How to make the most of social media in your business

One of the common concerns I hear from business owners, is that they are using social media to promote their business, however are failing to see the results in terms of following, engagement and their bottom line.

As entrepreneurs we’re always busy, with what seems like a million things constantly competing for our attention. So you need to ensure that the activities you and your team are dedicating your time to are having the desired result.

Essentially, the businesses who get the highest return on their social-media efforts are those who focus on staying ahead of the game in the digital space and create a dynamic strategy that aligns with this.

The brands on Instagram with millions of followers now are those that started building their audiences years ago, before Instagram had native advertising capabilities.

The brands that perform well on Facebook are those who constantly stay abreast of any changes to Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm and has a strategy flexible enough to change as the environment does.

So what can you do now to implement this into your social media strategy?

A tangible way to do so is to start experimenting with Live Video on Facebook from your business page. At the moment live streamed content is outperforming anything else on the platform, as it’s optimised by the Facebook algorithm.

To draw the comparison, in our daily Q&A session that I host with our online community, we’ve noticed that the live sessions perform significantly better than other content, providing us with a weekly organic reach of over 100,000.

A benefit for entrepreneurs is that live content takes less time to produce, and allows you to connect authentically with your audience.

A lot of bigger brands have been slow to adapt their strategy to embrace the Facebook Live platform, due to barriers in their approval process. This means small-business owners have a distinct edge in this space. Generally, the smaller your business is the less red tape that exists when it comes to sharing content, so seize the opportunity this platform presents. Start using it now to build audience and reach, before the newsfeed becomes saturated by live feeds.

One tip if you do start using the Facebook Live platform is don’t overdo it. Treat your live subscribers like your email database. Always be conscious of the captions you are using – it’s no different to an email subject line, and ensure what you are streaming is actually interesting to your viewers, otherwise they might not feel compelled to tune in again.

The other platform that businesses need to start taking more seriously is Snapchat. Up until recently many brands have shied away from the platform, because of the lack of integrated advertising capabilities and audience analytics.

However, Snapchat recently announced the launch of its advertising API, which promises to expand advertising dramatically on the platform in the foreseeable future.

A recent study by MediaScienceLabs indicated that Snapchat video ads significantly outperform those on other platforms in regards to the amount of time people watched the ad and overall purchase intent.

Brands who channel their efforts into growing and engaging their Snapchat following now will be the first to benefit when advertising becomes more readily available across the platform, as they will have an existing, loyal, audience to promote their business to.

Essentially as business owners we need to appreciate that social media is a long term game. Following and influence don’t just happen overnight, they take years to build. To make the most of your social-media efforts, invest your time now in up-and-coming platforms that will give you the biggest return in the future, and realise that immediate bottom-line ROI is dependent on the customer journey you place behind your social strategy.

Jack Delosa, Founder and CEO, The Entourage

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