10 tips to use social networks and grow your business by Xóchilt Balzola-Widmann, Facebook director for Mexico
Small and medium enterprises are the backbone of Mexico's economy. There are about 4 million that create 7 out of 10 jobs in the country and 52% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
These are companies that, although they are undertaken with great passion, unfortunately, have a high probability of not thriving. According to the Failure Institute, 75% of businesses in Mexico close at two years.
Technology and SMEs
Technology is transforming the way we communicate, how we buy and how we conduct transactions. We are currently immersed in a mobile economy that gives opportunities for all, therefore, it is very important to have the necessary digital skills to take advantage of them.
Technology, particularly cellular, opens up possibilities for businesses to connect people around the world and sell their products and services across borders, thus helping their growth and expansion. This technological advancement makes available to SMEs effective marketing tools at low cost, which was previously only available to large companies, to insert them into this new mobile economy and help them grow locally and internationally.
On the other hand, it is important to consider that, with mobile devices in hand, consumers have more power, voice, and access to information than before and also more places to focus their attention. Including the presence of companies in social networks has the possibility of becoming a highly effective marketing component for SMEs.
More than 3 million of these SMEs use Facebook to connect with more customers, grow and create new jobs.
10 tips to use social networks and grow your business
Tip 1: Take the presence of your business online
People discover new products, buy and obtain information about their favorite businesses online. With 2.7 billion people in the world using Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger every month, online presence through social networks translates into a great showcase for your business.
The first step to have a presence in social networks is to open a page or a company profile, something that is extremely simple and has no cost. But by using them intentionally, with the right strategy, social networks stimulate action and promote discovery.
Tip 2: Define your business objective
Decide what is the goal you want to achieve through the presence of your online business. Maybe you're looking to boost traffic on your page, have better customer service or simply generate more sales. This will allow you to align the content with this goal and tell the story of your business.
Tip 3: Generate relevant content
Social networks have become a channel to connect with our audience through content. This content can be used to inform, inspire, educate and entertain.
One advantage that technology gives us is that we can use a wide variety of formats -from photographs, videos, and stories- to help us maintain customer interest.
Tip 4: Use creativity
It is no longer necessary to have a large budget to make a video ad. Currently, it can be done with a cell phone, using simple applications. Creativity is what counts.
On Facebook, we have Mobile Studio, a platform where we include easy-to-use app recommendations and where you can learn to create effective ads from your cell phone.
Tip 5: Define who your audience is
When we opt for online advertising it is important to know what types of people like our products or services. Defining our audience allows us to optimize our investment in advertising.
We increase the chances of establishing a relationship with customers, increasing sales or reaching the business goal that we have defined. Currently, there are very simple tools that allow us to segment and create a public for whom the information of our company will be relevant.
Tip 6: Call for action
Taking the presence of your business online is also about making life easier for your customers. One way to do this is by using call-to-action buttons to facilitate certain tasks, such as calling your business, visiting your website or making a reservation.
Tip 7: Communicate with your customers in a practical and simple way
Immediate communication with customers, especially through messaging, is increasingly important. Consumers expect more and more personalized, immediate and simple interactions.
The technology allows us, for example, to use automatic responses through Messenger for the simplest questions of the clients, in addition to addressing the person by name, even if it is a bot - those details are increasingly important.
Tip 8: Manage your reputation
The ratings and opinions of people who have made a purchase in your business are also a valuable marketing tool. The higher your rating and the more favorable opinions you get, people will perceive less risk of doing business with your company.
The first step is to provide excellent service, but you also have to encourage customers to leave their opinion on the page so that others know.
Tip 9: Build your online community
The online presence allows SMEs to go beyond a purely transactional relationship and make their clients captive and potential part of an online community. When people feel part of a group, it builds trust and familiarity and increases the likelihood that they will make word-of-mouth recommendations.
In addition, you create a safe space in which you can receive direct feedback from your customers, useful to improve your business.
Tip 10: Amplify the convening power among your communities
Social networks can help you to call people to visit your business physically (if it is the case), to participate in any of them or to call an event online. This is a way to strengthen its relationship with the community.