The Good And The Bad: How Social Networks Affect Our Relationships and Business

The Good And The Bad: How Social Networks Affect Our Relationships and Business

As soon as they stepped on the online stage, social networks became a global phenomenon as the means to communicate with friends and family. They led to the creation of new habits – some good and some not so much. But most importantly, they opened the doors to a new way of doing business, allowing each one of us to connect to our audience, that can now reach global proportions, in a more personal manner.

Join us in exploring some of the ways social networks impacted both of our relationships and the way we do business! And if you are a blogger and entrepreneur – read on. We will share some best practices on how to use each of the most popular social networks today to grow your (business) brand.

The Whole World Is Just Around The Corner

When you wake up in the morning and reach for our mobile phones in a sleepy stupor, you can easily check out what’s going on with our friends all around the world – it’s mostly the little things, where they had lunch, an interesting article they liked, random thoughts or takes on a book they’re reading. Those are silly tidbits of information that are usually introduced by „Oh, by the way“ in face to face conversations, but they make the distance seem smaller.

We draw a certain image of ourselves on social networks, and we no longer get to present ourselves in a different light in different circumstances – our professional and private lives have meshed together on one single wall.

But not all of our Facebook friends are our friends, are they? Our networks have grown to encompass friends, family – nuclear and distant relatives alike, coworkers, bosses, business associates, casual acquaintances… the list goes on. And when you post your content to your wall, you don’t have all of them in mind. And yet they all get to see it.

We draw a certain image of ourselves on social networks, and we no longer get to present ourselves in a different light in different circumstances – our professional and private lives have meshed together on one single wall. On the other hand, breaking the boundaries between personal and private is not all that bad – we get to know better people we work with, get a better understanding in who they are and how they function, making it easier to collaborate.

Social media allows us to connect with our coworkers better

Of course, there is a cath there as well! The wide variety and sheer quantity of the info available has made meeting new people a bit… different. A few minutes in and you know their name; you can find them on social networks and dig up information about almost anything – their music taste or taste in movies, who their friends are, where they like to go out, what kind of food they like, what their religious or political stands are… the list goes on and on.

We sometimes tend to get a bit ahead of ourselves and create a patchwork from that information, thinking we got the person pinned down. Always keep in mind that there is more to a person than what is stated on this or that social network. And that it’s perfectly normal your business partners have a life! 😀

New Business Opportunities

With such growing popularity, it’s no wonder social media quickly surpassed their original purpose. Today, social media is “it” in the marketing world – in fact, nearly 90% of marketers state that social networks helped them get their business more exposed, while 75% say that their website traffic increased.

Whether you are a new and upcoming blogger looking to turn their blog into a profession, or an entrepreneur wanting to grow your business, and you’d like to reap the benefits of social platforms, check out the not-so-brief guide we’ve created for you.

Here is the not-so-short guide on how to use social networks for your business.

Facebook

Do you know that more than 2.32 billion people use Facebook at least once a month? Quite a figure, right? Let’s see what its biggest perks are:

If you are a business owner: Facebook functions in such a way that it provides its users with the opportunity to discover new things, and by creating a business page, you’ll become a part of the community. Once you’re in, it’s much easier to increase your online visibility.

Building brand awareness

Facebook lets you share varied content with your followers. Great content increases engagement, and active and responsive followers are more likely to become loyal customers.

How? Facebook has various types of targeted ads, including brand awareness ads, ads that will enable you to promote your business locally, and video ads that will help you get your business and brand story viral. The best part – Facebook can analyze users’ profile information, enabling you to present your ads to your target customers.

If you are a blogger: Your name is your brand, and your Facebook profile is a great way to promote it. Careful, though – you want your profile to showcase you as a blogger who is an expert in your niche so that you get contacted by reputable brands. That’s why you should put some thought into types of photos you post and pages you like, to ensure they are in line with your values. Also, create a Facebook page for your blog to update your followers regularly with new content pieces you publish.

Social platforms opened up many opportunities for bloggers and entrepreneurs.

Building brand loyalty  

If you are a business owner: Facebook lets you share varied content with your followers. Great content increases engagement and active and responsive followers are more likely to become loyal customers. Thus, when creating a Facebook post, be sure to respond to all comments and engage in discussions that will help you get to know your customers – and help your customers get to know you.  Also, use your custom M.ME Messenger link to help people find their way to your inbox easier.

If you are a blogger: Since you don’t want your followers to lose interest, find a way to interact with them on a more personal level. As a place where people often come to mingle with others, Facebook is perfect for socializing with your readers. Feel free to start a discussion, even on a topic somewhat unrelated to your blog and show your followers you want to get to know them better.

Generating leads

If you are a business owner: Lead generation is imperative for steady business growth. However, not every Facebook like leads to a conversion. What counts is making a connection outside this platform – and Facebook gives you an amazing opportunity to create and run various contests and giveaways – a proven system sure to increase your follower base and boost traffic to your site.

