Besides the fact that you’re basically irrelevant in the business world without social media, social media is key for doing business today. The only exceptions are companies like Apple or Automobili Lamborghini, who are established household brands. For smaller businesses that have yet to reach this status, social can be strategically used to reach your target audience and build your brand. Here are a few ways to use social media to build your small business:

1. Pick the appropriate social media platform
A new social platform springs up almost every year, but not all of them are right for all brands. Facebook is the most popular social platform, so most brands should have some kind of presence there; however, if you sell to other businesses, LinkedIn may be the better option since the platform is mainly used for B2B networking and generating sales leads. Similarly, young consumers are more likely to use apps like Snapchat or Instagram. See what audience each social network attracts and dedicate your brand building efforts to the ones that are popular with your customers.

2. Be active.
One of the most well-established rules of social branding is that you must be consistently active if you are to effectively build your brand. A once-weekly Twitter post or monthly Instagram photo are not
going to accomplish much, if anything. For this reason, it's best to focus on two or three carefully chosen social networks and try to be active on them by scheduling at least one post a day from one of the platforms.

3. Engage.
Your brand’s social media feed must include a mix of posts about your brand’s features and benefits as well as interests that your customers have but that are not merely promoting your brand. For instance, a food brand could post recipes or a financial services brand could post household budgeting tips. And make sure your engagement is two-way. In addition to posting your own content, be sure to like, share and reply to others posts when you can.

In today’s digital atmosphere, it isn’t just enough to be on it. You need to know how to be effective with it. Globally, a third of all digital consumers follow brands on social media, according to a 2016  report from Global Web Index. Bottom line: If you’re not using social media to build your brand, you’re missing out.

Want to learn more about how social media can help grow your business? Click here to contact Gilbert Group PR for a consultation.

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