Grow Your Business With Social Media - 7 Best Practices You Need to Follow

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Social media use has grown over time.

According to the Pew Research Center, 5% of adults in the US were using at least one platform in 2005.

By 2011, that number had grown to over 50% of American adults.

Today, 7 out of 10 people worldwide use some type of social media platform to connect and engage with each other, share news and information, and to entertain themselves.

Social media graph

% of US adults who use at least one social media site

Whether your business is already on social media or not, there’s no denying that a social media presence is critical to your business strategy since that’s where most of your customers are hanging out.

1. How can social media help a business grow?

Social media is popular and free.

It reaches every age and demographic. And, thanks to increased mobile activity, social media is everywhere now.

It’s the perfect vehicle to grow your business and help you expand your operations without breaking the bank.

Social platforms also encourage two-way communication between you and your customers, making them ideal for everything from brand awareness to customer service, as evidenced by the image below:

social media graph

Being visible in the social sphere is important for many reasons.

It can help your business:

  • Improve rankings on the search engines
  • Drive more targeted traffic to your website
  • Generate brand awareness and recognition
  • Increase leads and sales in a cost-effective way
  • Establish your brand’s topical authority
  • Develop trust with your customers
  • Keep an eye on your competitors
  • Enhance your customer service

The power of social media is undeniable, and the benefits are many.

But while you may know that you need a strong presence on social media, it can be hard to know exactly how to leverage that power to grow your business.

This article is going to help you discover 7 actionable techniques that you can try today to help you expand your reach, get more leads, and increase your sales using social media.

Ready? Let’s get started!

1.1. Get clear on your objectives

Social media makes it easy to get started for free, and it can be tempting to dive right in and start posting.

But, there’s no point rushing into action before you’ve identified what you hope to achieve with your efforts.

As with any good business strategy, you need plans.

So, the first thing you must do is to set clear goals for your social media marketing activities.

This will help you get a clear idea of where you’re going, ensuring that your efforts are aligned with your business goals.

It will also help you track and measure your results so that you can tweak and improve your strategy over time.

Here are a few strategic social marketing tips to follow:

  • Do a social media audit: If your business is already on social media, you need to evaluate where you stand right now based on your existing efforts. In addition to looking at your owned profiles, you also need to look for any impostor accounts that could be stealing away some of your audience.
  • Research your competition: Look at how your competitors use social media. Don’t try to copy them, but learn from what they are doing and use the information from your competitive analysis to inform your own social marketing campaign.
  • Set specific goals and objectives: There are many things you may be hoping to achieve with a stronger social presence. These include performing customer service, generating more leads, boosting your conversion rate, increasing brand awareness, improving customer engagement, and much more. Choose goals with metrics that will have a real, measurable impact on your business.
social marketing tips

It’s important that you know clearly what your goals are because the techniques that you’re going to employ to achieve them will differ depending on your objective.

For instance, the tactics you use to get more customer engagement will be different than those you use to drive more traffic to your website.

1.2. Choose the right platforms

Since Facebook went public in 2012, social media has exploded.

Today, there are thousands of social networks dedicated to everything from social activism to connecting with high-school flames, and everything in-between.

So, with so many options out there, how do you choose the right ones for your business?

Well, most experts advise that you join up to four of the most popular networks.

Which four you choose ultimately comes down to where your audience is and what your goals are.

Use the tips below to guide you in choosing the right social media platforms for your business:

  • Facebook: This is the largest platform, with over 2 billion active monthly users. This site is perfect for any business with a goal to generate more leads and build stronger customer relationships.
  • Twitter: This platform is ideal for businesses with audiences under 50 who need to stay apprised of trending topics, breaking news, announcements, and various other time-sensitive information.
  • LinkedIn: This is a business networking platform that is great for both B2B and B2C businesses that are looking to engage audiences, create trust, and build more authority.
  • Pinterest/Instagram: These sites are best suited for businesses that have visual appeal, such as restaurants, fashion, travel, weddings, etc. They are great platforms to drive sales as many users turn to these sites when planning purchases.
social media platforms

Don’t make assumptions regarding where your audience is online.

Take the time to research and find out where they really are.

Also, learn more about how the other top platforms like Snapchat, YouTube, and more can help you achieve your business goals before making your choice.

1.3. Target your audience

Your next step is to target your audience.

When using social media, you can look for specific audiences to help you target potential customers.

To do this, you’ll need to get to know them, understand their needs, and how you can help them.

You must know:

  • What their problems are
  • The solutions that they’re seeking
  • What they want to read about
  • The things they believe in
  • What you need to give them

By taking the time to get to know who your audience is and what they want, you make it more likely that you’ll be able to satisfy their needs.

Which means that you’ll have a much easier time bringing them to your site to discover what your business is about.

Here are some tips for targeting your audience on social media:

  • Join conversations about the topics that are important in your industry
  • Engage with those who are part of the conversation
  • Follow other commenters and you’ll likely gain followers back
  • Create content specifically aimed at answering questions that your target audience is asking
Social media tips

Targeting your audience will help you find them more easily and interact with them more intimately, thereby increasing your conversions and sales.

