What Is The Importance Of Social Media For Marketing A Business?

July 13, 2018 Jordan Meola 10 Comments

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read My Disclosure for more info.

 

 

My wife and I started our Shopify store with just two ideas in our minds. 1. we were going to print her artwork all over apparel (and just about every other accessory you can think of), and 2. if we wanted to sell it, we needed to find a way of getting as much attention as possible.

 

That’s just about the biggest thing in marketing, isn’t it? The only thing left to do once you get attention is to get people to like you.

 

So what is the importance of social media for marketing a business? Before we launched our business, we built a social media presence. Within about 9 hours of launching our business we had already done over $500 in sales – 96% of this traffic came from Facebook, and 100% of it was free. 24 hours in, and our 3 posts had already been viewed by a couple thousand people, without paying for a single ad.

 

This is the power of leveraging your business on social media.

 

So we need to talk about the importance of social media when marketing your business. And I’ll explain everything that I’ve done to grow my social media presence 100% free (I still have yet to ever spend money on advertising).

 


 

 

Why Does It Matter?

 

Take a look at this chart to the right. These social media platforms are all free. And they also see enormous amounts of traffic.

 

According to this research from Pew Center, Facebook and YouTube are used by the majority of adults in the United States. And these are numbers are growing.

 

Picture based social media, in particular, has seen exponential growth – Pinterest and Instagram being the 2 strongest in growth.

 

As a business owner, you need to be there. Simple as that. You need to be right in this mix =====>

 

The vast majority of conversions (and the vast majority of traffic for that matter) comes from Facebook. But the dependence that online sellers have on social of every kind covers every inch of marketing.

 

In fact, marketing has probably never been as social, and as interactive, as it is at this point in history. Pictures, video, and messaging have become the center where sales are generated.

 

Having a social presence is not JUST for gaining visibility either. Building trust and reputation is where conversions really start to happen. You can get content in front of people’s eyes all you want, but consumers increasingly want more relational companies that they know they can trust. A brand needs to have personality. Not feel corporate.

 

Social media is where you can build that trust. It’s where you can capture the ambiance and style of your brand. It’s where you can tell the story.

 

And while it’s definitely ideal that you have your own website, there is now an option with Shopify called Shopify Lite for only $9/month, that allows you to sell directly through a free Facebook business page. No website required.

 

Starting a business. Being actively engaged on social media. These things aren’t separable anymore.

 

 


 

 

The Facebook Strategy

 

 

 

I’ll start with Facebook, because it’s the most obvious. It has over 2 billion monthly users, which is the majority of the people currently on the internet, so if you want to reach people with your new product… this is a good place to start.

 

Like I said earlier, when my wife and I launched our brand, our Facebook page was the place we truly launched from. We had a beautiful Shopify store ready to go. Facebook is where we got the traffic flow. These are the bullet points of what you’re going to need to do, in this order.

 

  • open a business page on Facebook
  • build up the content on the page BEFORE you launch it (i.e. fill it with pictures, choose or take quality profile and cover photos, write a personable About Us(me, etc.) page to introduce page viewers to your brand, ad a few prelimary posts, connect to website and Instagram)
  • gather likes from your friend group
  • join TONS of Facebook groups
  • gradually integrate with these Facebook groups, and gently introduce your business

 

That’s the plan.

 

This is how it breaks down. Opening a Facebook business page is easy. On the far left side of your regular Facebook, there is an option to “create a page”. Facebook gives you the option to create a business or a brand page, and will guide you through building it yourself.

 

Having good photography skills (and a good camera) will go a long way while your giving life to your Facebook page, but if you don’t have camera skills, I recommend using Unsplash.com. They have tons of free-to-use images that look amazing. Shopify has its own collection of amazing pictures with Burst.

 

Making a logo is also super easy. You don’t need graphic design skills. You can either outsource it to have someone make you a perfect logo on Fiverr, which is usually not too expensive. Or make one yourself with a free app: Canva and Logo Maker by Desygner are my 2 favorite. Don’t skip this! The logo is an important part of your brand image!

 

This is the logo for the website my wife and I use, and it’s front and center on our Facebook page too.

 

 

Very simple, but it tends to be memorable. It’s worth having.

 

Write a personable “About You” page, and let them know who you really are. This sets the precedent for the voice of your brand.

 

Add a few posts so that it’s not just an empty page for your first visitors to arrive to. And finally, make sure you connect your Facebook page to your website (if you have one), and your business Instagram.

 

Your first big chunk of likes and followers will be your friend group, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Share your new business page, and don’t be afraid to invite your friends to like it, and especially to share it. Every time one of your friends shares your page it has the potential to reach hundreds of more people that would never have otherwise seen your business. And it’s free! 

The first wave of likes and follows that you have on your Facebook page will give your business page credibility. Now for the next step.

 

Search for Facebook groups related to your niche. Whatever type of product you sell, or theme your business centers around, there are likely to be Facebook groups centered around those subjects. Introducing yourself to these groups, and coming to understand what they want/how you can help them with your product, is crucial.

