There’s no denying it. Social Media is part of our everyday life, as consumers, marketers, and social beings.

Whatever the niche is, whether B2B or B2C, one thing is certain—we have to do social media right. The fact is, your target market is in social media, you just have to know where and how to reach them efficiently.

Today we talk about how to get ahead of the game and maximize social media’s full potential to grow your business. Here are several ways to leverage social media to grow your business:

1. Jump in the Social Publishing Bandwagon

The rise of Content Marketing has caused social media networks to build their own publishing platforms. With the success and growth of LinkedIn Pulse, other social media giants have also taken this publishing route. Today, aside from LinkedIn Pulse, we have Twitter Moments and Facebook Instant Articles. And then there’s Medium, which is not really considered a “social network” per se, but have become a content distribution channel that bloggers and brands use to attract bigger audience.

What’s happening here is, these social networks have allowed users to publish full articles on the social media platform, rather than just sharing links. That said, definitely include social publishing in your content strategy this year and see how it works for you!

2. Know Where Your Market Is

You don’t have to be in ALL social media channels. Say, if you have 3 hours to allot to social media in a day, don’t spread those hours thinly across 3-5 different social media channels. Instead, take 1 or 2 channels and focus all of your efforts there.

Here are some quick social media statistics:

  • 90% of Instagram users are below 35 years old.
  • LinkedIn is more widely used by professionals and executives, aged between 30 to 49.
  • YouTube reaches more adults aged 18 to 34 than any single cable TV network.
  • Snapchat is the youngest social network of all. More than six out of 10 Snapchat users are in the 18-to-24 age group.
  • Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest drive the most social media referral traffic back to websites. But YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn drive the most engaged traffic.

You have to begin with understanding who your market is, and then finding which social media network they hang out in. Invest your time and money there.

3. Engage with Social Media Influencers

Adweek claims Influencer Marketing as the next big thing. This is where PR, SEO (link building), Content Marketing and Paid Advertising intersect, and many brands will continue to take on social media influencers to talk about their products and spark conversations with their market.

This is true for both B2C and B2B strategies. In SEO and Content Marketing, we call this “influencer outreach”, where marketers build relationships with subject matter experts for the purpose of creative link building, thought leadership, and networking. With (relatively) little effort to connect with influencers in your niche, you can actually hit a lot of your targets at once.

When engaging with social media influencers, it’s good to take note of the following:

  • Your biggest advocates have the fewest followers (Buffer). A huge following may get you a lot of hearts and likes, sure, but that may not equate to action and engagement. Interestingly, “an analysis of over 1 billion social mentions from the past two years showed that 91 percent of mentions come from people with fewer than 500 followers.” Hmm.
  • Focus on quality content over quantity of reach. “Brands are interested in value, not empty views,” says Frank Narra. This tells us to not be blinded by the number of followers, instead, focus on the credibility of the influencer and his/her ability to create valuable branded content.


That said, consider setting budget for influencer outreach this year. Not only is it good for brand reputation and immediate traffic and sales, it can also add value to your organic rankings and visibility long-term.



The business plan is a critical element to starting a successful business. Why? Because a great plan is the foundation for operations and gives solid reasons as to why the business will be a success. The document needs to be as specific as possible and communicate the company’s vision and mission. It may sound overwhelming, but breaking it down into smaller pieces helps.

Getting Started

Every plan needs to explain why you are going into business. What need, desire or demand are you fulfilling? State the specific problems and list how your company solves those issues. After you – and other people – read the plan, you should be convinced that your idea makes sense. Be as objective as possible and give facts and statistics, if they are available.


The Financials

This section deals with both cash outlays for initial costs as well as a projection of how much money you anticipate making. No detail is too small or too large to ignore. For instance, if you know you’ll be going through toner cartridges on a regular basis, list them and how much they cost. On the projection side, show the anticipated number of customers or units being sold/produced. The numbers have to make sense for the business to be viable.

Competitive Analysis

Who is your competition? Just how does your company fall into the landscape of those in your industry? These are the questions that need to be answered. List your competitors, what they do and how they do it. Then describe how your idea is different, how you are giving customers more value for their money.

Market Segmentation

Chances are good that you want to target as large a market as possible to build your customer base. Dividing your market in order to conquer it actually works better – and is often more cost effective – than taking a widespread shotgun approach. Look for individuals or businesses that have the need your company fills. Your plan needs to show your primary focus and how that particular segment is different than others. This helps you outline your specific marketing plan.

Risk Mitigation

Challenges are going to happen. Shipments will get lost, suppliers go out of business and natural disasters occur. Have a plan to deal with these issues before they take place and you’ll save yourself from future headaches. Also, it shows people reading your plan that you understand that problems crop up and that you’re ready to handle them.

Your business plan not only helps you solidify your ideas; it can also attract support. Potential investors will appreciate the details, especially when they are backed up with solid documentation. You may also attract people who want to work for you, people that share your vision for the company. Other organizations may want to partner with you, which opens up their established customer base to your business.