Over the past couple of years, social media has become essential to businesses when it comes to attracting new customers. Dean Spencer, the Managing Director of GMA, shared his thoughts on using social media as a method of growth in his company.
Dean states that ‘social media has changed substantially since we first began using it; the improvements have been phenomenal’. In recent years, these platforms have evolved to become not only a means for friends to keep in touch, but for business advertisement too. Websites such as Facebook are being used more and more often by companies to gain further interest in their particular products or services. Dean tells us that ‘social media was primarily known as a network where friends and family can communicate, but now it’s also a realistic business tool’. This enables a company to run different advertising campaigns through Facebook, targeting the users that would relate accordingly, with content that they would want to see’.
Since 2016, LinkedIn has also become a business tool – just like Facebook – helping to target possible prospects on a wide scale. Traditionally, LinkedIn has been known as a CV library, where people are able to connect with each other and find new employment opportunities. Dean feels that, compared to Facebook, LinkedIn is ‘more advanced in a lot of ways’. Using ‘Sales Navigator’ on LinkedIn reduces the amount of unlikely prospects due to filters like job descriptions, sectors, etc. making marketing efforts on the platform more powerful.
It’s important to note that this area of business is always evolving – just because a platform is strong now, doesn’t mean it will be forever. For example, Twitter is no longer found to be useful to businesses looking for new clients as it hasn’t changed much over the years, so its position in the market is diminishing. Dean’s explanation for this is that there is too much content for a user to look at at one time when using this platform, making it cluttered. This means that other networks tend to be used more for business promotion, as ‘they have less information and seem to be much lighter’, according to Dean.
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More recent forms of social media are making their way into the world of business, such as Pinterest and Instagram. Pinterest is becoming more significant to companies, as it includes many visuals of a product with colour, which attracts people to look at the image. Sometimes, in the description of the image there is a hyperlink to the business selling the product, directing potential customers to the website where they can buy that item quickly and efficiently. Another platform that shouldn’t be ignored is Instagram. Instagram is now owned by Facebook, so any advertisements that run through Facebook will run through to Instagram too. As Dean has summarised: ‘Instagram has the hashtag functionality of Twitter, the visual appeal of Facebook, and it’s an open forum so businesses can attract new targets’.
The use of social media is increasing by massive numbers every day, with Facebook being the most popular. Indeed, it is growing so rapidly, that – used intelligently – the present and future of social media platforms will be positive for businesses and their future growth as a company. Ultimately, as Dean has urged us, ‘don’t think that social media is just for sharing content with friends’.
If you have any further questions regarding the uses of social media in business and how you could interpret it into your marketing efforts, do not hesitate to contact the Managing Director of GMA, Dean Spencer.
Guest writer: Dean Spencer’s 14 year old daughter, Leah Spencer.