Over the last couple of decades, social media has taken the world by storm. From now-defunct platforms such as MySpace and Bebo, to the long-standing giants of the social media world like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, it’s been a major part of the online world for quite some time. And, with more and more social media platforms popping up (including TikTok, which was the most downloaded app of 2020) it looks like it’s definitely here to stay! And, while many people think of social media as something they can utilise in their personal lives, to keep up with family and friends, it’s actually just as valuable in the business world, too.
However, despite its prevalence, social media is not something that everyone is involved in, especially when it comes to business. So, if you’re a complete social media novice, you need to read this guide! Covering the exciting benefits of social media for beginners and why you need it for your business, it aims to show you how this form of communication can be utilised to help strengthen your brand, build up a following, and help convert your followers into paying customers. Many people shy away from using social media for their business because they think it’s already oversaturated, their customers aren’t using it, or they just don’t know where to start. This article does not aim to confuse you further, but simply to share with you some of the great benefits that you and your business can find on social media, even if you’re completely new to using it.
So, what are the exciting benefits of social media for beginners?
Even if you’ve used social media in a personal capacity before, it’s a bit different when it comes to using it for business. For example, you’re not likely to have a personal profile that has your name and face attached to it. Instead, for most businesses, it’s a better idea to have a ‘business profile’ that has your brand as the face of it. This will ensure that your business is easily findable on social media platforms, and you’re building up a following that’s interested in your business and not necessarily your personal life! It also keeps your business and private networks separate so that you can maintain a professional-looking profile. So, here are some of the exciting benefits of social media for beginners that you need to be aware of:
Show potential customers a different side to your business
Of course, it’s good to maintain a professional presence on social media when using it for your business. But, that doesn’t mean you have to be boring! Quite the opposite in fact, as one of the exciting benefits of social media for beginners is the ample opportunities to humanise your brand and show your followers a different side to your company that they may not have seen before. Customers love to find out more about the teams behind their favourite brands, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and talk about your business, your day to day work activities, how to use your products and services, and so on. The possibilities are endless! And, with nifty features such as Instagram Stories (that disappear after 24 hours), you can feel free to go behind the scenes of your business in a more casual manner as it won’t be a permanent post in your feed.
It’s an inexpensive way to reach more people
Possibly one of the main benefits of social media for beginners, especially if your business is new or still small, is the fact that the vast majority of platforms are completely free to join and use. Of course, you can invest some of your marketing budget into paid ads on various platforms, and this is a strategy that works well for many businesses. But, it’s definitely not necessary, especially when you’re just starting out. You can still reach your target customers without ad spend, and increase your brand awareness online as a result. You just need to post the sort of things that they want to see from you. But how can you work out what this is? That brings us to the next point….
It gives you insights into your customers
When you have a business profile on most social media networks, you are automatically given free insights into your ‘analytics’. What these demonstrate will vary between platforms, but they usually cover the basics such as how many people have visited your profile, how many new followers you’ve gained, clicks on any links on your profile or posts, how many people saw the post versus how many interacted with it, and so on. This can give you some hugely valuable insights into the sort of things that your followers and customers want to see from you, as well as the things that they’re not so interested in. Getting to know your customers, both existing and potential ones, is the key to business success, and taking a look at your social media analytics, even as a beginner, can certainly help you get there.
Social media can help increase your website traffic
Driving traffic to your site and increasing your position in search engine results can be a tricky thing to do. But, social media can really help to drive results in a positive direction. Make sure that you’re linking back to your website wherever possible on social media, in your profile bio and individual posts. But, make sure that what you’re linking to is actually relevant to the post, so people are genuinely interested in clicking on it. If you’ve got a blog for your business (which you definitely should have!), it’s a brilliant idea to talk about your latest blog posts on social media, and link to them in order to drive traffic their way. This will also help your blogs climb the search engine rankings. This is because, by posting them on social media, you’re getting some all-important ‘backlinks’ for your blogs that tell Google and other search engines that they are worthwhile, important, and relevant posts.
Connect with customers
The clue is in the name- social media is designed to be social! So, even as a business, why not use it for its intended purpose? Another favourite of my exciting benefits of social media for beginners is the prospect of connection. You can connect with customers by sharing content that they’re interested in and building up brand awareness. But, you can also use it as a customer service tool. This is especially true on platforms like Twitter, which are designed to be conversational. Customers can come to your social media profiles to ask questions, share concerns, and get help directly from your business. By offering a good level of customer service on social media, your business will build up a reputation for being friendly and in touch with its customers, which is always a good reputation to have!
Keep up with your industry
Speaking of conversations, social media is also a great place to get involved in conversations yourself! This is because it presents an ideal opportunity to keep up with what’s going on in your industry and get involved in those discussions. After all, social media is not just about connecting with customers. It’s also about connection with your peers and even your competition to create a wider network of support and knowledge surrounding your industry, so that you can easily stay in the loop and not get left behind!
Final words on the exciting benefits of social media for beginners
So, as this article has hopefully shown you, there are so many benefits to your business having a social media presence, even if you’re a complete beginner! Social media doesn’t have to be scary. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, why not pick one platform to focus on for a month? Just forget about the rest for now, and channel your energy into just the one to see how it goes and what you can do with it! Then, next month, you can try a different network, and so on, until you’ve built up a strategy and an audience that you’re comfortable with.
But, don’t feel like you have to have a business presence on every social media platform that’s out there. Do your research first. Which ones are your customers on? If you’re a B2B operation, it’s likely to be LinkedIn. But, if your target customer is part of Gen Z, networks like Instagram or TikTok may be more suitable. It’s all about getting to know your target customer and what they do on social media, and following their lead in order to get the best results! Getting great results for your business on social media doesn’t happen overnight, but with consistent effort, there’s no reason why even a total novice can’t be successful. So, if your company isn’t on social media yet, why not give it a go?