The Donut Shop Online Marketing Podcast, Effective Social Media for Business, Episode 11

Written by Dave Shrein

Effective Social Media for Business

Social media can be an extremely effective tool for expanding your business. Connecting with potential and current customers can create engagement and loyalty. By tracking your marketing campaigns and learning more about your customers, you can fine-tune your marketing strategy for even better results. 

We will cover the different social media platforms and how you can use them to help your business. We will include everything from content creation to scheduling and calendars and how to write posts that sell! 

If you’re looking for a resource on how to sell more of your services and products online via social media, you’re in the right place! 

Why Social Media is Important for Entrepreneurs

Social media is essential for businesses to reach customers, gain insights, and grow their brands. Your business can use social media to connect with your customers, learn more about them, and grow your brand. Social media platforms are constantly changing, so it’s essential to keep up and look for ways to optimize use.

You can also use social media for marketing, advertising, and customer service. For example, you can post about new products or services, run ads, and answer customer questions.

According to recent research, small businesses are investing in social media as a marketing tool at a rate that’s on par with their large-scale counterparts. However, their ability to react and pivot based on real-time data sets smaller businesses apart from more giant corporations. 

While the latter may take months or years to implement new strategies, small businesses can pivot almost instantly because they have fewer departments and personnel to consult. You can shift based on analytic feedback more easily when you’re the one running the show. 

Even so, it’s not easy for small businesses to succeed in this arena. Many don’t know where to start regarding social media, and they fail because they don’t consider the more subtle nuances of a business’s unique audience. 

Social media has evolved into a powerful marketing channel that connects you with your target audience in a way that wasn’t possible even a decade ago. The beauty of social media marketing is that you can reach millions of people from just one device! 

From a cost perspective, social media is also very cost-effective. You don’t necessarily have to hire a large marketing team to run a successful social media campaign; you can do it yourself. 

Beyond cost-effectiveness, social media is a great way to engage customers and potential customers in a two-way dialogue. It can help you get valuable insights into your customers’ wants and needs. 

You can also use social media to respond to negative feedback, such as user complaints. It can help you turn a negative situation into a positive one.

Overall, social media is an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. If you’re not using it, you’re missing out on an excellent opportunity to connect with your customers, learn more about them, and grow your brand.

Which Social Media Platforms Should You Be Using?

Social media marketing has many platforms from which to choose. As you evaluate which platforms to use, ensure that you’re targeting the right audience. 

For this reason, choosing the right social media channel is crucial for maximizing your ROI. Here are some of the top social media platforms that you may want to consider: 

  • Instagram: This is an excellent option in the service or tourism industry. It’s also a good fit for those in the fashion, beauty, coaching, speaking, and fitness industries. Instagram takes the top spot for most-used social media among audiences under 25 years of age.
  • YouTube: This is especially great if your business is focused on education or if you have a how-to product. YouTube is great for longer-form content. 
  • Twitter: Twitter is best for businesses that want to increase brand awareness by sharing quick thoughts and ideas. 
  • Facebook: This is an excellent option if you have a product or service that appeals to many people. Facebook is the favorite social platform of the 35-44 demographic. 69% of Americans use Facebook!
  • Pinterest: This is a perfect fit if you have a visual product or service, such as apparel, food, and design. 
  • LinkedIn: If you’re in the B2B industry and want to drive leads, LinkedIn is outstanding. 

Each platform has strengths and weaknesses, so choosing the ones that will work best for your business is essential. The most popular social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, but many others can be useful for your business.

It’s important to remember that social media is a two-way street. Not only should you be using social media to promote your brand, but you should also be using it to listen to your customers and respond to their questions and comments.

How to Create Content That Sells

The key to any successful marketing strategy is to create content focused on your audience’s needs and wants. Content should also address your customer’s pain points. What challenges do you know of that prevent them from buying?

Create content with the express purpose of helping your target market. They will begin to see you as a valuable source of information, not just another company trying to sell them a product or service. To create content that will help your audience, you need to understand what they are looking for and their challenges.

