Social media has been an effective marketing channel for years. With a total reach of 4.55 billion active users, 54% of which access their accounts for product research, social media platforms have become an incredible opportunity for businesses and online entrepreneurs to build awareness, grow customer relationships, and make direct sales.

Ways to use social media to grow your business in 2022 go far beyond posting products with links, mentioning partners, and organizing paid ad campaigns to attract followers.

Users don’t trust ads and direct selling strategies from brands. They expect companies to express views and values on social media: transparency, social consciousness, authenticity, and recommendations from influencers are triggers driving them to your products.

The audience will follow you and buy from you if they see your openness, sincerity, and authenticity.

Below you’ll find ten ways to make it happen.

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10 Ways to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business

1. Set Goals

Why do you want to use social media for business in the first place? Do you have an online store and just want to sell more?

To succeed with social media marketing, make sure you set SMART social media goals and objectives. It’s the only way to understand what you are trying to achieve and know if your marketing endeavors are bringing any ROI.

SMART is about your goals:

  1. Specific: Set clear and defined goals, but make sure they are achievable (possible to reach within your resources).
  2. Measurable: What will you use to check and analyze results? Identify social media channels and the metrics you’ll use to track a marketing campaign.
  3. Attainable: Ensure your goals are realistic, and you have all the resources (time, team, budget) to achieve them within a set time frame.
  4. Relevant
  5. Time-bound: Every business goal needs a time frame, whether a year, a quarter, or a month.
Image: Medium
Smart Goals
Image: Medium

For example, your social media SMART goal may be as follows:

“Increase our Instagram response rate (specific) by 15% (measurable and attainable, relevant) by the end of April 2022 (time-bound).“

Always assign SMART goals to your social media efforts to prevent disordered and aimless posting.

2. Decide on Social Media Platforms

It stands to reason you can’t build a savvy social media strategy without a clear understanding of your audience and their preferred communication channels.

First, define your target audience: Start with the data on your current customers and then use social media analytics to get a clear picture of who interacts and buys from you online.

Based on that, create buyer personas: Look beyond demographic metrics like age, gender, occupation, and hobbies; dig deeper to specify their fears, motivations, and frustrations. With this information, you’ll know how to speak to your audience so they will engage and buy from you.

Finally, decide on a social media platform you’ll use to reach the audience. Conduct research on where they spend time online, and don’t let your own marketing instincts and assumptions be the road map here.

(Did you know that the Facebook audience is younger than some marketers believe, and TikTok works well for brands whose audience are outside Gen Z?)

Smart Ways to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business in 2022 2
Image: Washington Post TikTok
Smart Ways to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business in 2022 3
Image: Washington Post TikTok

Rely on the latest data and your business experience.

And one more thing:

While you might want to focus social media marketing endeavors on the one or two channels your TA (target audience) uses most actively, feel free to use different media for different TA segments or different business goals.

3. Write a Plan

With the right social media platforms under your belt, now you need a content strategy and plan that will help you achieve your SMART goals.

The next steps to creating a social media plan:

  • Analyze the competitors: Researching your competition on social media and learning what works for them can help you avoid their mistakes and generate content ideas that work for businesses like yours.
  • Get inspiration from your favorite brands: Why not "spy" on businesses in other industries? Check what your favorite brands do: What makes you follow them online and buy from them? What content formats do they use? Learn available case studies and apply them to your business.
  • Create a content calendar: Decide on the content you'll post on social media and create a calendar to know what and when you will publish. Consider the 80/20 rule: Make 80% of your social media content informative, educational, or entertaining; the other 20% promoting or selling your products.

Do your best to write a social media plan to ensure your time and resources won’t be in vain.

4. Optimize Business Accounts for Engagement

Social media is about engaging with and communicating your message to the audience. Optimizing social media accounts, you’ll boost interest, state your brand voice and mission, and engage the audience to learn more about your business.

Social media optimization is about proper keywords, hashtags, and mentions, and an appealing design of your account.

You can add links to your Instagram bio to promote products. The bio itself needs to be eye-pleasing yet informative, to help users understand what you do.

Optimize Business Accounts for Engagement Optimize Business Accounts for Engagement

A well-designed Twitter profile is about a high-quality image and cover, actionable bio, and the right mentions throughout the page to attract more followers.

Optimize Business Accounts for Engagement Optimize Business Accounts for Engagement

Consider optimizing your Facebook profile with complete business info and relevant keywords to help it rank better in search engines. Your photo and cover page also matter, because it’s the first thing users notice when visiting your profile.

Optimize Business Accounts for Engagement Optimize Business Accounts for Engagement

5. Use the Right Tools

Social media marketing is time-consuming. Not only do you need to set goals, generate strategy, and publish engaging yet relevant content daily, but you should also track and analyze the performance to adjust your strategy accordingly.

