In a world of Internet-based consumerism, millions of businesses have set their sights on e-commerce. The problem is that consumers are spoiled for choice: They are often unaware of which business offers the best service or product for their money.
Leadership is what sets good businesses apart from the rest. Establishing your business as an industry leader narrows down the customer's choices in your favor. Since many consumers find businesses through social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, using these platforms to establish a leadership position in your industry is extremely useful. Here's how to get started.
Get The Word Out
To become a leader in your industry, you have to get the word out that you actually know what you're talking about. Instead of customers having to use your services to find this out, you can talk to them directly using social media.
For instance, if your business is in the technology field, you'll have loads of competition. However, you can establish yourself as a leader by posting the latest updates, changes and trends within your industry. These short posts are informative enough to get the point across and short enough for consumers to share, helping to boost brand awareness and loyalty. Data-rich posts or content that contains established and trustworthy studies are enough to capture attention. Any information you can share that helps your customer build trust with your company will increase the likelihood that they will purchase a service or product from you. Now that's using leadership to your advantage!
A Leader Online Is A Leader Offline
While social media is exciting, it’s not an alternate universe. You can’t hide there! Social technologies are merely a reflection of ourselves (and businesses) in the virtual world. Companies that offer a poor customer experience offline won’t turn a corner merely by going digital. Regardless of size and scale, make sure you have respect from peers before engaging online. Leaders continually seek feedback from stakeholders in their local community, customers, suppliers and more. Be ready to engage in the same kind of behavior online as you use your initial offline community to boost your online presence. (Watch our video series Social in 60's “What is social media?” primer for more.)
Put Thought Into Your Efforts
It's important to remember that social media isn't a magical tool; it doesn't automatically establish you as a leader. Since potential customers are going to be searching for solutions from multiple providers, how you present yourself online is critical. A blank social media profile or lackluster content will leave a bad taste with prospects as they evaluate you versus others. Instead, you need to create a strategy that considers how often your audience utilizes social media, and how often news changes in your industry (we like free tools like Social Strategy Builder).
While it can take six to 12 months to establish yourself or your business as a leader online, the benefits of doing so will be noticeable. Your new audience will have an increased awareness of your products and services, which will make it easier to obtain more customers. Even a casual online presence can help achieve your brand goals, increase traffic to your website and much more.
That’s a deal most leaders are willing to accept.
Tyler Arnold is Co-Founder and CEO of SimplySocial Inc., a software tool that helps companies and agencies create great content for their social media profiles. As CEO, Tyler assists with key accounts, business development, and talent acquisitions as SimplySocial grows its presence around the world. He is also a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs.
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