How to "sell" your business on the social networks
The social networks are winning the battle over traditional advertising channels. These digital platforms are now the best showcase for business. The immediacy, the close language and low cost are the characteristics most appreciated by both companies and users. In Spain, 83% of Spaniards follow a brand on the networks, which develop a considerable niche market.
With the habit we have of using English terms, we increasingly hear talk of community manager; a network manager or a journalist-corporate publicist who develops and publishes relevant information on the company, while designing advertising strategies for the social platforms.
The fact is that ICT has revolutionised the communication and marketing sectors, just as the printing press once did. Not only do they allow us to instantly display our products, but also to report any company action, establishing unprecedented direct communication with the customer.
"Social networks are a good advertising channel at an affordable price, and the main way for giving customer attention"
According to the “Study of social networks 2017” made by the association IAB Spain and the Elogia advertising agency, half of Spaniards acknowledge having bought a product influenced by the social networks. One in four respondents also declares that the fact that a brand is present on any of these platforms inspires confidence. More than enough reasons to be there.
Which network is right for my business?
There are currently more than two hundred platforms around the world. Their proliferation has made the work of the community manager even more professional. However, it is not necessary to know all of them, just those that best suit the relevant business sector.
In Spain, the most widely-used platform is Facebook (91%), followed by WhatsApp (89%), YouTube (71%) and Twitter (50%). Instagram is the one that has most significantly increased its popularity, and LinkedIn continues to be the main online business channel.
X-ray of the main social networks
Each social network has inherent characteristics that distinguish it from the others.
Twitter is the minimum essence of information and its main feature is immediacy. It is usually related to the most current and journalistic information.
Facebook, on the other hand, provides a greater visual presence, with the predominant information being more thematically relaxed. It supposes a selection of slower contents, since by giving a larger amount of textual and visual data, more time is needed to read it.
Instagram, the visual social network par excellence and which has gained notoriety in the last three years.
YouTube is the direct competitor of television for its mainly audio-visual content. There is no platform that can be compared to it.
LinkedIn is presented as a channel focused solely on the business sector. Used by companies to publicise their philosophy and activities (more than their products), it is a good place to post more specialised content due to its formal language.
Reasons for being on the social networks
The public makes an increasingly greater use of these platforms to look for products or services to the extent that, according to the study above, just over half of the Spanish population declares that they search for information on the social networks before a purchase, mainly in Facebook and YouTube.
Their advantages lie in their immediacy, low cost and massive dissemination capacity. What’s more, it allows the experience to be personalised, the well-known “likes”, very valuable data for the world of advertising, since they measure the success of the product or campaign carried out.
In this sense, individualised advertising constitutes a basic element. A marketing strategy that is considered by 26% of the population as something positive. The study also indicates that 40% of Spaniards show no problem in sharing their information so that companies can offer them personalised promotions. A whole world to explore.
But perhaps what has contributed most to these platforms increasing the number of users is their ability to communicate with customers, making them the preferred channel of attention. This two-way communication through both positive and negative consultations or comments gives life to the social network itself. Because after the price, these comments are the factors that most influence the purchase process.
Pillars of online advertising
In the multimedia world, the goal of every business is to attract users to the company's page so that they might become customers; this is called visibility. And here, the social networks have a leading role as a prelude to the corporate website. Through the publication of offers and new products, advertising campaigns, draws, surveys, etc., a significant increase in visits to the page is achieved.
But how to attract potential customers? The first step is to hire a professional. It is a mistake to leave the online reputation of the company in the hands of any worker. The second is to design a strategic mass media plan that stipulates the appropriate networks for the sector we are dealing with, defines the image and message that we want to spread and the frequency of the publications.
SEO (natural positioning) techniques are fundamental for marketing. The use of keywords allows search engines to easily find and show content. The payment campaigns offered by the social networks themselves, known as SEM techniques, are also very useful in giving our business visibility, especially at the beginning.
However, the basic pillar of any online advertising strategy is the creation of content, which encourages visits to the web and improves the brand’s reputation. Here we should not focus on messages focused solely on the company’s activities. Let us also publish varied information for entertainment or fun. The users will appreciate it. After all, the social networks have a very important leisure component and often getting a smile from users is the best way to turn them into customers.