These days, if you want your small business to be successful, you need to have a social media presence. And that means your brand has to have true omnipresence, being everywhere at once so consumers know you and your product or service is legitimate. This may sound a little overwhelming at first, given how many popular social media networks exist now, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, or Foursquare (and that’s only five of them).
However, this necessity of omnipresence shouldn’t dissuade you. In fact, with the advent and rising popularity of social media, marketing a small business has never been easier. In the old days, being everywhere at once sounded great on paper, but it was a lot more difficult and, more importantly, expensive. Advertisements in newspapers or magazines and on radio, television, and billboards was prohibitively expensive, making it much harder for small businesses to grow.
But even though it’s so much easier, you might be wondering how you should be using social media to grow your business. That’s why we’re here to help! Keeping reading on to learn five great social media tips for small businesses.
We’ve already touched on this, but it’s important to emphasize: in the age of small business social media, you need omnipresence to stay in the public consciousness. However, while it’s definitely really easy to put your business on all the social media platforms listed earlier and more, what’s a little more challenging is making each and every instance of your business’ social media presence be of equal quality.
We’ve all seen it. A business that has a good website, but when you click on the social media hyperlinks on the contact page, they all lead to barren landscapes, whether it’s a Twitter profile with about a dozen tweets and less than a dozen followers or a Facebook profile with an image of the business’ logo and maybe a post or two. You don’t want this with your social media presence because the people who come across your profiles will see right through them as “follow-farms.”
“Follow-farms” are exactly what they sound like: pages created simply to get followers. Your social media presence needs to be more than that. Every instance of your social media presence needs to have content. And not just content, but meaningful content. Blogs, image/video galleries, surveys, testimonials, and other things that can engage the attention of visitors and always relate to your product or service.
Activity across different social media platforms broadens your business’ scope and lets people know that you, well, mean business.
This is where those surveys can really come in handy. After all, how can you advertise your business without knowing its primary customer base? You may have had a good instinct or an aim in mind when you started your business, but the market can be an unpredictable place. Using the different social media platforms on which you have a presence, you can conduct surveys with the fans and people who follow you and determine their background.
Determining the different characteristics of your fans can help you not just tailor your advertising, but even your product or service itself if it turns out that you’re reaching a different demographic than you originally expected. This is a very important aspect of social media management.
Entertain and experiment
This may surprise you, since experimentation is typically such a high-risk, high-reward kind of thing to engage in when you’re talking about your business. However, in this case, it’s connected to the truism that people gravitate toward things that entertain them, not advertise to them. Social media allows for this in a lot of viable ways; this is essentially about trying to make your business go viral.
Now there is no true formula for making things go viral; it’s an organic process and largely boils down to being in the right place and the right time. However, there are many things you can do to make this more likely. And that is to produce content. Content is king in the world of social media, and content can be advertising in disguise. As long as you’re entertaining the audience–whether it’s through comedic sketches or just silly meme images–you’re doing it right.
That’s where experimentation comes in. You won’t always get it right. But if you keep producing content, eventually some of it will start clicking, especially if you surround yourself with other creative and funny people to help produce it.
Specific Deals on Specific Platforms
This is an important and even crafty technique that can encourage the spread of your social media presence. Whether it’s a service or a product, deals can always drive up exposure and thus demand for your business and what it offers. This can be giveaways, coupons, and other types of deals that essentially give customers something for free or at a discount. It’s a great way to cultivate loyalty.
The key, though, is to give potential customers excuses to follow more than just one of your social media platforms. You could offer coupon codes for new followers on Facebook and maybe a giveaway contest for followers on Twitter or Instagram. It’s important to advertise these different giveaways on your website so customers who may not follow your business on social media may start to follow it.
Engage with Customers
Last, but certainly not least, it’s important to engage directly with your customers. If you’re running a really small operation, it could be you, the CEO and founder, who actually listens and responds to the feedback given by fans and customers on your social media pages. Otherwise, you should hire a person or a team who can handle all of the communication.
Either way, this is a great way to stay connected with your customer base, take in their feedback, and let them know that their voices are being heard. This way, your business can easily evolve with the demands of the market in real time and you’ll be able to keep your customers happy.
So those are five tips for you and your growing small business’ presence on social media. Make use of them and you should find yourself with a growing small business!