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How to use social media to grow your business.

Social media seems to have taken over our lives. Out of the 4.021 billion internet users on the planet, 3.196 billion of them have some form of social media, rising 13% from last year according to Smart Insights. This means that there are 3.196 billion people easily reachable via social media by brands wanting to show them what they have to offer.

But, keeping every social media plate spinning to make sure you reach everyone takes a large amount of time so how can you know you are spending your time wisely?

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1. Make sure you are choosing the right social media channel(s) for your business.

For every type of company, there is a social media that would fit you better. If your company is within the professional field, LinkedIn is the best place to go. If you would like to learn about getting the best out of LinkedIn, click here. Or, if your company is more visual, social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest will probably be preferred. These allow you to show how creative your brand and business is and portray that impression to your customers. If you are a business that benefits from local trade, Facebook will be the best to turn to. Research into them all and pick the best for you.

2. Remain active.

Yes, it is very time consuming but remaining active on social media means that you are staying in your customers heads. Plus, algorithms used by social platforms like Facebook mean that the more active your page, the more of your updates will be shown to a larger amount of your followers, meaning that staying active will help you boost impressions in the long term. Even though it has a negative image, Facebook is still the fastest growing social media with it having over 70% of the UK’s social media time share so it’s worth keeping up with their way of doing things.

Also, tweets have an average lifespan of around 15 minutes so to have a tweet visible on all of your followers feeds at all times requires A LOT of posts. Whereas, Instagram or LinkedIn posts are said to have the lifespan of around 24 hours. If you are finding it hard to stay up to date with your chosen social medias, there are ways to get around it. Read here to find out more.

3. Choose a post type.

Other than your typical simple word-y post, many sights now allow you to post in a variety of ways:

On Facebook, you can post a picture, slideshow, video (pre-recorded or live), event, offer, poll, Q&A or a 24 hour story. Switching between different posts will stop your customers seeing your business as a little predictable and maintain their attention. Plus, you can also stop getting bored and allow yourself to get a little creative with your advertising.

Instagram allows you to take simple pictures, boomerangs, short videos with effects or filters, live videos and also slightly more advanced 24 hour stories with polls and Q&A features. Plus, this month they have launched IGTV, allowing people to post edited videos to your followers. Most of these features also give you an insight into how popular each post has been and how much traffic it has created, meaning you can get to know which post works best for you.

Twitter are a little more simple than the last two but provide you with more insights from your posts. Other than a simple tweet, you can also posts pictures and videos. Twitter is best for engaging with your customers and being able to talk to them easily, which we will come onto later in this post.

Other social media channels give you a range of post ideas that allow you to be creative with your advertising and the best way to see which type is best for you is to make full use of the insights that these platforms provide and listen to the feedback that you get.

4. Make use of trends to appeal to a variety of audiences.

One easy way of doing this is keeping an eye on what is trending. On Twitter, your trending page is personalised to you, therefore if you decide to jump on to something, you will be reaching people who you wouldn’t normally who have a possible common interest with what you are writing about. This is a simple way of generating new traffic to your page.

5. Engage with customers.

48% of customers are more likely to make a purchase if a brand has been responsive on social media. Interacting with customers over social media can be just as effective as talking to them in a store. It not only builds trust but it also allows the customer to feel comfortable if they have an issue or a question. It allows you to interact on a human level rather than a company talking to a customer. Instead of taking the approach of throwing information out, companies are opting for the approach of conversation so they can educate their customers and positively effect their online experience. According to a report by Smart Insights, 71% of customers who have a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.

Social media is quickly becoming the most popular method of marketing for many companies. When used correctly, it can generate more leads than any other outbound method, making it the popular choice for businesses in the 21st century.