How To Use Social Media For Business Marketing

by | Nov 23, 2022

When it comes to using social media for business marketing, it can be tough to know what steps you need to take to be successful. So many guides and tips online have conflicting information, so you wonder if you need to buy social media ads or if you should stick to organic posting. You may ask if you should create more fun content or more promotional. It can be hard to cut through all of the conflicting information to get a unified strategy together for your business. 

How To Use Social Media For Business Marketing

So, how do you decide what you need to do? 

The truth is that the strategies you implement for your business needs to be tailored to your industry and what makes sense. The reason so many social media tips conflict is because they are based on what would be best for specific niches and styles of marketing. That means your ideal strategy might be different from the business next door’s ideal strategy.  

For example, an online store that sells hats might get more out of daily organic posting and tweeting than a carpet cleaning company would. A big brand like Wendy’s might get away with a funny, irreverent social media style, while a funeral home couldn’t. 

We’ll walk you through some of the most important social media practices business owners get wrong and how to tailor your approach to make sense for your business. 

The Universal Don’ts Of Business Social Media

Before we get into the specifics that benefit your industry, we should review some “don’ts” for posting on social media. 

Don’t:

  • Post anything defamatory, illegal, or discriminatory 
  • Post anything your readers might find inappropriate (e.g., a charity shouldn’t be posting edgy jokes, whereas a comedy club might use the same joke without causing offense) 
  • Post too frequently for your industry and “spam” your readers 
  • Focus on quantity rather than quality 
  • Only talk about yourself 
  • Reuse the same content across platforms (in a noticeable fashion) 

As always, never post anything under your business’s name you wouldn’t want everyone to see. Once it’s online, it’s nearly impossible to take it down. 

Organic vs. Paid Posting 

Before we dive into whether you should focus your social media strategy on organic or paid posting, let’s first define the 2 terms. 

Organic posting is defined as “content (posts, photos, video, memes, stories, etc.) that all users, including businesses and brands, share with each other on their feeds.” In other words, organic posting is content you don’t have to pay for to post or promote. It can live on your profile or be posted in social media groups to gain more exposure. 

It’s estimated the reach of the average organic Facebook post is about 5.2% of potential customers. That means for every 20 interested users who might want to know more about your products or services, only 1 user will actually see your content. 

Paid posting is exactly what it sounds like. You pay money to promote certain posts to garner more reach. Depending on how much money you’re willing to spend, you can greatly increase the reach of your posting. In fact, nearly all mainstream social media platforms function on this “pay to play” model, where brands willing to fork over cash are rewarded with more shares, likes, and views. 

If that sounds expensive, it is. But does it make sense for your business? Maybe, maybe not. It all depends on your industry, business model, and main lead sources. 

Here are some things to keep in mind. 

Who Are Your Customers?

When it comes to using social media for business marketing, not all businesses are going to see the same kind of traffic. For example, if you are a B2B company, you might not see a lot of success on Facebook or Instagram — no matter how much you pay to have your posts promoted. 

Why? Well it’s simple. Many business owners do not spend a lot of time on social media. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to spend a bunch of money trying to attract them on a platform they don’t use. 

By contrast, if you run an online ad, then you might see great benefits from using paid posting, but success relies on where your customers tend to congregate online. 

Where Do You Get Most Of Your Leads? 

If you already see oodles of leads from referrals, local ads, or any of your other marketing efforts, you probably don’t need to waste money on paid social media for business marketing. However, if you think it might be a good source of leads — and your budget can handle it — try it out to see if it’s profitable. 

If you’re low on leads and need a new lead source, then paid social media posting might work, but make sure you are ready to pivot if you do not see the desired results. 

What Are Your Goals With Social Media? 

For some brands, their goal is to entice leads using social media posting. For those companies, using a majority of paid posting with some organic makes sense. For companies just looking to make sure their brand has a presence on social media, it might make more sense to rely almost entirely on organic posting. It all depends on what your goals are.

So, in other words, whether your content is paid versus organic will rely heavily on your goals and what you want to accomplish through social media. There is no “1 size fits all” plan that will work for everybody. You have to use discernment and data and set clear objectives to determine what’s right for you. 

Fun vs. Promotional Content 

Many brands think most (if not all) of their content needs to be promotional. It doesn’t. In fact, it can often turn your audience off and give them no incentive to participate with your brand at all. That’s because people like to feel appreciated, and when all you do is push out promotional content, you’re communicating that all you care about is getting into someone’s pocketbook. People won’t want to follow your page because they know exactly what you send all the time. It also reduces the sharability of your content; nobody will send any of your content to friends or family members unless they actively need what you’re selling. That’s terrible if you’re trying to build your brand image overall. 

Unless you run a very serious business (like a hospice center) where it would be completely inappropriate to create “fun” content, you should be thinking about how to engage your customers over social media — not just sell to them. 

