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Social media, in its simplest form, is a way for people to connect with each other. It can be used to share photos, videos, and thoughts online.

You’ve probably heard the saying: “be a good person and you’ll become great at social media. Be a bad person and you’ll become great at social media.” The main problem is that it’s usually not easy and convenient. It takes more effort, resilience and patience to master the art of Social Media. Sake of this, engaging in customer research is a vital cheat you would ever think of. By engaging with your targeted customers on social media platforms, you can learn precisely what their needs are and how to help them solve that immediate problem(s). In just 10 minutes, you can get started on being a better social media user! And use social media effectively to reach your small business goals.

WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA?

Social media, in its simplest form, is a way for people to connect with each other. It can be used to share photos, videos, and thoughts online. But in business, social media is used to market products, promote brands, connect to customers and foster new business. Social media is an important part of the internet. It is similar to a website but is electronic. It can be shared on platforms such as WhatsApp, FB, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. The idea of social media is that anyone can publish information online, and share that information with other people.


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According to Investopedia, there are more than 4.5 billion social media users around the world. More than 80% of the world’s population is using some type of social media. A new application is always added to the list of social networking apps on yearly basis. It is also estimated that by 2023, the number of social media users in the United States is forecast to increase to approximately 257 million.

Believe it or not, social media is a veritable tool every small business like yours is optimising to reach and engage customers on daily basis. They use social platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, etc.) for customer services, advertising, promotion, and gauging consumer trends. Therefore, the given assertion makes social media an indispensable tool to gain insight into your target customers and creation of brand awareness. And if you have a good social media strategy, your potential customers can become real consumers.

USES OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media is the best way to engage and connect with people across the globe from your local community. As a tool, it helps you to research and monitor trends. Thus, your small business needs social media to achieve the following:

  • 1) To reach out, attract and connect with potential customers.
  • 2) To connect with other industries and professionals.
  • 3) To share ideas and experiences.
  • 4) To share news and updates about your product and service.
  • 5) To increase your small business visibility.
  • 6) To find out about current events.
  • 7) To find information about products or services.
  • 8) To find out about new technologies and interesting topics.
  • 9) To learn about career opportunities.

You can also check out 5 SIMPLE WAYS TO WIN CUSTOMERS TO YOUR LOCAL BUSINESS

Social media have so many benefits that you could ever imagine for your small business exposure and growth. These include; User visibility, product and services marketing, building audience or customers, etc.

TOP 10 TYPES OF SOCIAL MEDIA

It is interesting to know that social networks are being used more and more by the general population on daily basis. Social media continue to transform the way we interact with one another on a global scale.

Social media is a popular news source in many countries – over 70 percent of adults in Kenya, South Africa, Malaysia, and the Philippines said that they used social media to access news. As of March 2021, people aged 40 to 44 spent the most time on social media applications of all user demographics, amounting to almost 60 minutes per day. People aged 19 years and younger spent on average 49.12 minutes on social media apps daily.

Statista.com

There are many different types of social media. Based on their different usage and functions, their impact on your small business growth and lead generation cannot be undermined. You should understand that choosing the right type of social media platform for your small business niche is key. Listed below are the top 10 popular social media platforms in the world:

  1. Facebook – It was established in 2004 with an estimated 2.9 billion active monthly users.
  2. YouTube – It was established in 2005 with estimated active monthly users of 2.5 billion people. It is a video-content medium.
  3. WhatsApp – WhatsApp is a messaging app created in 2009 with a monthly estimate of 2 billion users worldwide.
  4. Instagram – It welcomes estimated active monthly users of 1.4 billion. It was established in 2010.
  5. TikTok – Established in 2016 with an estimated 1 billion active monthly users.
  6. Snapchat – Established in 2011 with estimated active monthly users of over 560 million.
  7. Pinterest – Established in 2005, it welcomes 444 million active monthly users globally.
  8. Twitter – It was established in 2003 with a steady estimate of 436 million monthly active users.
  9. Reddit – It was established in 2010 with a steady estimate of 430 million monthly active users.
  10. LinkedIn – LinkedIn (2006) still enjoys a share of 250 million active monthly users worldwide.

