Social Media And Business: Top 3 Tips
In today’s internet world, creating and maintaining a social media presence is vital to the continued success of your small business. Social media is a great way to get the word out about your goods and services. However, before you dive into this brave new world, consider these few tips to get you on your way.
1. Plan Your Strategy
The first thing you should ask yourself is who your target audience will be when you are using social media for your small business. Once you know who it is you’re aiming your content towards, make sure you’re giving them a call to action. What do you want them to do? Make sure you make this clear across all your various social media outlets.
Another thing to keep in mind is that each of your social media outlets may be aimed at slightly different demographics. For example, Facebook and its ilk may be more all encompassing, but sites like Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube tend to skew towards a younger audience.
One of the most important questions you should ask yourself while taking advantage of social media for your small business is how you will “communicate your uniqueness.” What kinds of goods and services do you bring to the table other small businesses don’t? Avoid spreading yourself too thin. Instead, focus on what your small business does best and make sure people know about it. That’s what social media is all about.
While formulating a social media marketing strategy, you should also set goals. Identify steps, which will allow you to integrate this new type of marketing into your existing marketing systems. It’s important you make sure your social media marketing strategy isn’t operating independently from your other marketing strategies. For example, if you find a lead through one of your social media platforms, it is imperative you follow up on it with your other marketing. Social media may be informal, but you shouldn’t let an opportunity to communicate with potential customers pass you by.
As you are developing your strategy, you should also be considering the importance of a fixed schedule. When you become a resource for customers on social media, you should make your presence known and continue it on a regular and frequent basis. However, while doing so, keep in mind you shouldn’t bombard people constantly with social media advertising.
2. Be an Authentic Social Media Resource
When you are promoting your small business via social media, you should emphasize to yourself the key word: social. You are cultivating a relationship with potential and current customers. Stay informed, but also stay authentic and relate-able. People are going to be much more receptive to a person than a business. If they see your social media presence as being personable, they’re more likely to trust you and that’s where the seeds of a relationship can grow.
If you make a mistake or a customer criticizes you on any of your social media platforms, it’s a great opportunity to ‘own up’ and rebuild that trust. You can do so by replying to them on that social media platform, in which case you will be demonstrating to customers (both current and future) your responsiveness and care.
Part and parcel with having a relate-able social media presence is to make sure your small business’ presence isn’t only about selling your goods and services. If this is the only thing you are using social media for, you are really missing out on a golden opportunity. While it is important to use social media as a way to get the word out there about your small business’ goods and services, if you constantly use your platforms to sell, you will alienate potential customers. Nobody wants to read or watch a mindless bot continuously selling things. So just keep in mind, sometimes it pays to lay off the sales pitch.
Lastly, while you want to be personable, it is also important that you communicate the fact you are an expert in the goods and services your small business offers. This will create an aura of calm for the customer, and will encourage them to keep coming back. It is also important to join existing digital communities, which are involved in the goods and services you provide. This will allow you to become part of that community, offer it advice, and become a resource for community members. People will then know whom to come to for wisdom. Your expertise will go a long way into attracting potential customers.
3. Provide Value by Telling a Story with Images
All of these considerations will go a long way to creating a social media presence for your small business, which provides customers with value. It will give them a reason to stay and to keep coming back and keeping engaged with what your business has to offer. Investing time into communication via social media will help with this, but the occasional reward or promotion exclusively for social networking customers will also provide an environment conducive to this.
Lastly, the final tip we have for you is to hook your potential customers with images. (or in the case of your YouTube platform, video) These will allow you to rise above the surface of a crowded social media landscape. Images stick in people’s mind and attract the eye. On top of all this, as the saying goes, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ This will save the limited space social media provides while also clearly communicating your message to the world.