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Social Marketing: How to Use Social Media Platforms to Reach Customers

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by Kara Masterson
May 19, 2017

Kara Masterson
Kara Masterson has written 14 articles for PromotionWorld.
View all articles by Kara Masterson...

Are you ready to expand your audience and customer base? Want to learn how to leverage social media to benefit your small business? If you’re new to social media, at least in the business sense, and have yet to harness its marketing powers, you won’t believe how easy it is to dive right into its sea of potential customers. Here’s a look at how to get started with four of today’s most powerful social media platforms and how to make them work for you.

With over 1.94 billion users worldwide, Facebook is the ultimate medium for connecting your business with people in your locale and all around the globe. Considering the wealth of Facebook advertising and exposure options, it’s an ideal starting point for any business. Facebook can be used in the traditional sense to share videos, photos, updates, and more to foster a growing sense of community around your business or product. However, you can also set up a Facebook ads account and laser target customers for pennies on the dollar. Whichever route you take, if you opt for one over the other and not both, Facebook is a goldmine definitely worth exploring.

Twitter allows you to post short text comments and updates, photos, videos, polls, links, and more to share and interact with others. Although it’s not as widely used as Facebook, it ranks among the top 10 websites in the U.S. in terms of popularity and is used by over 300 million people worldwide. If you have fun or interesting content to share, Twitter can help you quickly spread the word. Hashtags can be used to help boost posts, and if something you post is retweeted by someone with a large following, your content and your business can potentially go viral. The result will be a flood of new interest and sales.

That being said, you don’t simply want to share your own media and links all the time. Instead, you should share plenty of relevant, interesting content from around the Web and other Twitter users as well. The key is finding the right balance.

Pinterest allows you to “pin” content to digital bulletin boards for display. The pins can also be organized into categories for easier viewing. For example, someone may have a holiday board featuring pins of different craft Christmas decorations or a food board with pins of recipes and so on. Rich Pins can also be used to share special information like location maps, event details, and product descriptions. Pinterest is highly visual. In fact, each post can only be a video or an image. While you don’t have to spend all day pinning on Pinterest, making sure your boards remain organized and easy to find can be a little time-consuming. 

Pinterest is also more of a niche network and geared towards a female audience. In fact, some of the platform’s most popular categories include beauty, fashion, photography, exercise, food, and DIY projects. Nonetheless, there’s a bevy of ways to use this innovative platform and benefit from its highly active user base. 

Instagram is another highly visual social media platform based specifically on image and video posts. Owned by Facebook, Instagram has been undergoing a popularity explosion in recent years and now has over 600 million active users who post primarily about travel, art, fashion, food, and similar subjects.  Unlike the other social media platforms, Instagram is by and large entirely mobile. While it’s not quite suitable for all niches, if you want to harness the power of Instagram to boost your business, it’s important to post only the highest quality photos and videos. Like Twitter, hashtags can be used smartly to help ensure your Instagram success.

For some business, marketing through a primarily visual platform isn’t always intuitive. Getting creative with your marketing and making use of these platforms, however, can greatly expand your customer base. Some companies, like ACN Inc, have managed to build successful marketing campaigns on these platforms, and you can too.

Bottom Line
As a business owner, chances are you have limited resources and a lot to accomplish. Fortunately, social media marketing is incredibly low-cost and allows you to directly connect with current and prospective customers.  However, what you save in dollars you’ll pay for with your time, so you need to be smart with your tactics and efficient with your resources. By doing so, you’ll be building your brand and pulling in social media profits in no time at all!


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