We all have heard the stories of businesses that made it big using social media, but most small business owners are unsure of exactly how to harness this powerful marketing tool. While it is easy for national brands to garner millions of online followers, it is a little more difficult for smaller businesses. Here are a few tips for using social media to build a small business.
1 Use multiple social platforms.
Don’t expect that Facebook alone will be sufficient, especially not before seeing what websites are being used the most by your customer base. Start out by creating a well branded presence on several different social media networks. Because many of your followers will also use multiple platforms, make sure you are posting some original content on each site. However, services like ping. fm allow you to post content on multiple sites, which can be handy when you are making an announcement or passing along important information about your business.
2 Don’t be ‘all work and no play’.
Your customers and fans did not sign up for a 24/7 commercial, and they won’t stick around for one either. Add content that is relevant to your area to ensure customer loyalty. You just may be a local expert on your industry, so act like one. Make your content short, relevant, and entertaining to keep people coming back.
3 Be consistent.
You can’t expect sustained interest in your business if you are only posting every few weeks. Ideally, you should post a few times a day, and these should be a good mix of commercial, informative, and entertaining posts. You can often set auto-posts to make this easier. If you have trouble thinking of content, try picturing your ideal customer. What do they need to know? How are they or should they be using your product?
4 Give people a reason to visit your social media sites.
All of your business’s contact information should be on these sites, as well as information on your products and services. Many businesses offer special discounts or promotions for social media followers, and these can help you track which platforms are the most lucrative. If you cannot afford to offer monetary value, simply offer good content that is relevant to your customers with out killing your company.
5 Act competitively.
Just because a social media site is free, many business owners treat it casually. You will have better results if you act competitively, the way you would if this were any other marketing tool. While there is no set amount of activity, you should try to do just a little more than your competitors. If you are the only one of the internet, you’re already doing fine. However, this is highly unlikely. There is a good chance that your competitors are using social media as well. See what they are doing and replicate what works. Further, try new ideas. This will allow you to learn from their mistakes while doing a little experimenting of your own. By learning to harness social media, you will provide your business of a free and highly effective form of marketing and branding.