Depending on the purpose of your small business, social media can help you communicate with your target audience or customer from around the globe. However, note that building a presence online to engage with customers is not a day job. It requires perseverance, patience and consistency. You are expected to know who your target customers are, where they hang out and what their needs are (You can read more about BEST 3 QUESTIONS TO KNOW YOUR TARGET CUSTOMERS).

HOW TO BE A BETTER SOCIAL MEDIA USER?

As a small business owner who wants to be a better social media user, you need to get started. Sounds confusing right? Firstly, you need to understand the different types of social media (as listed above)and how they can be used. Then, set up your account and start posting!

Mind you, your focus should be on getting interactive and social with the target audience or customers as much as possible. Develop a good social media strategy and establish formidably social media goals. These help your target audience or customers find and learn about your small business. They also build brand trust, orientate your target customers or clients and create brand awareness. There are ways you can be a better social media user to push your small business offers to target customers. These include;

1. Set Up Social Media Accounts

Depending on the type of small business you run and the target customers, you need to first of all set up social media accounts. There are several social networking sites available for use. Examples are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Tiktok, etc. These social networking sites are useful tools to interact and engage with people (target customers or prospects) in your local communities. Once you are able to identify where your customers hang out online, creating a means to reach them is half-done.

Let’s assume you now have active social media accounts, either personal or for your business. You need to tweak these accounts to be user-friendly, engaging and interactive. This is the first step to be a better social media user. Then, start posting relevant information that stimulates engagement and converts.

2. Use Social Media To Connect With Customers

The ultimate goal of every business is to win a sale and grow its profit margin. This should also be your main aim when using social media. You wouldn’t want to just keep bombarding your social media community with loads of information without a return. This means that you should embed a customer-centric strategy in your social media campaigns. You can use Facebook or Twitter to get feedback on challenging issues with your products and services.

In addition, you can share images and updates from your daily small business life on social media. Show off some of the finest time you spent creating a new product or service that helped in developing your local community. Adding testimonials and funny gigs can also build customer relationships and engagement.

3. Use Social Media to Get Information about Your Customers’ Needs

The main reason why your small business exists is to cater for the constant needs of customers. With this in mind, social media should be used as a marketing tool to get information about your customer’s problems, interests, needs, behaviours, and desires.

Social media has the capacity to provide useful insights about your industry and customer demographics. You may find out what choices you have and which ones are suitable for you by leveraging social media to obtain information regarding your customers. Moreover, through using social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter (or any other online platform), you can post user guide resources, product and service reviews, or ask questions!

4. Use Social Media To Connect With Other Stakeholders

Your customers in your local community are online. Likewise, your employees, competitors and community policy leaders are active on social media. This makes social media a useful tool for analysing metrics and marketing your small business brand at go. The point is – connect with them!

Utilise the opportunity to eye your competitors to know what strategies work for them, then tap into their world. Create a competitive analysis to understand what will work and won’t work for your small business.

Apart from using social media to interact with stakeholders, you should see it as a medium to get informed queries about your small business’s growth.

TIPS TO HELP YOU BE A BETTER USER IN JUST 10 MINUTES

Here are 10 tips to help you be a better user in just 10 minutes:

  1. Make a list of the tasks you need to complete each day.
  2. Find ways to automate or streamline those tasks.
  3. Use apps and tools that can help you work more efficiently.
  4. Set aside time each day to work on your business goals.
  5. Delegate or outsource tasks that are taking up too much of your time.
  6. Stay organized and keep your work area tidy.
  7. Take regular breaks to stay refreshed and focused.
  8. Make sure you’re taking care of your physical and mental health.
  9. Set aside time each week to plan and review your progress.
  10. Celebrate your successes, big and small!

What is your understanding of Social Media? Read further here

CONCLUSION

It takes time and effort to become a more proficient social media user. As a small business owner, however, you can become a valuable member of the online community with the right tools and strategies. You can make the most of your online time by connecting with customers, learning about your business and competitors, and connecting with other stakeholders through social media.

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