Social Media is a way of Life

Growing up there was no such thing as social media. We didn’t have computers or cell phones, there was no Wi-Fi. I was born in 1989, we like to call ourselves 80s babies. Some would say we are the last of our kind. The last ones to grow up without technology.

As I got older and technology became more relevant I, like everyone else, kept up with the times. I currently own a iPhone, MacBook, Apple TV and a Firestick, which to some may not even seem like a lot. They all do different things. My phone is used for more than just texting. My social media sites are used for more than just something to do when I am bored.

Since I have been taking Social Media Literacy at Youngstown State University, I have been introduced into a whole new world when it comes to social media. Specifically, when it comes to the business side of it.

See, if you are going to run your own business, of any sort, you absolutely need a social media platform. Why? Because social media is a marketplace in itself. It is like driving to the heart of a city and meeting up with all types of people, without even having to leave your house.

When running a business page on social media there are things you need to remember. It is important to pay attention to the type of content you post. The times you post are actually very important as well. For instance, Facebook is the busies at roughly 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 8 p.m., so by posting your content during that time you will have more views leading to more customers.

Let’s use an example and say that I have my own clothing brand, I don’t but let’s just say I do. What are some ways I can use social media to enhance my clothing brand?

  1. I need to form an audience. I can do this several ways. I can ask the customers I have to share my business page in order to promote it and get the word out about it. I can also pay to have my page sponsored. By posting content that can relate to my clientele base I can make my page appealing to them.
  2. I have to show the product off. Posting pictures of clients wearing the brand will show what I have to offer. Posting regular pictures of new products can show variety in my merchandise. Another good way to do this is by giving out free samples in exchange for promotion. “I will give you this jacket if you post a picture wearing it.”
  3. It is important to network. Get connected with other businesses who can help you grow. These businesses may already have a huge follower base on social media and by them promoting you, yours will grow as well.
  4. I have to make sure I stay up to date with the activity on my page. Checking how many people view my page daily, the likes and shares. What stands out most to customers? Are they more attracted to pictures of customers in the clothes or the clothes inside the store?
  5. Hashtags are your friend. Hashtags allow you to reach people who don’t follow you or may not be aware of your product. When you put a hashtag in front of a word, it then becomes a search engine. anyone who searches for that word will see your post. These can help you reach tons of potential clients.

A lot goes into using social media for business purposes. Even being professional may seem easy enough but there is more to it. If you notice a customer complaining, don’t argue or shut them out. Address the complaint and see what you can do to fix the problem. Customers like feeling like the company cares.

Don’t be afraid to reuse material. If you posted something a couple months ago, but feel it still applies and holds value, post it again. This is a good way to stay consistent and to continue to have content.

Another thing that you may want to consider, don’t limit yourself to just one social media site. Some of the people who have Facebook may not have Twitter or some people who have Instagram may not have Linked In. Keep your availability open so you can reach everyone. You can manage all of these sites at once with different apps like Postling or Hootsuite.

Social Media used to be optional, and for some it may still be the case. There used to be a time when it was just about fun and having something to do. But, the more time goes by the more necessary it becomes in order to stay connected, up to date and successful. It is a way of life now, a business in itself.

Social media has become a voice, an image. It’s your choice on how you use that voice and what you want it to say. It is completely up to you the way you portray yourself and what you use your social media for.