People power: Ten tips for using social media to grow your business

6 min read

Laura Daniells and Filippo Biondi from Dentsu X looks at how the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have transformed the way companies market their products and services.

people power

The lockdown and social distancing policies imposed in the UK over the past few months have led to a surge in online shopping, a trend which many people expect to continue even when life returns to normal.

This means it is now more important than ever for businesses to ensure their internet activity is helping them reach new customers and maximise their marketing potential. Over the past few years, clever use of social media has become not only a hugely effective way of growing a business but also a relatively inexpensive one to get started on. Ignoring social media is simply not an option for most firms, given that two-thirds of consumers use some form of social network in an average month and more than three-quarters of people are more likely to buy from a brand they follow online.


Here are our top ten tips for getting the most out of your company’s social media presence:

1. Understand your business objectives

The first step in developing a successful social media strategy is working out exactly what you want to achieve: is raising awareness your goal, or are you trying to drive sales? You could do both, but your focus should inform the online activity you need to carry out.

2. Speak to a wide audience

Social media is not just about generating sales it is also a vital way for companies to build their brands and raise awareness about what they do. This means it is important to speak to as many people as possible via social media rather than just your biggest fans.

Don’t get preoccupied with follower counts. Instead, aim to reach as many people as possible in any given week or month.

3. Listen to your customers

Social media is a two-way street, as well as delivering messages to your followers and other potential buyers, listen to what they are saying on social platforms. Not just about your business but also the types of products or services you offer. This kind of insight can be invaluable.

4. Know your audience

The most effective approach to social media will depend on the type of people you want to speak to. You need to understand the tribes and segments within your potential consumer base, working out which platforms they are most likely to use and how they typically engage with brands like yours.

5. Pick the right platform

Armed with this knowledge, work out which of the major social media platforms is best suited to achieving your goals. Facebook, for example, offers a number of targeted advertising opportunities and it is easier to focus on very specific demographics through the site.

Instagram takes a more visual approach and tends to be more aspirational, with a focus on lifestyle while Twitter is a platform where people go for news and information.

LinkedIn gives users the ability to showcase their personal profile and the ability to demonstrate credibility in your specific industry.

Don’t forget about the emerging platforms such as Snapchat and TikTok – these are great at appealing to a younger audience.

6. Spend money wisely

Think about the budget you want to allocate to your social media activity. Do you just want to commit staff time to running accounts, creating content and responding to customers, or do you want to pay for targeted advertising?

When thinking about promoting a post your content should be short, fun-to-read and is using eye-catching images to get the attention from your audience. Remember the post should drive the conversions that matter to your business.

7. Create great content 

Insightful, entertaining or engaging information is the lifeblood of social media. The kind of content you put out will depend on the platform or platforms you are focusing on. Bear in mind that attention spans are typically shorter, so make sure your messages or ads get straight to the point, that key information is prominent and that your tone of voice is aligned with your brand and the site you are using.

8. Gather data on your activity

There are two key performance indicators (KPIs) you should monitor regularly to understand how effective your social media performance is. Firstly, how many people you reach and the time they spend looking at your content (volume KPI) and the other is tracking the percentage of people who complete an action, such as clicking through to your website or landing page (efficiency KPI).

9. Evaluate your performance

Armed with this KPI information, it is time to ask: how are we doing? Benchmarking your activity against other data such as previous campaigns or industry average can give you valuable insight. By splitting your activity by segments, you can see which parts of your campaign were most effective.

10. Keep your community happy

Social media can play a vital role in your business’s customer service activity. Consumers are increasingly using the likes of Twitter and Facebook to make queries, provide feedback and most importantly post complaints. Dealing with these issues efficiently and positively can lead to higher satisfaction levels and recommendations to others.


You can watch James Brewster’s full webinar for more information.

Found this guidance useful? See other ways we can support your business, including the full list of topics and areas we’ve covered to help you reach your customers and gain press coverage.

Related content

24th May 2023

Cost-of-living action plan for business
Cost-of-living action plan for business

Santander has partnered with Business in The Community, an organisation that’s been supporting businesses in the UK for the last 40 years. As the cost-of-living crisis continues, they’re actively building tools to help your business deal with the mounting pressures.

24th May 2023

Measure and track your business’s responsible practices
Measure and track your business’s responsible practices

We believe practicing responsible business behaviour should be intuitive. But it’s not always easy to know the steps to take to practice responsible business behaviour, especially in a smaller organisation who may not have the same capacity or resources as larger organisations.

Tips for running a successful business in the current economic climate

How the nation’s high-streets are coping with – and overcoming – record energy prices, staff shortages and reduced customer spending.