For almost ANY small business, social media accounts should be your first priority. It doesn’t matter what your overall marketing strategy ends up being; get and stay active on social media.
YouTube and Facebook are two of the most popular social networks and also the second and third most popular websites (respectively) in the world. If you’re objective is to find and keep customers, you should probably be where they are. There are obviously other social networks out there but this is just an example to show how important your message makes it to social media.
So if basically everybody is already on social media; what do you do? The goal of this article is to give you a game plan, whether you haven’t started yet or if you just need a boost. A lot of small business social media efforts stay stagnant, not doing anything for growth. So how can you get going on social media and insure success?
Make a Plan
Decide on what the tone and style your social media accounts will have. Get new graphics put together; nothing looks worse than a bad profile picture or header image for a small business. If your plan to get your logo up on social media is to throw a business card on the scanner, get your logo digitally done instead. Spend the time and money to make yourself look as professional as possible.
Figure out what kind of content you want to share. Build a schedule and stick to it. Even better, use a scheduling app to make sure new, relevant posts are going up on a regular basis. Make a plan to be consistent. A continuously active presence looks a lot better than a dusty profile with 4-year-old comments at the top of the feed.
Use the opportunity to showcase your knowledge. Share helpful hints and tips that you know. Go ahead and use this opportunity to advertise for your business as well, but, don’t go overboard. You have a better chance of keeping followers or staying on feeds if you’re offering more valuable or entertaining information than ads.
Get proactive on social networks. If you see somebody posting a status update with an issue relating to your field, make your presence known! The more active you are on social networks, the more authority you’ll build within your audience. Really awesome content you feature on social networks could end up getting shares, spreading your message and building authority at the same time.
Establish Your Reputation
While you’re building a presence and authority, you’re also developing a good reputation. People can very easily see every comment or tweet string you’ve been involved with and see how you respond in different situations.
Another situation to keep in mind at all times is, people will review you. Make sure you are really on your game always. You don’t want that one disappointed customer to be the most web-savvy one. If you keep your work premium, you’ll get good reviews. Share as many customer testimonials as you can and encourage your customers to leave you reviews on your social networks.
Connect with Other Businesses
Another awesome opportunity social networking gives small business, is, well, networking! If you haven’t yet, start getting in touch with other businesses in the area. You never know what kind of mutually beneficial opportunities could be out there unless you’re connecting and networking.
Bring Traffic to Your Blog
If you have a blog (and you really should if you don’t) get those new posts displayed! This practice pays itself back in several ways. The most common being, it builds authority and brings traffic back to your website.
Get a quick preview shared to your audience with a link back to your full blog. If the content you’re sharing is really awesome, it will get shares, bringing in even more potential customers.
If you can, encourage your audience and followers to comment on your blogs. Blog posts with contents get major brownie-points from Google and all the other guys. Facebook even lets you boost posts, so you can get even further outreach than you could on your own!
Attract New Clients
Follow all the steps in this list, and the new clientele is sure to start coming in. The practices shown in this article all follow the rules of inbound marketing. Everything spelled out here is relatively low cost. Even if you pay some money for blog posts or other content to share, it will pale in comparison to the cost of keeping a real “outbound” advertising campaign going.
However, there are great opportunities for more direct advertising as well. If you want, Facebook and other platforms have incredible advertising tools and services. You can use the data these sites collect to perfectly target your ideal customer with the perfect advertisement for them to see.
So, step back and take a look at your current social media outreach. Do you have a plan? Are you offering value to your audience? How’s your engagement? If you’re lacking in any of these areas, fix it! Keeping up on social networks will pay itself back several times over if you do your research, develop a great strategy, and stay consistent.