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Most of us belong to at least one of the predominant social network platforms. Maybe it’s LinkedIn for the professional businesspeople out there (or jobseekers!), or maybe it’s Twitter for those who prefer constant connection and face-paced information. Perhaps it’s Pinterest for everyone who harbours secret Martha Stewart-like intentions of one day actually making/wearing/doing some of the many things they pin. For most of us, it’s Facebook, whose user volume numbered a staggering 1.35 billion as of the end of last year.

What can we learn from this?It’s clear that social media is a huge, dynamic part of modern life. Are you using it to boost your business? If not, why? It’s an opportunity for your business to enter the daily lives of billions of people, and boasts a host of ways you can use it to bolster your company’s reputation and results.

How Social Media Can Boost Your Business

1. Market Research

An often-lost opportunity is social media as a tool to eavesdrop on your audience. By listening in on the conversations they are having, you are able to build on your buyer persona profile, gaining valuable first hand insight into their challenges, pain points, aspirations and preferences.

In actual fact, this should be your initial objective using social media. Get to know your audience and influencers prior to targeting them. Listen and learn before you participate and you will then know precisely what they are looking for from social media engagement and be able to deliver that experience.


2. Build Brand Awareness

Social networks offer an incredible opportunity to promote your brand and improve your online presence. While the principles of inbound marketing encourage using social media platfoms as a channel to distribute your educational content to build brand awareness, this needs to be achieved subtlely.

Be aware of the ‘cocktail party’ rule to posting on social media, though. You don’t want to be the spotlight hogger. Share your branded content amidst curated and other posts to keep streams balanced and not a blatant promotional opportunity.

We also know that social proof is playing a larger role in search engine rankings than before and if your content is being shared out more regularly on social platforms, chances are that you will build better organic search engine rankings too.

3. Generate Leads

Marketers invest significant time and resources in creating content for lead generation purposes, whether it’s in the form of eBook, guide, whitepaper or case study. The value of that content is lost however, if no one ever gets to see it.

By sharing these pieces out on social media, you amplify reach, strengthen brand awareness (as discussed in point 1) and drive lead generation efforts. Prospects discover your content via social channels and go on to convert on your site. Without content distribution tactics in place, you’re simply publishing your content with the hope that somehow, someway, people will find it. That’s wishful thinking on a grand scale.

4. Nurture Leads

We know that the majority of leads generated are not ready to speak to sales at initial conversion. They need to be fed with additional content pertinent to their stage in the buying cycle to guide them through the marketing funnel.

Effective social media monitoring can help you nurture known leads through their buying cycle by keeping an eye on the kind of questions they are asking and information they are looking for. HubSpot Social Inbox is particularly effective as you are able to create and monitor a ‘leads stream’ based on your CRM information. You are notified when leads are tweeting about your industry specific keywords, brand name or even competitors, giving you the opportunity to provide helpful information as they need it.

5. Customer Support

When discussing social media as an engagement tool, we often hear the objection, “But what if they say something bad?”. The reality is that they are already talking about your business, whether you are there or not, and non-responsive businesses earn worse reputations than those that do.

Being active on social media affords you the opportunity to manage these conversations and deal with compliments, complaints or support queries openly and honestly. In doing so, you show both existing and potential clients that they can rely on you to provide support and service post-sale, on the platforms they are most comfortable with for engagement.

Ultimately, there isn’t a good reason not to get your business active on social networks. Reach out and make connections through the power of social media, and you’ll be surprised at the return on your investment.


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