Build Your Small Business with Social Media
Social media is here to stay – why not use it to market your small business? Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn when combined with print advertising, direct mail or email marketing campaigns can help you build a larger, more diverse customer base. Social media marketing also allows you to interact with customers whenever. This means you can offer advice, suggestions, answer questions and concerns and promote new goods and services in real-time.
Getting Over Your Fear (or Dread) of Social Media
If you feel anxious just thinking about creating a social media marketing campaign for your business, you’re not alone. Many people think they will have to spend hours and hours chained to their laptop writing posts, uploading pictures and responding to questions – for very little in return.
Using social media to promote your business will take at least two or three hours a week to implement and maintain. Create a simple schedule that includes how many posts and images you want to upload and the amount of time you want to spend responding to customer questions and comments. Once you get into a groove, you’ll be able to adjust the schedule as necessary to maintain a strong online presence.
Unlike other advertising and marketing campaigns where stats like sales numbers, page views and opt-in numbers dictate success, social media campaigns are about building a community that may lead to eventual sales or increased exposure. Keep this in mind as you venture forth – the overall goal is to build your brand and contribute to the community – this can take some time before you see long-term results.
Always Post Quality Material
Posting for the sake of posting is not the best strategy when marketing your business using social media. To build trust and to ensure that people return to your pages often, you should provide quality content that informs or entertains.
If you’re unsure about the types of content to post, ask your audience directly. This is the easiest way to find out what your customers need. Then you position your goods and services as the way to satisfy those needs. Send out an email blast to those on your mailing list, post questions on social media pages or on your website, or browse through online forums pertaining to your business field to find out what your customers are searching for. Create material that addresses these concerns.
Remember that quality always beats quantity – there’s plenty of useless information online, don’t contribute useless information just to make a sale. Most people are pretty internet savvy these days, and will be able to recognize quality information from just another useless sales pitch.
The Advantages of Paid Social promotion
Paid advertising remains an effective and smart way to reach out to customers. This type of advertising reaches customers with immediate needs and also those who are researching their options. Create short, meaningful ads to place on Facebook, Google and other search engines to promote products, services, in-store events and sales. These ads can help increase traffic on social media pages and your website. Once there, people can browse your content, ask questions, book appointments or buy something.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat
There’s no need to continually develop new advertising and marketing strategies once you’ve found something that works. By combining one or two online or offline marketing methods with social media marketing, you should be able to reach customers and sell your goods and services on a regular basis without much fuss. Social media marketing can be fun and profitable as long as you provide relevant, thoughtful content on a consistent basis to your online community.