Rachael Whitson, Managing Director of Absolute PR and Marketing, explains why social media is critical to your business growth and provides top tips on how to outperform rivals.

Rachael Whitson

 

Social media is everywhere. Whether it’s posting a picture on Instagram or keeping up to speed with what’s trending on Twitter, you might be surprised to learn that the use of digital channels hasn’t reached the peak of its popularity yet. This means that it’s more important than ever for businesses to excel on social media and to make the most of huge uplifts in engagement that we’ve witnessed during lockdown, or run the risk of being left behind.

According to Globewebindex, users spend on average three hours per day on social media platforms, and by 2021, the number of worldwide social media users is expected to reach 3.1 billion people. That is why it’s important to utilise these powerful digital platforms as essential marketing tools, and it’s why the team at Absolute has been playing a key part in helping businesses to make the most of this multifaceted medium.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, social media channels have seen a large spike in consumption due to the prolonged period of enforced lockdown. Studies have shown that 33% of people are using Facebook more, with a whopping 40% of people claiming to spend more time on social media in general. So, if you weren’t already utilising the perks of social media for your business – now might be the time to start.

Social media, after all, is the window to your business. But what exactly does that mean?

Shop owners know that one of the best ways to attract new customers is to create a visually pleasing shop window to capture interest from those walking past. Well, your social media pages should have the same influence as a shop window does on potential passers-by. From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to LinkedIn – there are many platforms to choose from but it’s important to think about which one will produce the most leads for your business.

With an abundance of digital platforms available, it really is vital to understand your target audience and what the platform does in order to determine whether it is a good fit for your company. It is unlikely that your target audience is spending the same amount of time on all social media platforms, so it’s essential for your brand to be on the platforms your audience uses the most. The key to finding this is through research. Get a head start with our quick guide to these top three channels: Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

Is Facebook the platform for my business?

In terms of e-commerce, it is said that 57% of consumers find that social media influences their shopping habits, with Facebook being voted as the most influential platform. The ability for Facebook users to find what they’re looking for quickly and make a judgement from reviews, likes and interaction on the channel is a huge benefit. In fact, 35% of users  say they will buy a product based purely on product recommendations.

With the added benefit of Facebook advertising, e-commerce companies can spend little money and achieve big results through this platform. So, if your company is in e-commerce and you are yet to invest your time in Facebook – make this platform a priority and you’ll be reaping the benefits.

That said, e-commerce isn’t the only sector to see results on Facebook. Local businesses find that Facebook is the ideal channel to build an engaged community. Whether you’re a mobile hairdresser or a self-employed plumber, being present on Facebook can generate you leads. Take it from us – we work with a variety of property developers, who are now using Facebook as a primary lead generation source. As an example, one of our specifically tailored Facebook campaigns generated 108 new leads for our retirement housing specialist client.

Top tip: Vary your content and make sure it is appealing to your target audience. Think community news and staff updates – users love an insight into your business!

 

How about Instagram?

First impressions count on this platform. It’s the ultimate channel for good imagery and inspirational content. Instagram alone has over one billion monthly active users. With 90% of people following a business on the platform, this shows that Instagram is a vital part or any organisation’s social media armoury, particularly in the B2C sector but also, increasingly, in the B2B sphere too.

If you think that Instagram might suit your business, ask yourself the following questions. Do I have good imagery? Is my branding consistent? Do I have people-focused content to share? If you answered yes to those three questions, we think you should have an Instagram account for your business.

The year 2020 has seen the largest percentage hike in daily users on Instagram, with the average daily time spent on the channel rising by 13.8% to almost 30 minutes.

Who remembers when Starbucks launched their #UnicornFrappuccino? The drink was dubbed the ‘colour-changing, flavour-changing, potentially life-changing’ must have drink for millennials and teens alike, generating over 155,000 posts on Instagram during its one week roll out. There’s huge potential to be had on Instagram, and not just for established brands such as Starbucks.

Top tip: If you’re setting up your Instagram account for the first time, we recommend you keep the ‘About’ section brief and to the point. Try putting in some emojis to make it visually appealing. Tell your visitors what they want to know and list any awards to build credibility.

 

Or, is LinkedIn the one?

LinkedIn is a hub for businesses, colleagues and job seekers to combine and share industry knowledge and tips. Here at Absolute, we feel that LinkedIn is an absolute must for B2B companies.

With LinkedIn driving 80% of B2B leads across all social media platforms, its potential is not to be missed by those seeking audience targeting opportunities for their business. Many users on LinkedIn are looking for content that will help to solve a professional problem – so be sure to tailor your content to the audiences wants and needs.

Top tip: Create visual content to engage your audience. Think infographics, videos and LinkedIn articles.

Adjusting your marketing strategy and expanding your focus to digital platforms is a basic requirement for any business. Social media channels offer high engagement and reach your audiences through their beloved mobile phone, tablet or desktop.

Need assistance in creating tailored social media content for your business? Call our team on 01392 680740 or email info@absoluteprandmarketing.com to find out how we can help.

 

Absolute PR & Marketing

Absolute PR and Marketing specialises in public relations and marketing activities targeting businesses and consumers throughout the UK. The team of PR professionals has a broad range of expertise including significant experience and an impressive track record of working in the property, travel and tourism, leisure, food and drink, recycling, engineering and technology, marine and building services sectors.

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