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09 October 2017

The Ultimate Social Media Marketing Guide for Your Business

Posted By: AIB Business
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Social media has fundamentally changed how we interact with one another in almost every aspect of our lives – and this is no different for a business and its customers. These days, most companies no longer consider social media as an added extra - it is something they must embrace.

If you’ve thought about incorporating a social media presence into your business but aren’t sure where you should start, we’re pulled out a few pointers to help establish and grow your business’s digital presence. 

 

Know Your Audience

The first thing you should do is compile as much research on your target market as possible. What do you know about your audience and how they interact with brands online? Different demographics will have use different social media platforms and in different ways. For example, there’s no point putting a lot of effort into your Twitter account if your audience primarily lives on Instagram. As well as knowing which platforms your audience are on, you’ll need to know how they use those platforms. Is it a place for conversation and feedback? A place to share images and experiences? These questions will have a major influence on the type of content you start to share on your own platforms.

It’s also important to examine what are your competitors doing in the social media space – so that you won’t be treading over the same ground or making similar mistakes. You should also consider whether there are channels or platforms that give you a new way to reach customers which haven’t been used yet. Acquire an all-encompassing view of the market so that you can take that information and implement it.

Establish a Strategy

When you’ve accumulated enough knowledge about your target market, you can begin designing your social media strategy. Start by outlining your goals. Again, these will vary depending on your product/service and your audience. Your main goal may be to raise awareness of a new product launch or it may be to increase conversions on an existing product.

If you’re relatively new to social media, it’s crucial to start building an engaged audience who will help spread your content on their own social channels. One common way of doing this is to partner with an influencer who can use an already engaged audience to get the word out about your product. At this point, it’s also vital to create a social media calendar which outlines key upcoming dates (such as new product launches or important shopping holidays) and aligning your social media activity with it. It’s also important that, whatever your approach, you maintain a consistent tone of voice so that your brand purpose and personality resonates through every post.

Build Relationships

Now that your social media strategy and platforms are in place, it’s time to embrace the medium as a two-way channel of communication. Interacting with customers, new or existing, will humanise your company and make your customers feel more valued. Connecting with customers through social media is a compelling way to retain their business and, down the line, create longstanding loyalty for your brand. Be considerate, approachable and helpful anytime you engage in conversation in the digital space - whether that’s through a social post or in response to a comment. Even a complaint from someone can become a meaningful exchange that both parties learn from when approached with compassion and care.

Adapt and Grow

The hard work’s been done: at this stage you’ve established an informative and engaging social media platform that’s received positive interaction. The next step is to learn from the experience and take on board all input you’ve obtained. Existing customers’ insights are an indispensable source of information which you should take full advantage of. Data collected from your business’s online activity can also track the success of any given social media action in real-time, giving you an in-depth understanding of your company. This will give you the resources to astutely apply changes to your business strategy and fuel future success.

Have a Question About Business?

If you need help or advice for your business – whether you’re a startup or an established company - make an appointment to speak to your AIB Business Customer Advisor today.

 

Please be aware that all of the views expressed in this Blog are purely the personal views of the authors and commentators (including those working for AIB as members of the AIB website team or in any other capacity) and are based on their personal experiences and knowledge at the time of writing.

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Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Copyright Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. 1995.

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