It’s essential to keep in mind that social media is not a sales platform. Instead, it’s a place to engage with people and establish yourself as an authority in your industry. You can create high-quality content for social media in several ways, such as written posts, videos, podcasts, images, and GIFs. 

However, how you create that content will vary from platform to platform. Here are some tips for creating content that sells: 

  • Choose a platform your customers use. Once you have selected the social media platforms you want to use, decide which ones to focus on. 
  • Create content with a specific purpose. The social media content you share should address your customer’s pain points and challenges. 
  • Focus on creating long-form content. Give people enough information to make an informed decision on whether or not to purchase your product or service. 
  • Easily digestible content is vital for reading ease. Customers are skimming social media posts and don’t have time to read a long, drawn-out article.
  • Make sure your content is engaging. The purpose of social media is to drive a two-way conversation. Keep it exciting and interactive. 
  • Consistency wins. Posting new content at regular intervals is key to growing an engaged audience. Post often enough that people come to expect it, but not so repeatedly that they get annoyed. 

When creating sales content, start using the 80-20 rule. Use 80% of your content to inform, educate, or entertain your audience, and the other 20% to promote your brand or sell your product. It will help you create content that is both useful and engaging.

Your actual post content can be difficult to write, so we recommend focusing on these seven pillars if you have writer’s block. 

  • Teach your followers something. Share a how-to, a tip, or a trick. 
  • Let them see behind the scenes. What are you working on? 
  • Make them a part of something – how can they join a community or your business “family” and become a member of a bigger picture?
  • Inspire them with something. Be vulnerable, share a story, and use your words to create a picture for them that will inspire them.
  • Entertain your audience. Use humor or create visually appealing posts. People laugh when they have a positive experience and will attach it to your content. If you do this on repeat, you’ll be able to create fans that seek your content! 
  • Showcase your product or service. 
  • Share a before-and-after of using your product or a case study of one of your current or former customers. 

It will help you create a well-rounded social media strategy that resonates with your audience.

Finally, consistency and presence are critical. Post often, post consistently. It will help you stay top of mind with your followers and keep them coming back for more.

How to Use Social Media to Build an Audience 

As you build an audience on social media, remember that you’re not just selling to them. Hopefully, you’re also collecting their email addresses so that you can engage in ongoing conversations about your product or service. A cyclical marketing strategy is important – all your marketing pieces should work together to form a coherent strategy. 

The data allows you to send out regular email blasts that offer more in-depth information about your products and services. There are several ways to grow your audience on social media.

  • Post engaging content. It’s important to remember that you are on these platforms to engage with people, start relationships, and create connections. Regularly post content that will keep your audience coming back for more. 
  • Repost content that performs well. Keep an eye on which posts are getting the most engagement and do more of that. There is no need to reinvent the wheel whenever you post something new. 
  • Use hashtags. Use them in your posts to get more likes, retweets, and followers. Hashtags are a great way to get your content in front of more people. 
  • Follow other accounts. It is a great way to get more followers and grow your social media presence. When you follow other accounts, they will often follow you back. Just make sure you’re following accounts that are in line with your brand.
  • Post at the right time. Timing is everything when it comes to social media. Post when your audience is most active. Experiment with different times of day and see when you get the most engagement.
  • Engage with other influencers. Find people who are engaging with your target audience and start a conversation. 
  • Responding is polite and can impact profits. Make it a point to always respond to comments, questions, and concerns your audience members post in your feed. 
  • Add an email sign-up form to your bio, if possible, on your platform(s) of choice. It’s important to collect your followers’ email addresses so that you can keep in touch with them in your email marketing campaigns! 

How to Use Social Media to Drive Traffic to Your Website 

When using social media to drive traffic to your website, start with the basics. Be sure your social media profiles are complete and up-to-date, include links to your website, and post interesting and engaging content regularly.

Also, focus on the social media platforms that drive the most web traffic. As you post and engage on social media, pay attention to where your audience is coming from. Monitor what sources are sending the most traffic to your page and try to replicate those efforts. 

