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As the newest member of the Choice team, my role as social media manager implies the ever-growing importance of social media in running a successful business. This universal trend touches nearly every industry, business-type and size. In fact, individuals with any form of influence are now practically required to manage social media in a business-like strategy.


Why? Because it matters. 


According to
a report from GWI, the global population was averaging two hours and 22 minutes a day on social networking and messaging platforms in 2018. For users 16-24, the time increased to more than three hours. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, “I just need to take a break from social media,” I’d have enough to run a viral Facebook advertising campaign and then some.


Unpopular opinion:
Social media makes a positive impact in your life.

 

Whether you are a small business owner, creative, seasoned executive or aspiring entrepreneur, social media can change your business. Here’s how:

 

Brand Awareness

With the social media landscape becoming more saturated by the minute, brand awareness is top-of-mind for marketers. To our benefit, social media allows us to portray a brand and its personality both visually and verbally. 

 

  • Putting a Face to the Name

 

      • You have the ability to tell the story. Consumers are known to trust brands that have a strong leader or story that they can stand behind. Your social media platform is the gallery where people can browse your product, but also learn more about the person or team behind the brand. 

 

  • Seeing the Product

 

      • Image-based platforms like Instagram and Pinterest allow you to place your photos at the fingertips of your audience. With strong and eye-catching imagery, you can create a buzz about your business without people leaving their home. 

 

        • Example: If I’m ever interested in trying a new restaurant, I always go straight to their Instagram. If I like what I see, I’m more than likely going to go out of my way to try it. But if their feed is weak or non-existent, I’m going to assume it’s not worth my time or tastebuds. 
  • Giving your Brand a Voice

 

      • Wendy’s is the perfect example of this. A long-time fast food staple has recently found a revival over the last few years through their social media voice — a mix of likeable sass and quick wit. Their smart comebacks, hilarious comments and ability to start a conversation is the perfect example of how you can give a conventional business a distinctive voice. 

 

Expanding Your Audience 

Prior to the use of social media, small businesses owners were far more reliant on their local community and the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Not to say WOM isn’t still key — but social media allows these scrappy entrepreneurs to reach a borderless audience. 

 

  • Hashtags

 

      • Utilizing hashtags that apply to an industry or area that you are interested in breaking into will allow you to reach users everywhere with an interest in those topics. Adding these tags make your posts searchable, relatable and part of a community. Click here to learn more about using hashtags to grow your audience. 

 

  • Tagging 

 

      • The idea of tagging refers to mentioning the people, places and things in your images. In addition to tagging the individuals in your pictures, be sure to add locations to your posts. This allows you to discover users in your area, and those users can discover you. You can tag brands that are featured in the clothing or products present, as well as tagging accounts that may find the post interesting. 

 

  • Collaboration

 

      • Despite Forbes’ recent article about the downfall of influencer marketing, users are still looking to influencers and accounts they trust for product recommendations. Collaborating with influencers that have a loyal following (1K or 500K) can be a great way to tap into their audience and expand yours. Find other accounts that you want to align yourself with and find ways to cross-promote through mentions and takeovers. If you have the same goals, it can be a mutually beneficial strategy that doesn’t cost a dime. 

 

Advertising 

Your social media advertising budget can be as low as $1 a day. One dollar. Ditch the pricey print ads that aren’t moving the needle. Integrating social media advertising into your budget can allow you to save money while increasing profitability. 

 

  • Flexibility 

 

      • Social media advertising can start and stop at any time. Once your ad has been approved (typically less than 24 hours) you are free to run the ad for as little or as much time as you please. Your budget can be increased at any time, and you can start at a base of $1 a day to understand your advertising strategy. 

 

  • Advertise on Your Time 

 

      • Social media ads allow you to choose your timeline. With this flexibility, you can jump on a popular topic or current event with a boosted ad that directly applies to a trend that may be gone in a week. You don’t have to fuss with editorial calendars or print deadlines to advertise what you want, when you want. 

 

  • Understanding the Value

 

      • Circulation numbers and radio reach are statistics that we know to be vague and hard to analyze. With running social media ads, you are able to see very specific and applicable stats that explain how many people took action after seeing your ad. Depending on your business, this ad can seamlessly direct a customer to purchase, which is the ultimate goal. 

 

An effective, consistent social media strategy can change the game for your business. Building brand awareness, reaching new audiences and reshaping your advertising budget are only a few of the undeniable outcomes social media can have on a business. Interested in learning more? Hear speakers discuss brand awareness, digital marketing and more at our CHOICE SUMMIT on Sept. 27, 2019. Registration is closing soon! You won’t want to miss it.

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AUTHOR: Maddie McGarvey
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