjust your business accordingly to keep abreast with the competition.

Use tools like Topsy, Social Mention, Twitter searches, IFTTT, and others to monitor what your competition is saying, what people are saying about them, and what people are saying about you.

Increase Search Engine Ranking

Prior to social media being widely accepted, search engines primarily used factors like inbound links and textual analysis in order to determine which pages should rank highest in search results. The problem with this is that very few people manage websites, so if you’re counting how many links a website has pointing at it as a sign of how popular it is, you’re missing all of the votes of people that don’t run websites.

Now that so many people use social media, social signals like tweets and Facebook likes act as votes of popularity and value. The more social signals search can see your website has, the better it will rank in search results.

Build Credibility

The key to building credibility in social media is to first build a trusting relationship with your customers. Once rapport is established, then your customers can feel comfortable including you in the constant information and feedback stream that is a Facebook, Twitter, or other social media feed. There are several ways that will help you be able to build your reputation and credibility for your customers to totally trust in you. These include:

  • Making sure that people are aware that you know what you are doing and that you are an expert in your area. In so doing, they can trust that you are aware of their specific needs. This means, if you’re a designer, talk about design. Sure, the odd football comment or random joke can pop in there now and then to show your personality, but if you’re a designer with a Facebook page and you want to use it to grow your business, talk about things related to your business that people will care about.
  • The information that you give to your customers should add value for them in some way. This information should be aimed at promoting shared interest. This means don’t talk about yourself all the time and don’t share something unless it’s really valuable to your audience. Something that isn’t valuable is just an annoyance, and every time you annoy someone, you make it easier for them to stop paying attention to you.
  • You should be dynamic enough to give each customer what they want by tailoring your products and services to be able to meet their specific needs. This means you should do your best to tailor your content to each channel and audience. Pay attention to whether your Twitter followers respond to the same language, content, and posting times as your Facebook fans or your Pinterest followers. There’s a good chance they like different things, so customize your content, as well as the products and services you talk about, to them.

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