 

Believe it or not, you can use this connection to Facebook groups to drive TONS of traffic before you ever even buy an ad.

 

Facebook advertising is also an effective option, but one that you need a budget for. While initial ads aren’t usually too expensive, they can accumulate quickly. Facebook has a lot of information on the demographic details and habits of its users. It might seem a little creepy, but hey it makes sense. Every time you like something, it gives them an idea about the kinds of things you like. This way you’re able to advertise in a very targeted way.

 

 

 

 

And make sure you don’t undervalue the power of video on Facebook. Video  promotion still reigns as the highest converting form of ad. It may be worth investing in the creation of a nice video to present your product.

 

Even if you only use video to keep communicating with your followers, or showing them bits of what your brand is about, having videos mixed in with your pictures and words ads a deeper dimension to the connection that you have with your customer base.

 


 

The Pinterest Strategy

 

 

 

The next big conversion machine is your Pinterest. I have a second business in affiliate marketing, and my first couple of conversions came through… you guessed it… Pinterest.

 

Like I said before, Pinterest is one of the greatest places in the world for marketing, not just because it’s popular, but because it’s users are already shopping. Users on Pinterest tend not to feel like their privacy is being violated when they see advertisements. And this is an opportunity for you.

 

I wrote a guide to proper Pinterest marketing, which you can check out here for more detail ==> Pinterest Marketing

 

You need to follow these guidelines:

 

1. You need good images, with brief, eye-catching words. Look at my Pinterest post below.

 

What’s another thing you notice about this Pin besides it’s simplicity? It’s tall. The vast majority of actual clicks (and conversions) that happen on Pinterest are interactions with tall pins. They stay in the line of sight longer, and Pinterest is designed to specifically cater to these taller images. If your Pins are square, rethink your plan.

 

On top of this, having warm colors (reds, oranges) produce higher conversions than colder colors (blues, white).

 

The beauty of Pinterest is that you don’t need followers to get people to see your Pins. It certainly helps to have followers, but you can have pins that are public without a single follower. None of my conversions through Pinterest were actually through people who are following me.

 

Similar to Facebook, once you’ve established yourself on Pinterest, and have at least 5 boards, with a couple dozen pins, it’s time to start joining groups. This is yet again an opportunity for you to soft-promote yourself without paying for any advertising. The more you build a following this way, the more powerful your social presence will be.

 


 

Instagram and the Power of Influencers

 

You should be picking this up by now, but the most powerful marketing is based in a lot of visuals. You want pictures and imagery that will not only represent your brand perfectly, but that can communicate enticingly to your potential customers.

 

There’s no better place for Instagram. A wildly popular platform, now surpassing 700 million regular users, Instagram is the picture sharing hub of the world. Made all the better because of its simplicity.

 

Instagram is a very unassuming marketing asset. In fact, it may be one of the most unconvetional marketing places imaginable, because it doesn’t let you put links to your products directly into your Instagram posts.!

And this is one of its strongest features.

Instagram works as a sort of reverse Pinterest. Instagram is where people go and NEVER expect to be advertised to. Links, whether direct or affiliate, tend to be clutter. And clutter is becoming less and less effective in the marketing world. People are seeking simplicity. Preferring minamalism. And Instagram is the perfect, subtle place for this.

 

You can still tag products in Instagram posts if you have a business Instagram page, but you’ll need to simply encourage your Instagram viewers to checkout your bio to find the link there.

 

This is more effective than you might think! A beautiful picture that looks like an ad will turn someone off, or make them glaze over, in a matter of seconds. We’re wired to tune out advertising. A beautiful picture that looks nothing like an advertisement… that may have a better chance of getting someone to click. This causes the consumer to actually seek YOU out, instead of feeling chased after, and this makes a better relationship from the start.

 

So how can you really expand your reach on Instagram?

 

Through the power of influencers. A person who has a massive Instagram following in your niche, with 10 or 100’s of thousands of followers, has a lot of power to help you out.

 

 

Get in touch with some of these influencers. Some of them (though not all) may ask for some compensation, but you could have an influencer share your content to their story for a day. If you chose the right product, for the right niche, the results from this can be astronomical.

 

Beyond this, Shopify even has easy apps to help you set up an affiliate program, where you could give Instagram influencers an opportunity to make money, without you having to pay anything until you’re guarenteed profit!

 


 

Be Creative

These are just the starting points. These are not one-and-done solutions. They are ways in which you can continuously expand your reach through consistent action. Be creative! 

 

But if you’re not doing all of these things already, and you’re wondering why traffic has been pretty slow… this might be a wake up call!

 

Obviously, there are a lot more social platforms than just Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. But they’re the ones that I’ve used to the most success, and found the best strategies to work with. Stay tuned, and I’ll be breaking down the uses for other social media platforms like Google+ in the next week or so!

 

What are some of YOUR best strategies for using social media to promote your business? Let me know in the comments, and if you want to learn more, follow me on Facebook, or Pinterest!

