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Social media marketing; what it is and why it’s crucial for businesses now

With nearly a third of the world's population using social media, it’s now more important than ever to use these platforms for your business.

In the current situation, people and businesses have been forced to adapt. And, with this in mind, it’s important to know how to use social media to demonstrate your business’s presence to your trusted followers and new potential customers.

Increase your social presence

Today more than ever, people are spending a large amount of time on social networks each day. You can easily use this as an opportunity for your business to reach out to your community; leave a message, whether of awareness or solidarity, and create valuable and helpful content. During this period, you should also try to increase the frequency of your posts to show that you are still there for your customers.

But, using social media for your business can also bring many benefits that extend beyond the current crisis situation, so, it’s important to put a social marketing strategy in place for your business now.

What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing refers to using social media networks and platforms as a tool to advertise a company, feature or product. It can also involve building your brand’s awareness and driving website traffic.

Companies and brands produce content on the same platforms used by people, in the hope that customers interact or share their content, thereby increasing the probability that someone decides to make a purchase from their business.

Simply put, the most obvious reason for using social media platforms to advertise is that these networks are where the people are. And, social media marketing has a lot of advantages:

1. It's free

Opening a Facebook page has no costs and having a free tool that brings benefits should not be missed.

2. Reports and statistics

You can get an idea of ​​who visits your page and better understand who your audience is.

3. Greater visibility on the web

If you have a page with the right content, you can appear in someone's search results.

4. Support for your customers

Thanks to the possibility of being able to communicate via Messenger, you can manage questions or concerns from your customers quickly.

5. Quality content

You can use social media to publish videos or posts about your products, processing, services and deals.

Don't forget that using social media to educate your customers about simple changes, such as changes to opening hours, is also really important as a Facebook or Instagram page is often a person’s first port of a call when looking for information about a business.

Advice from the experts

SumUp’s social media manager, Matt Boucher, recommends: "Start by asking yourself the question, 'what would I like to see as a customer?'"

Find a way to convince your customers to generate content for you. Companies that sell a lifestyle or a visual product can only rely on user-generated content to fill their social media feed.

Keep an eye on the customers who tag themselves in either your physical store or with some of your products, and, if possible, use their content to advertise your business.

Which channel?

Facebook and instagram are currently the most used social media platforms to promote an activity. The first step in building your social media strategy is to start with some market research and competitor analysis.

"Different channels work best for different companies. Instagram is fantastic for inspiration and it's very visual, which may be more suitable for artists and fashion brands. Facebook is very functional and offers many useful features and gives you the opportunity to book appointments via Messenger–perfect for hairdressers and beauticians,” said Matt.

SumUp support

Getting started with social media for businesses can be daunting, but it gets easier as you go, especially when you start to see the positive impact it can have on your business.

Hopefully, this article will help you get started, but just like you and your business, at SumUp, we’re also using this period as an opportunity to become more active with our community on our social networks.

To do so, we’ve launched the #SmallBusinessBigIdeas campaign that invites you to share the initiatives that you’ve adopted during this time. This campaign is designed to put you in the spotlight, and to show how talented our merchants are, even in difficult times. Feel free to use this hashtag in your posts to shout out your favourite businesses as well. We’ll try to share these posts with as many people as possible.

We’ve also created a Facebook group for business owners in the UK to discuss their experiences. Feel free to join the group and share your photos, stories, advice and news to give inspiration and get inspired by others.

Additionally, if you have any other ideas or questions, or you’d like to share how your business has changed to give inspiration to others, don’t hesitate to write to us at getintouch@sumup.co.uk.

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Ashleigh Grady