1.4. Share compelling content

This sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s worth repeating.

You need to produce valuable content for sharing on your social platforms.

Most people spend countless hours creating high-quality content for their blogs but don’t bother doing the same for their social media.

If you want to stand out in the endless sea of social media posts, then you need visually appealing and engaging content that will help showcase your brand.

This will help you gain more fans and followers, and ultimately, more sales.

To ensure that you’re able to share great content with your audience, use the information you dug up earlier about what your audience wants to read and use it to create a social marketing calendar.

Keep the following tips in mind during this process:

  • Optimize your social media posts using keywords that are important in your industry.
  • Use hashtags whenever you can, especially on topics relevant to your business.
  • Collaborate with other businesses and share ideas with other like-minded professionals

(Networking like this has the added benefit of allowing you to keep an eye on your competition;)

1.5. Interact with your audience

It’s not enough to simply post great content on social media, you also need to interact with your audience.

By engaging with potential customers, you show them that you’re a real business and that you care about your customers.

More interactions mean more opportunities to turn your audience into customers and to turn existing customers into loyal fans.

Here are some effective ways to interact with your audience:

  • Respond to all posts, comments, questions, and feedback from your audience
  • Ask them questions to get conversations started
  • Infuse personality into your posts to make your brand memorable

Show them you’re human by sharing a more personal side while keeping it light and engaging.

This will make it a lot easier for your audience to connect with you.

This will lead to more of them wanting to read your other articles and visit your website (where you can then turn them into customers).

For example, my own website is focused on helping people create and grow their own online businesses.

For the last couple months, I’ve been getting quite a few requests from Facebook group members asking for me to help them create blogs.

The most common types of blogs that people wanted help with were (surprisingly) sports blogs and blogs about music.

Knowing this, I created two different guides to help those in my audience who need it.

Now, when I get a message in my Facebook group from someone looking to start these types of blogs, I’ll just point them to the right resource.

Interacting with your audience at this level and giving them the best possible tools to answer their questions will build an enormous amount of trust and the need for them to reciprocate and help you in the future if you ask for it.

1.6. Use the right tools

It’s possible to use social media to grow your business without having to hire a full-scale social media team.

All you need to do is to choose the right tools that will help make it easier for you to stay active and present on each of your social networks without having to spend hours every day glued to your screen.

Here are some automation tools you should consider using:

Tools For Post Scheduling: Buffer, MeetEdgar, Sprout Social, and other similar tools will help you automatically publish posts on your social platforms.

You can schedule posts up to a month in advance.

Buffer's home page

Buffer's home page

Tools For Engagement Management: Hootsuite and other similar tools help to centralize all messages and mentions directed at your business in one convenient dashboard.

It’s easy to then respond and engage with your audience without having to log in to each individual social media account.

Hootsuite home page

Hootsuite's home page

Tools for Content Curation: If you struggle with coming up with interesting content to share every day.

BuzzSumo and Pocket are great tools for content creation which allows you to share quality posts from other people (with credit) and keep your audience engaged.

Pocket home page

Pocket's home page

Tools for Graphics: Tools like Canva, VSCO, and Piktochart can help you create stunning visuals that will attract your audience’s attention.

Use these tools to edit images to fit the optimal sizes and shapes for each platform.

Canva home page

Canva's home page

Tools for Analytics: Use Brandwatch, Hootsuite Insights, or other similar tools to get an overview of how well you’re doing with your social media marketing.

Having all that information in one place also makes it easier for you to see what works so you can do more of it.

Brandwatch home page

Brandwatch's home page

Tools to Collect Lead Information: If you’re sending social media to send visitors to your website, you need two things; an email provider that you trust and a landing page builder.

Landing page builders are a great place to send social media traffic to for a “free bonus” in an effort to collect their contact information and grow your brand.

One of my favorites is Unbounce, but there are many possible options.

Unbounce home page

Unbounce's home page

Use these tools to automate and simplify your work so that you can be more effective, boost productivity, and get better results from your social media efforts.

1.7. Consistency is key

Getting results on social media takes time.

And as your audience grows, you’ll have people that are expecting to hear from you on a regular basis.

Just like entrepreneurs who take up a career in blogging, It’s vital that you remain consistent with your efforts if you want to effectively grow your business.

People like consistency mostly because it helps them understand when your new content is going to be shared so that they can pay more attention and don’t miss out.

Schedule posts according to your audience’s needs. Along with choosing the right frequency

for your posts, you also need to make sure that you’re posting at the best times to ensure maximum engagement.

Daily social frequency

2. Summary

There’s no secret to growing your business with social media.

It really only comes down to consistently applying the strategies and tactics aimed at improving your results.

The techniques listed above are the staples of businesses that are at the forefront of social media right now.

Use them to help you start seeing an improvement in your social marketing results so you can meet your business objectives.

Have you tried to grow your business using any of the strategies listed in this article?

Ron Stefanski

Ron Stefanski

Ron Stefanski is a website entrepreneur and marketing professor who has a passion for helping people create and market their own online business.

You can learn more from him by visiting

You can also connect with him on YouTube or Linkedin.

Other posts about online marketing:

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