Social media is a great engagement tool, used effectively for getting closer to customers and understanding their interests and needs, however many business are unsure if the time and effort they put into social media is having any direct impact on the bottom line.

The key to social media is understanding how building a community and increasing your online visibility will help with your bottom line by just that, increasing your visibility and therefore likelihood of influencing a sale, not sales directly from social media.

According to Business Victoria, a guide for small businesses to help start, run and grow businesses, the key to social media success is to not get hung up on the tools and technology but to focus on how you can use them more effectively to:

  • Increase the visibility of your brand and that of your business
  • Build and cultivate your professional networks
  • Develop and grow relationships with customers and influencers
  • Engage in real-time two-way interaction with people, including answering queries
  • Publish and distribute original content that demonstrates your expertise
  • Share curated links to relevant information that adds value to the lives of your customers
  • Communicate with your community of followers, advocates and supporters
  • Ultimately generate new leads and boost sales for your business.

If you are looking to social media to boost your business, understand that for most businesses, social media is an influence to a sale, just one place a potential customer will go to find out about your business.

Don’t expect to have a Facebook and instantly, business will improve. It needs to be part of an integrated online strategy, with all parts working together to deliver new customers.