If you are a blogger: Create a Facebook page for your blog. By doing so, your followers will get regular updates about your blog content and will be just a click away from it.

Reviews and feedback

If you are a business owner: Facebook is at your service when it comes to understanding what your current and potential customers think about your products or services. Here’s how you approach this: encourage your customers to leave testimonials and reviews on your business page, design a survey and post it on your company Facebook page, or use Facebook polling apps to create polls in a matter of minutes and get the much-needed feedback.

Here is the not-so-short guide on how to use social networks for your business.

If you are a blogger: Hearing what your readers have to say should be at the top of your priority list. Once you publish a post featuring your blog-related content, it’s a good idea to give the readers a chance to voice their opinions. You can do that by asking open-ended questions and, again, by creating fun polls.

Drive website traffic

If you are a business owner: Carefully thought out Facebook post can do wonders when it comes to your ultimate goal – increasing website traffic. For this to happen, it’s essential that you use link posts that will lead your followers to your site. Once you insert a link to your website, Facebook will generate a full-width thumbnail image which is bound to get your website under the spotlight. After all, studies have shown that out of 57% of people whose shopping habits are influenced by social networks, 44% highlight Facebook as the most influential platform of them all.

If you are a blogger: When sharing your blog post, don’t forget to link to your blog! Also, think of a fun and engaging description (a teaser) of what the article is about. That will motivate your readers to go through the entire piece to find out more.

Instagram

Instagram is so much more than a selfy-packed network. It also gives bloggers and businesses the opportunity to promote their creativity and showcase their work to 1 billion users.

Connect with the right people

If you are a business owner: Around 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business on Instagram. Considering, it goes without saying that you are highly likely to find potential customers for your brand on this platform. To ensure you get involved with the ones who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer, follow only those people who are interested in your niche and brands that belong to your industry. You can do this by monitoring hashtags and commenting on relevant posts.

Communication is crucial for building trust, so make sure to interact with your audience – start the conversation and then make sure to directly answer as many comments as possible.

If you are a blogger: Build yourself an online reputation of a true expert in a specific industry. Use hashtags to find and engage with like-minded followers to grow the size and reach of your account. Keep in mind, though, that brands are not interested solely in the numbers – they are looking for Instagrammers that frequently engage and communicate with their followers. Why? Because communication is crucial for building trust, and brands want their products to be advertised by a person other people deem trustworthy.   

Communication is crucial for building trust, so make sure to interact with your audience.

Boost your brand name

If you are a business owner: To make your brand name searchable on Instagram, consider creating your own branded hashtag. They help make your Instagram content easier to find, and branded hashtags, in particular, give your followers the ability to share their own photos associated with your brand. Bear in mind that creating content under a unique hashtag encourages the sense of community among your followers. Maybe that’s why Instagram has 10 times higher brand engagement than other social platforms.

If you are a blogger: The same applies here – your name is your brand, so use it as such. Create a unique hashtag that will embody you as a blogger and make it easier for brands to find you and learn that there’s another influencer in town.

Use Instagram campaigns to your advantage

If you are a business owner: Instagram has something special in store for those of you looking to achieve a specific goal – be it a promotion of a product you’re about to launch, building your brand awareness and reputation, or generating leads. An effective Instagram campaign lets you focus on a specific goal for a specific period of time. Depending on your needs, you can opt for an awareness campaign, a cause campaign, a user-generated content campaign, running a sale or a promotion, etc.

If you are a blogger: Use stories as a way to interact with your followers and organize promotional campaigns. Why? First off, when you advertise a certain product, stories allow you to showcase a particular product – you can tell a story and even show the actual product being used. You can also have personal discussions with your followers and answer some of their product/brand-related questions. What’s more – if you talk about a collaboration with a brand openly, chances are that the majority of that brand’s audience will visit your account and increase your follower pool.

Live tweeting about an event is a great way to engage people about your business.

Twitter

Although Twitter is often dubbed as a microblogging tool due to the shortness of its messages, it works surprisingly well as a means of getting your voice (and brand) out there.

Short and sweet

If you are a business owner: Twitter does such a wonderful job that 75% of B2B and 65% B2C business use it for marketing purposes. The 280-characters-per-tweet limit means you need to use your space wisely. Get creative, think of a direct, headline-style message you want to convey to your customers.

Although Twitter is often dubbed as a microblogging tool due to the shortness of its messages, it works surprisingly well as a means of getting your voice (and brand) out there.

If you are a blogger: Have you heard that tweets containing less than 100 characters have 21% higher interaction rate? It’s no wonder why crafting a short, punny, and provocative tweet is more likely to get your followers engaged. The math is simple: more engagement equals more followers, which results in higher chances of becoming a prominent influencer.

Live-tweeting

If you are a business owner: Should you decide to organize an event of any sort, it’s essential to make it easier for your attendees to live tweet while they are attending the event. To do so, you can create individual hashtags for each event and share them with the invitees. This will provide you with a neatly organized, user-generated, promotional content. Live-tweeting will help your event get the publicity it deserves, as it has the power to reach a much wider audience than a regular tweet.