Your social media strategy should include a specific call to action (CTA) that prompts your audience to click through to your website. The easiest way to drive traffic from social media to your website is to include a link in your profile and update your bios. When you post, be sure to include a link back to your website in the post so that people can click through to your site.

Another great way to use social media to drive traffic to your website is by running social media ads. You can target specific demographics, interests, and even behaviors to be sure they reached the right people and how well your ads performed so you can adjust them as needed.

You can also create clickable content that directs readers to your website. It’s important to include social sharing buttons on your website, as those will prompt your readers to share your content on their social media accounts. 

When sharing content on social media, be sure you are driving that traffic back to your website. You want to make it easy for your readers to purchase your products or services.

How to Use Social Media to Make More Sales

Trying to sell your product or service on social media can be daunting, but it’s not impossible. 

Try using the 80-20 rule we mentioned above for content on social media: 80% informative or entertaining, 20% promotional. It will help establish a balance between providing valuable information and driving sales. 

People who follow you on social media give you implicit permission to send them promotional content. That said, you don’t want to spam your audience or come across as desperate or annoying. They expect to receive your sales messages and special offers but don’t want to feel like they’re getting spammed. 

To make the most of your social media sales efforts, follow these tips: 

  • Offer discounts and special promotions. You can use social media to promote sales on your website. You can also host social-only promotions, as well.  Just be sure to make it clear that the offer is only available through social media.
  • Create engaging polls to ask questions. It is a great way to collect data from your audience and understand their wants and needs better. 
  • Host contests and giveaways. Everyone loves to win stuff, and you can use social media to drive more sales by hosting regular contests and giveaways. 
  • Interact with your customers. Interaction is an important part of any successful sales strategy. Make sure you are always there to respond to questions and comments. 
  • Focus on quality, not quantity. Don’t share too much too often. Instead, focus on adding value to your audience; they will keep coming back for more. 

Using a Content Calendar and Scheduler for Your Posts

Using a social media content calendar is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your company. Using a content calendar, you can plan your posts and be sure you are posting regularly and on schedule. 

This will help you maintain a consistent presence on social media, and it will also help you to measure the success of your marketing campaigns better. Additionally, you can use a social media content calendar to track your posts’ performance and see what kinds of content resonate with your audience.

You can then use a scheduler to help you post your batched posts at the correct times. By ensuring your social media accounts are always up-to-date, your followers will see new content regularly!

When creating a content calendar, there are a few different ways you can go about it. You can use a spreadsheet or Google Docs to create one manually, or you can use a tool like Publer to help you out.

You must decide on a posting schedule if you make your calendar manually. Posting can be daily, weekly, or even bi-weekly. Once you have decided on a posting schedule, you need to fill it in with the content you’ve created.

Once you have a few pieces of content created, you can start adding them to your calendar. Add the date and time you want them posted and any relevant information like hashtags or links. The process is much simpler if you use a tool like Publer.

You can connect your social media accounts and blog, upload your calendar or import a sheet, and the software will automatically populate your calendar with your content. All you need to do is add any relevant information and hit publish! It’s easy! (We use Publer to schedule our and our client’s content.) 

Using a content calendar and scheduler can help you to organize your social media posts better and ensure that more people see them. It also enables you to create content in advance and post consistently. 

Consistent posting will help ensure that your social media accounts are always up-to-date and that your followers will see new content regularly!


If you’re an entrepreneur with a proven product to sell, social media can take your business to the next level. Using social media as a step in your cyclical marketing campaign can sell more products and make more money. Social media is influential tool business owners can use to connect with current and potential customers. 

Using social media platforms to leverage engaging content, you can connect with more people and learn more about your customers.

Additionally, you can use social media to track the success of your marketing campaigns and learn more about what kinds of content resonate with your audience.

Content calendars can help you better measure the success of your marketing campaigns, batch your content, save you time, and create a vision for overall content themes. Using a theme allows your entire strategy to work together and promotes a unified brand image and voice when your customers move from engaging on social media to your website.

We know that social media can be overwhelming, but don’t worry – we’re here to help. We have a deep-dive full-length episode of The Donut Shop on social media just for you! 

Check it out and let us know what you think

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