How to use social media to market your business

MARKETING   |   2 minutes  |   November 28, 2016

Starting a business? Are you ready to take it to the masses?

If you haven’t used social networks to market your services and products, you’ve been missing out on a lucrative audience in South Africa. According to World Wide Worx, there are currently 13 million South Africans on Facebook, 2.68 million on Instagram and 7.4 million on Twitter.

This presents any business with a massive opportunity to engage with a wider audience and have direct impact on the bottom-line. If you are an entrepreneur entering the digital marketing sphere for the first time, here are some tips for optimising your social media activity.

Embrace A Visual Social Presence

After deciding which social networks to launch your digital presence on, it’s time to look at effective ways to promote your business online. A good habit to adopt early on in your effort to market your business over social media is to use visuals to its full impact. According to Life Learn, people are likely to only remember 10% of information 3 days after they heard it. But if that same information is paired with a relevant image, people are able to retain 65% of it, after the same amount of time.

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So if you aren’t leveraging visual elements in your tweets, status updates and LinkedIn posts you’re missing great opportunities for boosting engagement on your social networks.

Use the One-in-Seven Rule

This is a popular strategy that most small to medium size businesses adopt early on in their social media marketing endeavors. According to Onboardly, this rule dictates that only one out of every seven posts should overtly promote your business. The remaining six should be focused on sharing valuable and relevant content, which could include posts shared from your online community.

Employ Social Networking Tools To Do The Heavy Lifting

With Statista reporting 1.79 billion monthly Facebook users, and more than 350, 000 tweets every minute, you’ll need some help sifting through each of those uploads to find the best content for your social media audience. The right tools can do that for you.

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What you need is a tool that crawls the web for you and finds high-quality, shareable content that helps you build your digital following. Klout, Hootsuite, Sprout Social and Buffer are a few excellent choices to start you off.

Make the Most of Powerful Social Media Influencers

Any digital marketer’s secret weapon is influencers. These are bloggers, journalists, celebrities and popular users in your niche. They’re a powerful force to get your name out there among your audience, but should be approached with care. According to an article released by Adweek, some of the top social media influencers can now fetch as much as $230,000 for a single brand post

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Read, comment on and share their posts when appropriate, and when you approach them later on, they’re more likely to recognise your name, or at least be more receptive to you. Make sure the content you ask them to share or recommend to their followers is relevant and will impart value to their users.

Think of social networks as a vast sea of users, and you need to stand out in a very crowded ocean. Use these principles to boost your social media marketing activities and set the stage for future success and a great return on investment.