09 Feb 2013

4 Secret Ways to Use Social Media to Grow Your Business

Social media is now an established part

09 Feb 2013

Social media is now an established part of marketing for business. Many brands are following the best practices and have determined the value social media has in growing their business. But what if there was a couple of techniques that could help grow your business that you didn’t know about? Below are four ‘secret’ ways to maximize your social media success.

Facebook: Many don’t realize this, but there are three types of groups available in Facebook; open, closed, and secret. Only members can read and post content in secret groups, as it is completely confidential. Activity is not shared among friends of the participants. These specific groups are not often utilized for business, but can be. Secret groups can be used internally, as a place for employees or smaller business teams to work together, chat, and share documents. Externally, secret groups can be set up for top clients or customers to share the latest company news, products, and services. Additionally, the secret group can serve as a platform for employees and customers to collaborate – give feedback, share new ideas, and discuss future ideas.

Foursquare:  While Foursquare may not be as widely used as Facebook and Twitter, it is recognized as an incredible business tool. Companies with a physical location are able to reap the benefits of location-based social media by claiming a venue and offering discounts to their customers. However, brands without physical locations can also benefit from Foursquare through a partnership with another location-based business. For example, a coffee company could partner with a café to offer a special pairing of a drink and pastry. This tactic will help spread brand awareness for both businesses and give coffee-lovers an incentive to try a new place and product.

Twitter: The original use of hashtags was to categorize tweets and help them show up through Twitter Search. Hashtags can also help increase brand awareness, customer acquisition, and sales through a tactic we call hashtag hunting. It is not uncommon for Twitter users to ask questions about products or a request advice about a potential purchase. For instance, if you are a shoe manufacturer, and someone tweets asking for suggestions when shopping for shoes, you should be listening and prepared to direct them to your brand. To do this, set up a search that monitors relevant hashtags and don’t be afraid to reach out to potential customers when they ask the twittersphere for recommendations. This type of hashtag search is a standard feature of most social media management tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social.

Instagram: This social sharing platform is popular for sharing photos between brands and their loyal customers. The traditional method of using Instagram for business usually involves a company posting pictures of products, employees, and action from behind the scenes. Then they hope their postings elicit a “like” or comment from their followers. However, there is a better way to be engaging. Ask fans to share photos with a brand-relevant hashtag. Encourage your social media savvy costumers to post pictures of your products using hashtags. Then, pick a few favorites to repost, while giving credit to the original photographer. This strategy helps create more of balanced, two-way conversation between brands and fans.

Have you heard of any of these strategies before? Which would you want to try first? Let us know in the comments section below!

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