As an online business owner, you may be struggling with the building of an online business in terms of marketing and reaching out to your target customers. These challenges can be easily solved with a thorough understanding and implementation of social media strategies, including branding and advertising.
Our current blog series is dealing with a variety of themes that aim to ensure the successful functioning of small, online businesses like yours. This blog will deal with the important role that social media (with a specific focus on Facebook and Instagram) can play in optimising the running of an online business.
As you might know, an innovative addition brought forth by social media platforms are “shops.” These social media shops can bring about many benefits for your online business if they are utilised in the correct manner. The role of social media and how you can utilize it to grow your business will be explored below. Hereinafter, our next blog will bring to light the available e-commerce platforms and how your business can benefit from utilising such tools.
The role of social media in a business
Before diving into how you can take advantage of social media platforms to run your business, let us understand first how they affect our lives. There is no doubt that digital technology permeates almost every aspect of daily life. The most common method of communicating via digital technology is on social media networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The popularity of these sites is brought about by the many advantages that they offer, not only within the personal lives of its users, but also within the business sector. This makes social media a vital tool for you as a business owner. Electronic and social media create many channels of communication for a business with existing clients, potential clients and is often even used between colleagues. Social media has also become a very important advertising tool for businesses and recently a way in which products can be exchanged between the organisation and its customers. Studies show that 44.8% of social media users turn to social media when searching for or buying products or services, which shows just how important it is for you, as a business owner, in promoting and marketing the products or services offered by your business.
Making use of Facebook tools
Facebook can be a very strategic platform for organisations and, as mentioned above, your business can use Facebook as a powerful advertising tool. This can be done in many ways, such as having a Facebook profile or placing advertisements on the social media platform. In the modern world, having a strong and reputable social media presence and brand is no longer a luxury, but a necessity that can give your business the strength to succeed and provide a competitive edge over other companies.
So, what are the benefits of Facebook advertisements?
- Allows businesses to direct advertisements to their target market;
- Leads to generation of new leads;
- Provides greater accessibility to existing and potential clients due to people’s constant use of Facebook; and
- Provides access to important insights about the market you are targeting and how to improve your future ad campaigns.
Running an advertisement campaign using Facebook Ads manager tool
Ads Manager is an all-in-one tool provided by Facebook to help you create and run ads on all of Facebook’s platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network). This tool can be very powerful and bring many benefits, but only if it is used correctly.
Let us share with you a few tips when launching an ads campaign through Ads Manager:
- Set a clear and precise goal for your campaign.
- Ensure a clear understanding of your buyer persona and target clients. Due to the features of Ads Manager demographic section, you can choose precisely who you want to target and use factors such as age, location, gender, income levels, interests, and behaviours.
- Set a budget and then use it wisely.
- Take advantage of Facebook’s learning phase for a better understanding of your target market.
- Use the correct visuals and bring across the right message to attract targeted customers. A video ad, unsurprisingly, can transmit more ideas and is more attractive to the audience.
However, advertisements are not the only way in which a business can gain benefits from this social media giant. In 2020, Facebook launched one of its largest strategic moves into e-commerce, namely the implementation of Facebook shops. This innovative and new e-commerce feature means that you, as an online business owner, can build online stores and sell products directly to your users, on both Facebook and Instagram. This will be done through the addition of a dedicated “shop” section to your company’s Facebook Page or Instagram profile. Thereafter, a catalogue of products and services will appear which will allow visitors to browse, save or purchase your products.
Although these Facebook shops offer advantages to small and large organisations, small online businesses can derive the most value from them. Why is this the case?
These shops are free and offer a quick and unchallenging set up. The integration across Facebooks apps is also possible, resulting in shops being accessible on Facebook, Instagram and other Facebook apps. Furthermore, Facebook Shops are extremely customisable which means that the products displayed and the appearance of the shop can be of your own choosing.
How Instagram can help your small business
In the past decade, Instagram has transformed from merely being a photo-sharing app to a hub of business activity. This has been done through various updates, business tools and features including running fundraisers, live broadcasts, opening shops or allowing customers to book reservations. These features allow your business to increase brand awareness, build an online community, showcase the Company’s culture and values and sell products and services.
Over one billion people use Instagram monthly and approximately 90% of them follow at least one business. 83% of users state that Instagram helped them discover new products or services. Due to these statistics, using and having an Instagram business is not negotiable for the success of your business.
Here are some tips to improve your customer’s experience of your Instagram business profile:
- Ensure that the Company’s logo is recognisable and clear;
- Ensure that your page is visually aesthetic
- Posting quotes, tips or advertisements should be done frequently;
- Leverage hashtags in order to reach a greater audience;
- Engage with people; and
- Try out different types of content.
Using the above tips, your business’s customer experience can be improved and an increase in brand awareness has the potential to increase sales. Furthermore, a business always needs to have well-defined plans and these above tips may help your business create an effective social media strategy that can be tailored to the needs of your specific business and industry.
There is no doubt that having a social media presence is vital for any modern-day business, especially online businesses. This blog has provided some guidance on the functioning of Facebook and Instagram shops and how utilising these platforms can be beneficial to online business owners.