Finally, Twitter can be important for your business as well.

If you are a blogger: Live-tweeting helps you get a topic of your choice that’s trending on Twitter. So if you collaborate with a brand, especially if you are using a service that a brand offers, make sure to share it in real time. It’s fun, engaging, and helps you build stronger relationships with your followers. Think about it – in order to gain their trust, you have to let them know you are a real person, doing everyday things – just like them. And what better way to show who you are than sharing your personal experiences?

Advertisement options

Whether you are an entrepreneur or a blogger, there are some and advertising options that Twitter offers which are sure to help you reach a greater audience, grow your business, and drive traffic to your website.

  • Promoted accounts – Ads designed to help your brand become more visible and, consequently, gain new followers. Promoted accounts ads are targeted, which means that they will show up only on the feed of those users who express interests relevant to your brand.
  • Promoted tweets – If your tweet is promoted, it will appear in a user’s feed together with other posts. This ad also targets only those people who might find your brand interesting, which helps increase your reach and engagement.
  • Promoted trends – As opposed to the previous two types of ads, promoted trends are not targeted. They will appear at the top of the trending topics list and all Twitter users will be able to see and interact with them.

LinkedIn

As the largest professional network used by more than 600 million users, LinkedIn truly is a powerhouse for all of you who are looking to establish partnerships, generate leads, build brand awareness, and seize new business opportunities. Although LinkedIn is predominantly focused on businesses (and thus considered to be a B2B network, with more than 90% of marketers swearing by it), its marketing campaigns and self-service advertisement options can do wonders for both entrepreneurs and bloggers alike.

Strategic reach

If you are a business owner: LinkedIn is unparalleled due to the variety of targeting options available for you to use – you can target people based on their job position, company they are employed with, job title, particular skills they might have, or interests they listed on their profile page. And we all know that the key to a successful marketing campaign is reaching out to the right people. What’s more, LinkedIn users tend to keep their profile information up-to-date and give an overview of their most notable achievements (as opposed to other social media accounts) making it easier for you to strategically widen your pool of contacts.

LinkedIn truly is a powerhouse for all of you who are looking to establish partnerships, generate leads, build brand awareness, and seize new business opportunities

If you are a blogger: Consider your LinkedIn profile as your online CV – a place where you can present yourself as a professional blogger, an acknowledged industry expert, a major trendsetter, and trustworthy influencer with a strong follower base. Not only will this give you certain credibility in professional circles, but it will also put an end to your plain old run-of-the-mill job of sending tons of cold outreach emails. Be sure to regularly share your opinions through status updates or long-form posts. Go ahead, make a killer LinkedIn CV and just wait and see – you’ll have more amazing offers than you can shake a stick at!

LinkedIn is the biggest professional network in the world, and it can help you connect with people such as yourself.

The power of advertisement  

If you are a business owner: Once you create a company LinkedIn page, there are numerous advertising options designed to help you promote your business and boost your brand name. Which one you’ll choose depends on your needs:

  • Advanced ad targeting – You can customize your ads and target the precise groups of people you deem are likely to become future prospects, employees, collaborations, or leads.
  • Text ads – Designed to increase your website or LinkedIn company page traffic, text ads are great attention grabbers since they always stay visible in the sidebar.
  • Sponsored InMail ads – InMail ads let you send personalized messages to specific LinkedIn users, and their biggest advantage is their ability to increase your conversion rate, since they include a call-to-action button at the end of a message.
  • Dynamic ads – These are designed in such a way to engage users by creating highly personalized and customized ads automatically. They are bound to drive your conversions, increase follower reach and engagement, and boost brand awareness.
  • Display ads – They are sold programmatically, you can buy them through the ad platform of your choice, and they showcase your business through various formats, including text, images, audio, and video.

If you are a blogger: The best bet for you would be to use sponsored content ads, since they allow you to promote your own posts through targeted advertising. This means that your posts will be visible to specific brands and group of professionals who are likely to interact with them. Once you have their attention and all eyes are on you, it will be much easier to start a fruitful collaboration.

Although it may seem that other social platforms off more affordable paid advertising options, benefits that LinkedIn has in store for its users shouldn’t be overlooked. Think about a marketing strategy that is bound to take your business to new heights, devise a sound plan, weigh your options, and choose what you believe is the best fit for you and your brand.  

Bottom line

Social network changed the way we interact with people – both in our personal and professional lives. While there are definitive downsides from the blurring lines between the two, social media also offers a lot of opportunities, especially when it comes to business! The key thing is to know what each of these platforms has to offer and to utilize the best of it. If we helped you at least a little bit there – our job is done! 🙂

Author: Goran Bogunovic

Now, you're probably wondering how I got here! Running a marketing agency, educating people about branding, and helping you to develop your own presence online. To understand, you’ll need to follow me @Domain.Me

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