Social Media and Business Growth: What to Expect From Your Efforts

     

Published: June 1, 2020

Many business owners have some idea that social media and business growth go hand-in-hand. The problem is that most of them don’t know how social media will produce growth or what their expectations should be in terms of results. We’re here to clear up the confusion so you know what to expect when you invest in a social media strategy for your business.

Setting Goals: What Can You Accomplish?
There are some categories of business, mostly those selling clothing and cosmetics, that tend to do well with direct social sales. Unless you’re in one of those industries, your goals for business growth using social media should revolve around engaging with your customers and driving traffic to your website where conversions can take place.

Driving more website traffic is a good goal in itself, and it’s easy to measure with even the most basic website monitoring tools. If your website is ready to serve as the central hub of your marketing efforts--you’ve got a clean, mobile-friendly design, easy-to-find pages describing your products or services, and smart landing pages to drive conversions--then you’re good to go. If your website needs work, hold off on driving more traffic to it as you’re not likely to get good results from the extra traffic.

Another goal that will be effective is increasing awareness of your brand, or introducing more people to your company who may never have heard of you before. Social media is the perfect outlet for this goal because it allows you to get friendly and creative in your social streams, and this is what people go to social media for.

Of course, you don’t have to limit your social media activity to only meeting long-term marketing goals. For example, providing customer service and support options via social media can be extremely effective and easy to use. Social media is also an outstanding way to drive more attendance at events and to do a little recon and see what your competitors are up to.

Interaction Makes it Work
The biggest pitfall for companies looking to social media for business growth is overdoing the promotional messaging and neglecting the magic of two-way communication. According to a poll from Sprout Social, 46 percent of people said they unfollowed a brand on social media because they posted too many promotional messages. Tweeting too much sent 34 percent packing, and irrelevant information drove off 41 percent.

Instead of going hard for the sale, you want to spend as much time listening and responding to your customers as you do creating and posting updates to your feeds. When people leave a comment, it’s the perfect opportunity to show them that there is a human being behind the screen who is waiting to help them solve their problems. You want to capture the attention of your audience and slowly work on driving sales as you court them with informational and entertaining posts, and only the occasional soft toss of a pitch.

Measuring Your Progress
There are a lot of fancy tools you can use (if you have the budget) to track your progress on social media, but all of the big platforms offer important insights for free, and you should be looking at them. If you’re not using it already, Google Analytics is also free and will show you where traffic to your website is coming from, so you’ll know when to credit business growth to your social media activities.

First, pay attention to the total number of followers you have. In general, this number should be growing steadily--slowly at first and then hopefully picking up steam over several months. Shrinking numbers of followers mean you’re annoying people with either content that’s not relevant to them or with too much selling.

Next, in your social media dashboards, you’ll want to look at the number of impressions you’re getting as this tells you how many people have seen a post and will give you an idea if efforts to expand your audience and boost awareness are spreading out far enough. Measuring engagement means looking at reactions such as likes, shares, clicks, and replies. Your engagement rate will be the total number of engagements divided by the total number of impressions for a specific post.

If you’re getting a high number of impressions and good engagement, keep doing what you’re doing. If impressions are high and engagement is low, it means your content isn’t as appealing to the audience as it could be. It’s time to return to your buyer personas to make sure you’re addressing their needs and to be sure you’re informative and entertaining and not too salesy. A low number of impressions can result from a laundry list of reasons. If you’re stuck here and can’t seem to get your posts in front of more eyes, we’re happy to review your activity and help uncover the problem.

Setting Expectations: What Can You Accomplish?
One of the best bits of good news for small and mid-sized businesses is that they are uniquely positioned to make the most of social media. That’s because they tend to be community-focused already rather than trying to appeal to massive audiences like the big brands. If you’re already connected to people in your community in real life, it’s the best place to start when building your social media audience. In return, people who find you online can meet you in real life to form solid, lasting relationships.

The bottom line is that every business can expect real results for business growth using social media. With smart messaging and a solid strategy, you’ll be able to introduce more people to your company and your brand, help them see why you and your solutions are the right choice, and send more people to your website where you can convert more visitors into leads, and more leads into paying customers.

To learn more about using social media for business growth, or to find out why your current strategies aren’t getting results, call for a free consultation today!

Categories: Social Media Marketing
Tags: social media and business growth