7 Ways to Grow Your Business Using Social Media

Social media conceptThis month I’ve had several conversations with business owners about the value of social media. Usually they are asking the question “Is it worth it?” Most owners have accepted the fact that social media is here to stay, but they still question its value. In this post I want to share 7 ways that you can use social media to grow your business. I strongly recommend that you think about these and determine what your business goals are going to be before launching your business out into the digital social space. If executed strategically, any one of these 7 business goals could make social media a powerful tool for your business.

Establish yourself as a thought leader and/or subject matter expert.

Social media is all about content and engagement. Many business leaders use social platforms to push out valuable information to their customers and prospects. They do this by posting links to their blog or articles, posting links to other relevant articles, and providing rich tidbits of information to inform, inspire, and encourage. When done well, followers begin to view these leaders as “go-to” people for their interests.

Generate leads.

One of the worst things you can do with social media is to promote products and services, or push out sales messages (i.e. “buy now!”) Lead generation via social is a byproduct of providing good content that helps your followers. It only happens when it’s part of a larger content marketing strategy. However, it can and does happen!

Build brand awareness.

When a business serves their followers by providing helpful or entertaining content it increases brand awareness and creates a positive reputation around the brand. When a company engages their followers around meaningful stories and events, the brand begins to be associated with positive feelings and activity. Over time this is a powerful strategy for building brand awareness.

Recruiting new talent.

As positive feelings grow and brand awareness increases, your company will be positioned to attract new talent through social networks. You can notify your followers of the opportunities available and ask them to spread the word. It’s quite amazing how fast the word can get out through social media. Talented people want to be associated with attractive, positive brands!

Engage customers to enhance service.

Many companies focus intensely on their customers using their social platforms. They solicit customer feedback and customer advocacy, and they solve problems and build good will by personal follow up and care. This may be one of the best ways for many businesses to do "internal marketing."

Market research.

Social platforms are also great places to do market research. You can use polls, surveys, or simply post questions that will help you gather information.  You can also use social channels to validate or confirm prior research or assumptions.

Rebound from negative publicity.

Finally, wise and appropriate transparency can do wonders for repairing a damaged reputation or PR faux pas. When handled properly, negative publicity can serve as a powerful opportunity to correct a wrong and actually endear your followers to your brand. What are your business goals with social media?

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