A recent study found that 33% of people have followed a business on social media.
There are a couple ways to look at that.
First, the number seems low, but if you look deeper you see that the number is sharply increasing the last few years.
Second, the opportunity is there for brands to be better with their social media.
The question now and one you may be wondering about is whether you should use your personal social media accounts to engage your target business customers.
The short answer is yes…with some caveats.
Your personal social media accounts should supplement your business accounts.
If you don’t have them already, you definitely need social media profiles specifically for your business for two main reasons:
- Communication and information sharing. It’s easy to stay in touch with your customers via social media. Unfortunately, there is a great deal of misinformation circulating online and people are vulnerable, especially when they attempt to find answers themselves. It is crucial to establish your voice as a credible resource. Be sure to maintain regular communication with your customers to build trust. It can also save time answering questions in person or on the phone, which then frees up you and your staff to tackle other tasks.
- Marketing tool. Your customers and potential customers spend a significant amount of time researching, and they will continue to seek relevant information. You have a captive audience within your customer base and the general public. Social media is a simple (and free!) way to market your business and brand—and keep yourself in front of eyes that are constantly looking at news feeds.
When considering what content to push out to customers via your business profiles, think about your goals and vision for your brand. How do you want others to view you online?
Self-promotion is great and necessary, but you should also provide people with information they need. If you own, for example, a printing business, in addition to announcing deals on orders, bulk rates, etc., you can share links to articles about why print is still important, industry trends and write posts in your own voice about various relevant topics.
By inviting users to become fans of your page, you can connect to current patients and they can in turn invite their friends to like your page. The key is to know your audience and understand their needs—and communicate your knowledge to them.
Your personal profiles can be helpful if you wish to share more intimate details of your life with certain customers. This can be a good way to connect and show them what your likes and interests are in a more casual setting. A lot depends on your relationships.
It is okay to get personal with your business account as far as language and telling stories. And also think about the types of posts you put out there.
If you share political and/or religious beliefs—or other hot button topics—on your personal social media, those are touchy subjects, and could potentially turn customers off.
But showing a company photo and showing some happy emotions with your language are great.
Use discretion when deciding to “let them in.”
Social Media Sites to Consider
With nearly one billion active users, Facebook is the biggest go-to when it comes to social media.
It’s easy to use and allows you to connect with a wide demographic. Your page allows you to give basic information about your practice without breaking the bank. Facebook is a great way to regularly connect.
Twitter is an important social media tool, especially for a younger demographic.
Communicating on Twitter tends to be more about having an ongoing virtual conversation in real-time and sharing trending info. People start following you when you share relevant news that engages your audience.
One way is using hashtags (# with words or phrases after it), which allow you to communicate keywords that are searchable. Using popular hashtags allows your tweets to be visible to more people.
LinkedIn is very important for your business. You can use this site to network with your peers, partner with new people, search people to hire should you need to do so and become visibly active in professional communities. It can help you acquire new customers through online recommendations or word of mouth. You can ask happy customers to write you recommendations, which are then published on your profile and visible to the entire LinkedIn network.
It’s a great way to keep in touch with people who care about your business. And, you can sync it with your Twitter account, so when you do any updates to your LinkedIn, it’ll blast it out to your Twitter followers as well.
It’s crucial for you to have a social media presence. If you’re not on, you’re missing a big piece of the puzzle in reaching customers. Take the time to create those profiles today!
Need help managing your personal and/or business accounts?
Check out the services at CMS Social.