Utilizing Social Media

A lot has been said about using social media to benefit both small and large businesses. When carefully used, social media can impact businesses in various ways including in sales and marketing, branding, advertising new products and communication. Many establishments now use metrics collected from their social media accounts to improve certain aspects of their business, but how can you make sure your social media engagements are actually benefiting your business? It is common for many to get carried away with building a strong presence in social platforms without tailoring their efforts to ensure those strategies are producing measurable results. The real challenge is how to make sure you are utilizing social media for your business. Here are a few eye openers that will help you view social media in new light.

1. Do you have a presence in most popular media?
Facebook is by far the most recommended social media available for businesses. If your business is not on Facebook, then you are yet to enjoy the full benefits of modern social media. However, Facebook is not the only platform for businesses. Social media like Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Printest are all important. To ensure you are utilizing available opportunities, it is advisable to develop your profiles across the top platforms. Once you are in all popular media, you can streamline your presence and target each separately. This puts you in a position to compare which media works best for your business and how you can improve.

2. Monitor your activities and measure results from each media
There are several analytical tools available for businesses to collect data and metrics from their social media profiles. You can see how many followers are commenting, liking and sharing your posts, find out what others think about your brand and measure the impact of your marketing campaigns. Without monitoring and measuring your outcomes, how will you know what is working, or worse, what is not? Monitoring also helps you find out how people use these social accounts and the type of engagement they have with your business across the different media. Most users today use Twitter to make inquiries and launch complaints while Facebook and Instagram are mainly used to share information.

3. Monitor traffic dynamics over long term
How many new followers do you attract per month (on average) and how many do you lose? Are your followers actively communicating with your business via social media? What are they saying about your brand? What improvements are they suggesting? Attracting and directing traffic is one of the biggest challenges for businesses.

4. Compare your business with competitors
Perhaps the best way to gauge your effectiveness with social media tools is to compare your business with other top competitors. How have they designed and presented their business on social media? What are some of the subtle strategies they use and what can you learn from them? Analyzing competition can help you come up with new strategies to gain other competitive advantages in areas others are yet to exploit.

Summary
Social media can have both positive and negative implications on your business. It must therefore be carefully approached and used to your advantage. Remember that these platforms are primarily for social interactions rather than official business, but can still be used for marketing and branding as well as collecting vital business information.

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