West Vancouver’s Abeir Haddad Discusses How to Use Social Media to Enhance Your Business
Social media has rapidly become an important platform for business-to-consumer relationships, as well as a powerful marketing tool. The number of internet users, says Abeir Haddad, entrepreneur and investor from West Vancouver, BC, continues to increase as more areas of the world gain access to updated technology.
Social networking sites have become the primary way people interact, create relationships, and build communities. This marketing strategy can be applied to any business, whether their product or service is consumer-based or B2B (Business to Business). Below are a few ways you can use social media to advance your business:
Choose The Right Platforms
Use the marketing resources that fit your business and market. Find out which social networking sites are most popular in your business area, and target those specific platforms. Some businesses set up profiles on all major sites to maximize exposure. However, says Abeir Haddad, this isn’t always the best strategy, especially for small businesses with limited time and resources.
Every site has different demographics, so it’s better to specialize in a few instead of spreading yourself too thin through many. If you decide to go this route, though, make sure each profile is updated frequently and using similar keywords and logos across websites to establish a professional online presence everywhere possible.
Create a Network
Once you’ve decided where you want to be active most often, start building a network there. Add friends or people already fans of your business to get the most out of your time. Visit other members’ profiles regularly, and leave comments on their updates, statuses, photos, etc. Get involved in group discussions on the site’s message boards, comment on blogs relevant to your industry, follow companies that compete with you, or compliment yours.
You can also join niche-specific groups where you can establish relationships more organically with potential customers by offering helpful advice rather than selling yourself right away. This will show that you’re an active member of the community who is not only there to advertise products but is willing to help others too.
Create a Calendar
When updating your profiles during the day, it’s important to post when users are likely to see your content. For example, says Abeir Haddad, if you’re posting in the morning when everyone is at work, make sure there are no typos in your update because they won’t see it until later when they get home!
Research shows that Facebook posts between 1–3 PM are most effective for reaching the largest audience. Twitter works best with updates posted at 9 AM, noon, and 5 PM EST (Eastern Standard Time), while it’s best to post on Instagram on weekdays between 12 AM and 3 PM (EST).
Create Engaging Content
Posting links or updates that are too promotional can instantly turn off your fans, so keep them interested. Ensure to include enough text in the update, so users don’t have to click on a link to find out what you’re writing about and that it applies to their interests. Think about including trivia questions or games that encourage sharing among friends where more people will see your business’s name.
Employees should also create personal profiles if they’re active for the company on other social networking sites, which adds more personality and makes them seem less like robots pushing products and increasing trust with consumers.
Social media is not a one-way street: just because someone follows you doesn’t mean they’ll automatically buy from you. Stay active to keep your followers interested, says West Vancouver’s Abeir Haddad, so they don’t lose interest. People will only see your business if you’re constantly updating, so make each post count by including links to other relevant content and photos worth sharing. Occasionally post coupons or discounts that can encourage users to follow through with a purchase.
Try to build customer loyalty by encouraging your followers to interact with you. If someone comments on one of your posts, reply to them with a thoughtful answer that makes them feel special for speaking up. Many businesses fail at this, but it will make users much more eager to spread the word about how great it feels when they feel like their opinions are valued.
Build a Community
If you take the time to make fans for your business, they’ll become active members of your community, increasing your visibility. This is why it’s important to respond to questions or comments diligently and be available to help customers when they’re ready to take the plunge.
People will only be willing to follow your business if you’re constantly providing value for free. This can be in industry insights, helpful advice, tips for using products effectively, coupons, etc. Suppose users feel like they’re getting something valuable from following you or even just seeing your posts show up on their feed without having to do anything (i.e., The Gram Game). In that case, they’ll return the favor by checking out what you have to offer and possibly buying.
Above all else, staying true to who you are as a business is the best way to gain new loyal customers. Don’t become someone you’re not just to win fans because people can always tell when something seems fake and isn’t worth following. If users sense desperation for their attention, they’ll drop off immediately, so only go the extra mile if it’s something that will benefit them.
Turning social media into a powerful marketing tool can seem daunting at first, but following these steps will get you started on the right track in no time. And don’t be afraid to try new things along the way! Use tracking software to monitor what works best for your business and what doesn’t, so you’ll have plenty of data come review time.