It’s wise to delegate some work to the right tools, designed to automate the process and save time for other business tasks.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Free design software to create appealing visuals for your social media posts with a few clicks
  • A tool for social media monitoring to see all mentions and messages to your business and respond timely
  • A tool to pre-schedule your social media posts for publication
  • Social media analytics tool to get all the data on your performance in one place and analyze reports to see if your strategy is working

6. Be Human and Build Relationships

Social media is the best channel for small business owners to talk directly to their customers. It’s an opportunity to build a loyal community of followers and customers. While some social media users access their accounts to research brands and products, a part of that discovery is about getting to know your business persona and values.

Today, users want to know brands more personally. It would be a mistake to manage your social media channels as a faceless business with zero personality.

Be human and focus on nurturing relationships. Over time it will help build a loyal community for ongoing sales and give you rise in social media algorithms to gain more exposure and acquire new customers.

Where can you start with building relationships on social media?

  • Connect with other entrepreneurs in your niche. If you think your business is still too small for talking to the big dogs, consider micro- and nano-influencers (those with about 1,000 dedicated followers).
  • Always reply when users mention your business or share your content, even if their reviews are negative.
  • Answer questions users ask.
  • Mention followers and brands you reference in your posts.
  • Organize contests through branded hashtags, publish polls, repost UGC (user-generated content) with mentions and comments, use interactive stickers – all these encourage interaction and engage followers.
Be Human and Build Relationships
Image: Costa Coffee on Twitter
Be Human and Build Relationships
Image: Costa Coffee on Twitter

7. Track Social Media Trends

Do you know that product research is only the sixth reason people use social media? The top three are as follows:

  1. News and current events – 36.5%.
  2. Funny or entertaining content – 35%.
  3. Fill spare time – 34.4%.

It helps to pay attention to social media trends when planning content that resonates with your customers.

Keep your audience’s current needs in mind and balance between trending hashtags, newsjacking, and the latest memes/challenges to build a little buzz around your brand’s personality.

Consider social listening tools to gather the latest information and understand what your target audience might be interested in right now.

8. Sell with Social Commerce

Customer relationships are fine, but you also need some practical ways to use social media to grow your business.

Your accounts have to sell something, not just be engaging. Social commerce is the process of selling directly on social media, even without a store website. It’s an $89.4 billion market right now, expected to grow to $604.5 billion in the next few years.

Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest ruled US social commerce in 2020, with YouTube in the top three in 2021.

Smart Ways to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business in 2022 4
Image: eMarketer
Smart Ways to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business in 2022 5
Image: eMarketer

Social commerce is the entire shopping experience taking place on a social media platform. If you decide to practice it, you’ll need to master the art of communicating with customers there.

Social media is a method of communicating with businesses for 90% of users. 21% of them are more likely to buy from you if they can reach your business on social media and get answers to their questions. Given that almost 2/3 (63%) of consumers expect customer service via social media, the focus is on helping over direct selling:

  • Be responsive, and answer quickly, even if it's just a message to let a user know you're looking into it.
  • Create a separate support social account, or think about adding a smart chatbot that will automatically answer the general questions customers might have.

9. Stay Active and Consistent

For your business to grow on social media, you need active social feeds and fresh content regularly.

  • Create original content rather than copying competitors' ideas.
  • Use high-quality visuals for your social media posts: images, videos, infographics, cartoons, memes, etc. Mediocre elements won't work.
  • Think of a unique visual content style for users to recognize your business in their newsfeeds.
Stay Active and Consistent
Image: 33acresbrewing
Stay Active and Consistent
Image: 33acresbrewing

There’s a lot of noise on social media, so you need to break through it.

To organize consistent updates, consider the time-saving tips and instruments we’ve already mentioned:

  • Incorporate social media scheduling and automation.
  • Prioritize social media channels based on the amount of audience activity.
  • Schedule your activity at the right time for maximum engagement.
  • Consider content repurposing to save time, rather than making everything from scratch.

10. Track Performance

For social media marketing to bring ROI, regularly track and analyze performance to understand what works and what doesn’t. This will help determine if everything works as planned, or it’s better to change social media strategy for better results.

Use analytic tools to identify trends, see your top-performing content, and track your social presence in numbers, rather than guessing. Based on the data, you’ll see what to improve for a better connection with the audience, reaching new customers, and better customer service for more sales.

Long Story Short:

Social media marketing is a way to grow your online store. It can introduce your business to a broader audience, build customer relationships and trust, organize better customer service, and sell your products globally.

Using social media to grow your business requires planning, precise organization of all processes, and aligning your brand message with your targets’ needs.

Make It Happen Today!

Start selling

The post Smart Ways to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business in 2022 appeared first on Printify.

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