 

 

 

10 People reacted on this

  1. Sounds like some great results you have had with social media. Especially impressive that you could get that kind of sales on Facebook right away without spending any money on ads.

    Can I ask how long you build up your social following on Facebook before you launched the shop? And how many followers did you have at that time?

    Thanks,
    Mike

    1. Thanks Mike! Business has been good so far – Infinite Six has been in business for about 3 weeks now, and has made daily sales with spending money on any advertising.

      Eventually we’ll need to advertise if we really want to scale and grow, but… we spent about 2 weeks building up hype and a following on our Facebook. We made only a few posts, but chose our pictures and words carefully, making them highly shareable. Our launch was fairly viral, and quickly got a dozen social shares that put our new business in front of thousands of Facebook users in just a few hours. This was largely fueled by friends, and friends of friends that were sharing our content manically. 

      We had about 200 followers.

      This method is a bit more challenging with a blog, than it is with physical products, but Facebook reach is still very possible. 

  2. Great Article!
    Thanks for sharing the importance of social media, I’ve learned a lot to your article but the problem is, I am shy to post anything business related in my social media account because I’m afraid to get negative comments and rejections. But your article gives me lots of ideas about how to start engaging and be more active on social media and I think I need to check all the free site that you suggested to make a beautiful logos for the page if I start doing my page.
    I’m wondering what’s the importance of joining tons of facebook page? how will it help your business?

    All the best!
    Amie

    1. Hello Amie! Thanks for commenting!

      Yes, social media can make all the difference in the success of your business. It definitely has for mine, both selling clothes and affiliate marketing. I got over 90% of my first clothing sales through Facebook, and my first 4 conversions with affiliate marketing were through Pinterest.

      It can be a little intimidating to introduce your business to your friends on your social media accounts. Create a business you can really be proud of, and that you believe in. As long as you don’t sound like you’re selling to your friends, they probably won’t resent it. Asking for likes and shares and support is a lot more popular than directly selling to your friends. 

      Joining Facebook groups that are specifically related to your niche are helpful for 2 reasons. 1. you can see what people are posting about on that topic. It will help you to understand your target demographic a ton! You’ll see what they like, what they don’t. What they share, and what they don’t. And 2. you can introduce your brand to the group. Don’t immediately start promoting, you might get kicked off, but introducing your brand and being helpful can create conversions.

  3. You’ve reminded me that I need to update my Facebook fan page. I actually do have one for my site, but it has only one post on it, no cover photo, no e-mail address, and looks bland.

    I don’t share my page with friends though. One is because it is a more personal subject matter that I don’t want my friends knowing about yet. It’s on social anxiety. Two, I like to keep my business and personal life separate. It’s awesome that yours is soaring off though.

    I think it is dependent what your niche is if you want to share with your friends. What’s your take on this?

    1. Hello Jason!

      I completely understand, I think you’re wise to be private about your business and your more personal subject matter unless you feel comfortable sharing it. Sharing it with a public friend group can really depend on what your business is.

      My business selling clothes I shared all over my friend groups, and it gave my business a huge boost starting out. They loved the artwork, the designs, and everything about it! My affiliate marketing blog was very different. I never mix it with my personal Facebook, nor do I really talk about it with my friends. It’s not that they can’t be benefited by it, but it’s a subject that’s not necessarily suited for my public friend circle. I experienced anxiety myself, though not in response to social triggers. It can be a very sensitive topic.

      I think you’re very right, it depends on niche. 

      Thanks for sharing!

  4. I just started a healthy living website where i share healthy recipes and have a health blog, this article gave me a lot of ideas for my social account, i will defiantly try this!
    thanks.

    1. Hey! That’s awesome, I wish you the best with your new blog. Pinterest is also a great place to drop recipes, I’ve found some great stuff on there. Glad you found this helpful!

      ~Jordan

  5. Thanks for writing such a fantastic article on the importance of social media for promoting a business. I’m currently building a niche website for the first time and you’ve given me some fantastic ideas on how I can promote it via social media.

    For a newbie like me would you recommend getting setup with a facebook page, twitter, instagram, pinterest, etc. or just start with one of them in the beginning?

    1. Hello sir! I’m glad you found it helpful!

      Using as many social media resources as possible will be important for you, but it’s definitely important not to spread yourself too thin in the beginning. Start with Facebook. It has the most users, and it’s pretty easy to build momentum on. I’ve gained a lot of attention just through joining Facebook groups, which is actually free!

      If you’re selling physical products Instagram is enormously important, but since you’re doing affiliate marketing, it may actually be one of the least important for you. I would rank Pinterest as the most important, second only to Facebook. Pinterest is a gold mine for traffic. It’s also competitive, for sure, but you can bring in a nice amount of affiliate traffic this way. Only a couple of my pins have gone viral at all, but it brought traffic and sales to my affiliate marketing blog long before I was even ranking in Google. 

      I hope this helps! 

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