5 tips to grow your business using social media

You may have an incredible idea or a fantastic looking website but this is all just wonderful coding until you start to build up an audience, a following and ultimately a customer database.

The most common question people ask when starting a new business is 'where are my customers going to come from?'. For us as a young tour operator the majority of our customers are aged between 18 and 24 making them one of the hardest segments to engage and market to.  You would have had to have been hiding under a rock for the last few years if you hadn't witnessed the shift in the marketing mix. The traditional methods of print and press are in decline and are being rapidly replaced by online campaigns where you can specifically target your audience. We managed to carry as many passengers to Mallorca as some of the high street giants last year all on a shoestring budget using techniques and platforms that are at the heart of our market.  Social media offers a whole wealth of opportunities. Here are our five top tips for using social media to get new business:

1) Target your demographic - if you are selling home furnishings, you’re more likely to target women over 35 and people engaging or interacting with certain pages such as John Lewis and so forth - cherry pick your audience.  Facebook and Twitter self-serve tools now offer a whole ream of targeting opportunities so you can really focus on your potential customers.  Make sure you mix it up and test different ways of reaching your customers, then see how they respond to and engage with your advertising. 

2) Content is king - create engaging content that your audience will interact with. Encourage sharing and virality across the various platforms: infographics and strong imagery perform really well.  If you have solid video content then use it. The key is to get people talking about your product and getting it noticed amongst their friends.  Be clever with your approach, think outside the box and don't just follow the crowd; you can create some really great campaigns without having to spend a penny!

3) Run competitions - Facebook is a great platform for competitions. Its tools, such as 'share', offer a unique opportunity to increase your reach astronomically.  On Twitter use the power of 'retweeting' to create awareness.  These tools are incredible for getting in front of a large audience for free.  

4) Create a clear brand identity across all your platforms – to ensure that your website and various social media portals correlate and your messaging across the board is synchronised.  Giving your brand a clear voice is key in engaging your audience; integrating your platforms will help your customers clearly identify your brand whether they are on your website or Twitter page. Being a British business and having a .co.uk domain name can give your brand identity extra benefits; it gives customers confidence to buy your products or use your services and international suppliers who understand the power of the British market will instantly recognise you as a  trusted British business.

5) Engage with your community - once you have invested your time, effort and money into building your community don't forget to manage it and harness the interactions from users. Run regular giveaways, link back to your website, offer users opportunities to come up with ideas, post images and of course respond to any questions they might have.

We have utilised the above steps to harness a strong social media presence that has around 200,000 users across our different brands. It constantly allows us great opportunities to not only push our products but improve our offering and products from customer feedback.  The pulse of the Internet lies in social media and if you aren't tapping into it you are missing out on a huge segment of customers.

For more tips and advice on how to choose the best domain for you and your business please visit www.agreatplacetobe.co.uk and follow @dotuk


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