The Real Purpose Of Social Media For Business

social media for businessIf you’re a millennial then wondering about the real purpose of social media for business probably never crosses your mind.  If you’re older than 35 and in any management role, then it might be something you wonder about.

Social Media has become so much a fabric of our society that it’s almost impossible for anyone under 35 to imagine life without it.  It’s the primary way of communication – often more popular than face to face conversations.  It allows you to engage when and how you want and disengage just as easily.

When it comes to business social media, it’s not quite that simple.  Although it might look spontaneous and easy going, an effective business social media presence is anything but. While there are those ‘spontaneous’ posts where you’ll see images of behind the scenes fun and games, these are actually all part of a pre-determined social marketing plan designed to build relationships with a specific target market.

social media for businessUltimately, the main goal of a business’ social media is to create trust, familiarity and brand loyalty.  As they say, people buy from people they know, like and trust.  As you’re building this relationship, it’s important to remember that you are in the business of selling your products and services.

On a regular basis, these products and services need to be showcased in your social media posts.  It’s all very well to have delightful conversations with your friends and followers, but if none of them ever buy anything from you, you could well end up going out of business.

The cost of old school advertising is prohibitive for most small to medium sized businesses and social media allows them to get in front of people in a relatively cost effective way.

social media for businessThe best ratio between sales oriented posts and purely social posts should be about 10 or 20% business to 80 or 90% social.  Just be sure to remember that everything you post should reinforce the brand image you want to create.  ‘Spontaneous’ posts should be vetted using a pre-determined checklist to make sure they fit all the criteria for good branding.  For instance, if you’re posting candid images from your office party, you will want to make sure that no one looks as if they’re behaving inappropriately as this will not reflect well on your brand.

For this reason, it’s best to have someone in charge of the social media posting who has to approve posts before they go live.  The trick is getting a good balance between encouraging everyone in the company to participate in posting on the company profiles and making sure that all the posts are reflective of the image and message you want to convey.  After all, strengthening your brand and increasing sales is the primary end goal of all marketing, including social media.