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How to Use Social Media for Business

Determine Your Goals

What exactly do you want your social media presence to accomplish for your business? Are you a brand new company looking to build brand awareness? Do you want to increase traffic to your website? Or maybe you’d like a way to better interact with the people who support your company. And who exactly are you hoping to reach?

Once you figure out what you want from social media, you can figure out the best way to make it happen. For example, if you want to increase brand awareness, simply creating a Facebook page isn’t going to accomplish much since people aren’t going to “like” a page for a business they don’t know anything about. A better approach would be to go on Twitter or Instagram and start following and interacting with users who regularly post content relevant to your company. Or if you have products to sell, reach out to bloggers whose readers might be interested in your product and offer to send them some products to review or give away.

Find the Best Social Media Platforms for Your Company

While it’s good for businesses to have a social media presence on a wide range of platforms, not every social media outlet is going to be right for your company. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all great sites for any business to be on. But depending on the nature of your business and the demographics you’re hoping to reach, other social networking outlets may work better than others.

Take Pinterest for example. Pinterest isn’t a good fit for every business. Pinterest can be an excellent fit for clothing companies, gardening stores, cosmetics companies, wedding planning services, and home decor businesses. 80% Pinterest users are women who tend to use the site to look for aspirational images -- their ideal outfits, their perfect homes, their dream weddings. So if your business is manufacturing industrial tools, you’re probably not going to find much of a following on Pinterest. However, you might be able to find clever ways to use Instagram or Vine.

Find Your Voice

When it really comes down to it, there are very few truly unique products and services in the world. Breyer’s isn’t the only manufacturer of chocolate chip ice cream, McDonald’s isn’t the only fast food burger restaurant, and Old Navy isn’t the only place to buy clothes. So what makes your company so unique? Having a strong social media presence can help your brand cultivate a distinct voice and image that sets you apart from others. Many people have become attached to brands just because they love the image they convey.

Listen to Your Followers

Social media offers you the chance to build a direct link to your customers and can enable you to get direct feedback. If a customer has a complaint, social media is a great way to reach out and offer help. As long as your response is sincere and helpful, your company will come off looking good since it shows you care and are receptive to feedback. However, dealing with user feedback sometimes isn’t a job for the thin skinned. If negative comments start rolling in, it never looks good to start lashing out, being sarcastic, or giving generic responses.