Using Social Media to Grow Your Business
Advance Brand Awareness, Increase Engagement, and Drive Referrals
There’s no denying it — your marketing strategy is an important part of the success of your business. That means you’ve probably started using traditional marketing techniques and even a few nontraditional ones.
But, what about social media? Have you started putting the power of social networks to use in your business?
One of the biggest reasons for using social media in your marketing strategy is the growing number of mobile smartphone users in the U.S. Recent research puts the number of American smartphone users at 178 million, and the number of those smartphone users accessing social media via their phones is projected to grow at an alarming rate. Engaging with customers on social media will increase brand awareness and, as shown in a recent Texas Tech study, increase customer loyalty to your brand.
There are a lot of social media networks out there that can help you connect with your customers online and on their mobile devices. In part one of this series, I’ll share some of the networks I’ve put to work for me and why they should be a part of your marketing strategy.
With a reported 1.35 billion active users worldwide and 864 million daily active users, Facebook is by far the biggest social network available today. Its size alone is a good reason to build a company page and start sharing, but, if that isn’t enough to convince you, consider the results of a recent Collective Bias and Yeti Data study, which stated Facebook fans are 35 percent more likely to purchase products than non-fans. This suggests an effective Facebook marketing strategy can help you grow your business.
Not only does Facebook give you the opportunity to connect with a large, diverse audience, but nurturing customer relationships on your company page can lead to increased brand engagement and sales conversions.
Google Plus is a much smaller network, yet still offers the opportunity to connect with close to 360 million active users. Most importantly, Google Plus helps you in local organic searches. The more your business shows up in the Local Carousel section of Google’s search results, the more likely a customer is to find your business. In fact, results from a Digital Marketing Works study suggest “the quality and quantity of Google reviews are the single most important variable determining inclusion and ranking.”
Google Plus gives you a place where customers and fans can review your work and customer service, increasing your organic search result opportunities, especially at the local level.
If you’re concerned with increasing traffic to your site and getting customers to look at your content, consider adding Twitter into your marketing mix. Twitter’s 284 million active users and 500 million daily tweets can help your business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) efforts by increasing awareness and generating leads.
A recent joint study conducted by Twitter, FOX, The Advertising Research Foundation, and DB5 found that, of those surveyed, 100 percent saw a brand mentioned on Twitter and 80 percent mentioned brands in their tweets. What makes this so important to your social media marketing strategy? The study went on to find what users did once they saw a brand mentioned on Twitter, and the results paint a pretty beautiful picture for any brand trying to increase webpage traffic and brand awareness.
In the study sample, 54 percent of users that reported seeing a brand mentioned in a tweet took action after seeing the tweet, including visiting the brand’s website, visiting the brand’s Twitter page, searching online for the brand, and thinking more about trying the brand. These tweets were often also retweeted (18 percent), giving businesses the opportunity for increased attention.
If you’re looking to increase the awareness around your business or build a more engaged customer base, think about using Twitter in addition to your other marketing tactics.
An HVAC business on Pinterest? Yes, it can help. Pinterest is a visual-based social media network that allows users to “pin” photos (and the links they lead to) to any number of “boards” you create. How can this help your business? Simple: People love pictures.
Our brains are hardwired to process visual imagery faster than text, making images an important tool for your marketing efforts. Pinterest offers you a platform for engaging potential customers with visual content that continuously drives website visits and provides opportunities for increased Google search Web traffic. Not only does it help you generate traffic for your website, it also helps drive social referrals.
When used correctly, Pinterest can help you connect with potential customers and drive the social referrals that are key to succeeding in today’s business environment.
Social Media Growth
Social media is an essential resource for building customer relationships, growing brand awareness, increasing brand engagement, and driving referrals. Not only does it provide users with the chance to connect with customers, but it gives users an opportunity to stay connected with them over the long term.
Now that you have an idea of how some of the more popular platforms can help your HVAC business grow, click the link at the bottom of this article for the second part of this series, where we’ll explore some tactics you can use to grow your business on each social media network.
Part two of the “Building Your HVAC Business: Using Social Media to Grow” Series is available exclusively at http://bit.ly/HoushSocial2.
Publication date: 3/9/2015