How to Harness the Power of Social Media for Business

Nearly 8 out of 10 consumers admit that they are highly influenced by what others have to say about a brand when they consider purchase decisions. Oddly enough, this holds true whether the consumer knows the person whose opinion they are following or not. And according to HubSpot, 71% of those opinions are likely to come from social media.

If you are a brand attempting to build awareness, sales or customer loyalty, you need to turn your attention toward the social media world. In fact, if you haven’t done so already you are late to the party. It’s time to get going!

So what do you need to know to leverage your social media channels?

Each social media follower is a real person. Speak to them.

  • “Each of those profiles, handles, and screen names is a real, live human being with the same wants, needs, passions and desires as any human from 10, 20 or 100 years ago. Your job is to connect with them, show them that they can trust you, and then make their life better in a way that results in profit for your company. If you’re not doing that, you’re wasting your time.” 5/7/14
  • Strike up a conversation with your followers. Notice when they quote an interesting speaker or offer a piece of personal information and follow-up with a comment or two. The power of social media is to create bonds with your consumer, and having an actual conversation is the best way to create that bond.
  • Give your followers helpful or entertaining content that solves real problems. Right now your client base is out on the internet trying to solve the issues that keep them up at night. Make sure your voice is one of the solutions they are hearing.
  • Go where your clients go. If they are home-design gurus living on Pinterest, be there. If they are short and sweet Twitter posters, be on Twitter.
  • Spend time and effort creating an email database of followers and potential clients who have opted-in to your content. To do this utilize Facebook connect on your fan page, or create a compelling free give-away in exchange for a small amount of personal information. This email database is the most powerful marketing tool you have at your disposal.
  • Follow the 80-20 rule religiously. What is it? Spend 80% of your time on social media channels discussing trends, offering information or engaging in conversations that help your potential clients. Only allow yourself to speak about your company or your services 20% of the time. Any more than that and you will alienate the very followers you are trying to attract.

Finally, learn from the best. When you are developing your social media strategy, take the time to follow and learn from the leaders in your field. Richard Branson is well-known for using the power of social media to shape national opinion, improve customer service and keep in daily contact with followers and customers. He takes the time every day to interact with real, live people on Twitter as well as write his own blogs. This gives him the market-savvy and real-world problem solving skills that take his brand to the front of the pack.

“One of the first things we learned was that our new social media accounts gave us a real-time view of how we could improve. Through customers’ comments, we started learning about issues with our products and services more quickly than ever before.”

— Sir Richard Branson


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