Social media marketing has helped organizations of all stripes reach larger audiences than ever before. 79 percent of the US population uses at least one form of social media. Worldwide, there are an estimated 3.6 billion people on social networks, and that number is expected to rise to 4.41 billion by the year 2025.
Potential consumers use social media to keep tabs on brands and figure out whether or not they want to do business with them. In turn, you, as a business, can use it to engage with prospective customers, gain valuable feedback, and build brand awareness among your target audience.
Making an initial impression and breaking through to your target audience is a task that’s easier said than done, however. Mastering social media for business support services might be even more difficult than it is for the average entity since you’re tasked with tracking down the niche demographic — or specific group of people/businesses — that will be most interested in what you offer.
You can boost your chances with a solid understanding of how social media should be working for you. Let’s take a look at the role social media plays in your digital marketing strategy, how it can lead you to new customers (and vice versa), and how you should tailor your posting strategy for maximum effect.
The purpose of social media for your business
If you’re looking at it in the most straightforward terms, social media marketing helps you increase your total audience, boost awareness of your brand, and promote your products or services.
It’s also important for you to understand that the power of social media extends far beyond those functions. Used properly, social media can help support the other aspects of both your digital marketing strategy and the customer’s buying journey.
Helping customers find answers
In the case of administrative or business support services, social media plays a vital role in helping you inform potential clients about why you’re the right choice for their needs. When you use social media to share blog posts about your business and expertise, you’re educating your audience about what sets your brand apart from the rest.
Additionally, prospects can use social media to reach out to you when they are in those important “interest” and “consideration” phases of the buyer’s journey. By making yourself easy to find on social media, you increase the likelihood that those potential customers will drop you a line when they are researching solutions — and that you’ll be able to provide honest answers to their questions.
Creating and retaining customers
Social media can play a direct role in a customer’s decision to use your services. It’s also important during the post-buying phases, helping you build loyalty through continued engagement, answering questions, and responding to feedback.
If you’re able to build that loyalty, then you stand to gain even more when customers take it upon themselves to promote for you via social media. If they like you, they’ll share your posts, leave positive feedback, and be more likely to recommend your brand to others who are in need of a similar solution.
This is why the customer experience (CX) is paramount in every aspect of social media marketing, making it important to optimize your social media strategy for more than just driving cold traffic to your website.
Perfecting your social media approach
All that being said, expanding your reach is still an important initial step when you’re breaking into social media for your business, so how can you use it to find new customers?
It all starts with identifying the right audience to target. Ideally, you’ll want to gather information that lets you know who your ideal customer is and what is important to them. Data you might look for to narrow that down include:
- Demographic info (age, experience, job, hobbies, location, etc.)
- Psychographic info (attitudes, behaviors, personality, lifestyle choices, etc.)
- How your service addresses your customers’ needs
- Which social media platforms your customers frequent
Find the right customers
You can look to your current customer base and your competitors to get an idea of who your business is attracting already. Business support services is a niche market, after all, so it’s likely that the individuals who currently find value in your services are the ones you should be reaching out to through social media.
Another research trick that will help you narrow down your target audience is to look for trends in online feedback for the types of services your business provides. It stands to reason that the people asking questions and responding to answers about your niche would be interested in what your business has to offer. You can use their info to start painting a more complete picture of your target audience.
Engage with your audience
Once you know who it is you’re trying to target through social media, you have to start engaging them with relevant content. In part, that will depend on the specific social network you’re creating content for. Making headway on Facebook, for instance, is going to require a different content strategy than what you’d use for Instagram. There are some general tips, however, that should apply to your posts regardless of the specific platform:
- Images help drive engagement. The oft-quoted statistic is that image posts get 650 percent more engagement than their text-only counterparts. Photographs are almost-always more eye-catching than a block of text, and they’ll help make a more powerful first impression to anyone scrolling past.
- Relevant hashtags lead prospects to you. You’ll need to do some research to find out which hashtags relate most to your target audience, but once you do you can hone in on keywords, track the flow of discussion around a particular topic, and put your message right in front of prospective customers.
- Showcase your business support services. You’ll want to paint what you do in the best light possible. Use social media to illustrate to potential clients the various scenarios in which your business can provide a solution to their problems.
- Incorporate user-generated content into your posts. This allows you to engage with current customers while attracting new ones simultaneously. Similarly, contests and giveaways give potential clients another reason to check you out.
Gather data to hone your strategy
If you’re having difficulty nailing the right tone with your social media posts or you’re not certain what will resonate with your audience, remember that you can sometimes go straight to the source for answers.
Analytics provide one option. You can use data to gauge what types of posts are most successful at bringing in new customers and engaging current ones. You might also try using the occasional customer survey. This allows you to solicit direct feedback about what your audience wants to see and adjust your content to attract your target customers.
Use the right tools to simplify your strategy
Social media marketing is a tall order, but if you remember to first identify your ideal customers — then play to your target audience with relevant content — you’ll have a much easier time attracting new leads and guiding them to a purchasing decision.