Most people use social media for personal use and are becoming increasingly familiar with businesses on social media sites. This is especially true for business owners who are frequently thinking about social media and how to use these tools to benefit their businesses.
These sites can be incredibly powerful tools for your business, as long as you remember the most important element; you.
What are Social Media?
That does sound weird, but no- that is not a typo. Media is the plural for medium, meaning that Facebook is a social medium, where Facebook and Instagram are types of social media. This is important because of the definition of what a medium is;
By this definition, a social medium is a means for conveying or transmitting social information.
Notice the emphasis of communication, sharing social information or entertainment.
These definitions are important to distinguish because the term social media has become synonymous with platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. An examination of colloquial terms gives an opportunity to better understand them.
So, what are social media? They are means of conveying or transmitting communication, information, and material. -phew- that was academic! Basically, think about how you use Facebook, probably mostly to talk to someone, read updates, or share information about yourself. Is it similar to how you talk to a friend when you see them at the grocery store?
Social Media for Business
While many social media were originally created for personal use, the rise of business use of the platforms has impacted how we use the sites, as well as how we shop for things. When is the last time you bought something because you saw a picture of on Instagram loved? I know I just did that this morning! What a difference this can be from the full days of walking around and shopping at the mall.
If you are a business owner, this is probably a topic that often perks up your ears- yet also provides an uneasy queasiness. The potential is there! I should be doing this… where do I even get started? This is amazing! It’s not working! The good news is, you’re not alone. This is a topic that provides much excitement -and stress- for many.
Social media do have the potential to greatly improve your business networking, sales, customer service, and more. How? Where else can you share with hundreds of your customers in an instant a new product release without spending thousands on TV, radio, or billboards?
This is why I love social media for business. It has made it possible for anyone with an internet connection to have a successful business.
But that is all common knowledge at this point, the real question is: HOW?!?
The Human Element
No matter the context, any business can be broken down into people buying a product or service from people. This is the first part of the human element. The second is to remember that all those data points online are also people. Individuals with complex needs, desires, and interests.
The most common mistake I see is when we focus on what we want to sell and why, rather than what people want to buy, and why. Remembering this human element is what sets a successful businesses apart on social media. At the end of the day, it isn’t about how many times a day you post or what you post. It’s about the people who are interested in your product or service seeing what they want to see when they see it.
For example, if your reaching working parents you’ll likely have better success sharing something entertaining at night after the kids are in bed and they want to unwind.
How would you talk to someone if you were selling your product or service to them at a store?
So where do you fit into this process? What can you do from here?
Here are some key action steps you can take to improve your social media for business right away.
Take out a piece of paper and write down:
Now that you have filled out the answers to these questions, you have a social media strategy and a plan! With this in place, this is all you need to be successful with social media for business.
On The Table
The most important thing to remember with social media for business is that it is all people. People liking, people commenting, people sharing, and people buying – from people.