Here are some examples: 

  • If you have a mascot, post a video of them dancing or getting into wacky situations. 
  • Post photos and videos from your office holiday parties. 
  • Get your staff involved and ask them to volunteer pictures of their pets to be posted on your social media page. 
  • Post pictures from charity events or meet-ups. 
  • Use videos showing how you create your product or perform your service. 

The type of “fun” content you create will depend heavily on your industry and what resonates with your customers, so keep a close eye on your social media analytics to ensure you’re putting out the most valuable content every time. 

If you do work in an industry where “fun” content is inappropriate, you should still diversify your posting to include more than just promotional content. You might consider making educational content that goes into the specifics of your industry or sharing touching stories from your practice. The main idea is that you don’t want to put all the emphasis on selling. 

Daily vs. Sporadic 

When using social media for business marketing, should you be posting daily, or are a few times a week fine? 

Before answering that question, consider your ideal customer. How much time do they spend on social media, and will you provide value to them every time you post? Will posting too frequently be seen as “spamming” and motivate them to unfollow you? Will posting too infrequently remove the incentive to follow you because you’re not providing value? These are essential questions. 

You also need to consider which platform you’re posting on. It’s acceptable to post on Twitter up to 5 times a day as a brand, but you should not post on Facebook more than twice daily. So, do your research before setting your posting schedule. 

That being said, certain audiences will respond to more frequent posting, and others will respond to less. That’s why experimenting with your posting frequency and keeping track of relevant data can help you determine what works best for your business. 

Original Content vs. Reposting Or Cross-Posting

Social media experts frequently debate about whether businesses should create all original content or if it’s alright to reuse preexisting content through cross-posting and reposting. We believe it’s a mixture of both. 

If you have a bunch of great social media content created, it seems wasteful to use it once and then archive it. On platforms like Facebook, it is appropriate to wait a suitable amount of time (2 months or more) to reuse content you have already posted. However, for some platforms, like Instagram, this might not work because it will be more obvious you have duplicate content. In that case, making a slight change and reposting can still work. 

In terms of cross-posting (where the same content is posted across multiple platforms), this can be acceptable as well. Just make sure you are not putting out the same content every day on every platform. Try staggering your content so similar or identical content is spread between platforms. 

That being said, you should always mix reused content with fresh content. You can’t keep your posting schedule on a loop of 10 identical posts — that’s sloppy. Instead, for every piece of reposted content, share 2 fresh pieces of content to go along with it. This will allow you to reuse content in a subtle way that won’t make your audience feel like they are being spammed. 

1–2 Platforms vs. All Of Them 

When using social media for business marketing, never bite off more than you can chew. When considering how many social media platforms you should create a profile on, think about your team’s bandwidth. Do you have a social media manager? What about a marketing team? How much time do they have on their hands to dedicate to social media? If you do not have people dedicated to keeping up with a cross-platform social media presence, then it’s wise just to select 1–2 platforms that make the most sense for your business.

If you do have the bandwidth to be on every platform, it still might not be worthwhile. Generally, it’s better not to spread yourself too thin; instead, focus on making high-quality content on the platforms your clients use rather than making mediocre content for various platforms. 

But which platforms should you choose? The answer depends heavily on your business. Here are the top 6 platforms and how to determine which ones you should be on. 

  • Facebook: Facebook is still the top social media platform, and it is wise for all businesses to have at least some sort of presence there. This is because consumers often check out a brand’s Facebook page before committing to a purchasing decision. 
  • Instagram: Instagram tends to draw a younger crowd and is heavily focused on visuals and aesthetically pleasing brand content. If that is your target demographic and content style, Instagram may be a worthwhile platform for you. 
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a social media platform heavily focused on business and can be great for B2B companies wanting to network with other business people. 
  • Twitter: Twitter is like the wild west of the social media platforms. Political activists, journalists, brands, celebrities, and millions of everyday people use Twitter. However, unless you are a big brand or a brand thriving on short, frequent posting and content releases, you might not get much bang for your buck. 
  • YouTube: With video quickly becoming the #1 form of online content, YouTube provides a great way to share your business videos. If you do not create many videos as a form of online content, this platform might not be worthwhile for you. 
  • Other platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.: With all other platforms, it makes sense to maintain a presence only if the site caters to your specific audience. For example, if you make dresses by hand or have a photography studio, then Pinterest might be worthwhile for your business. Otherwise, it’s best to stick to the main platforms. 

By considering the specific needs of your audience while planning your social media for business marketing strategy, you can ensure your efforts have the maximum impact possible. You should always monitor and update your strategy over time to adapt to changes in your audience’s tastes and to better support your current business goals. If you do so, you’ll be well on your way to becoming an expert with social media for business marketing.

Want to learn more about how content marketing can support your business goals? Download our free Content Marketing Guide below!

New call-to-action

Don’t Forget to Share this Post!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe To Our Blog

Want to get our latest blogs sent straight to your inbox? Subscribe today to get instant access!

Share This
;