Posted by : Amanda Stein Friday, April 20, 2012
Using social media as a marketing resource has been the trend for quite some time, but is quickly turning into a necessity for even small businesses.
Do you currently have your business on social media sites? Are you using it to your full advantage?
Customers are attracted to using social media as a means to communicate...and that is exactly what your business should be doing! Social media sites like Facebook give you the opportunity to quickly post alerts about specials and to interact on a whole different level with your customers.
To start... Do you currently have your business on a social media site? You may be wondering what your options are:
It is my opinion that Facebook is definite must. Facebook business users get to create a page with their own flair that visitors can 'like' to follow the business's posts and interaction. Ask your customers for feedback, engage them in conversation and post events.
Use the Facebook development tools to spruce up your own business's website. Create more interaction on your site and increase the possibility that your customers will share you with their network of friends. Network on a larger scale than you could have ever imagined.
Twitter is where there is a strong difference between a small business and a larger business. Twitter allows small character tweets with the option of a link. I don't find that small businesses have a lot of luck with Twitter, but I still make sure to keep their pages up-to-date and continue to 'tweet.' Why? Even though the numbers are smaller you do find a select audience within Twitter that you don't see a lot on the other social networking sites.
I could spend a lot of time speculating as to why this is, but I won't spend time boring you with my rambling... If you feel a little overwhelmed by the time that social networking sites take, cut some time and link your Business Facebook and Twitter accounts together - every post you make on Facebook will automatically be 'tweeted'.
Google+....well where do I start? Is it worth it? I say a definite "YES!", but I have a little bit of a different view than the normal small business owner. I spend a large portion of my day on these social networking sites updating information and researching how to make these avenues work to the best of their abilities. Google+ is hard. A lot of the normal everyday consumers have one, but do they use them? From what I've found...No, not really.
Google+ has just recently started to allow businesses to join their site and create their own pages. In fact I'm still using my personal one as a business one. I've included the link to their business sign-up page above. I really believe that Google+ will continue to grow. Go ahead and sign up...reserve your name..fill out all of the information and post as you have time. Google+ works great for me because my business's target audience is small business and it does work great for networking! I just haven't seen the kind of numbers I would like on the business's that I market for.
So you may be thinking...why in the world do you have this on here? I am a fan of LinkedIn and I strongly encourage employees to join and interact. Networking...it's all about networking! And you shouldn't have to worry about an employee saying poor things about your business because it reflects poorly on their profile if they do.
LinkedIn will find you a job (not that you need one) or you can post a job for your business. You can also create a profile for your business, but there isn't a lot of maintenance to it. I just find that it is an easy means of eliminating sometime while still advertising, plus it also helps your employees develop themselves as well.
There are many more sites out there. It really is a matter of how much time you have available. It does your business no good to have profiles that sit dormant and statistically it can actually hurt you. Customers question whether the information that they have read about you continues to be accurate. Why would they waste the time researching when you have a competitor that has their information complete?
That brings us to my second point...Are you using it to your full advantage?
The purpose of social networking is to interact. Build meaningful relationships with your customers and encourage them to interact. Interacting with your customers shows that you care and that you are willing to take time out of your day (or your pocket if you hire someone) to show them that you care.
Always take that attitude that you are blessed to have them as a customer and not that the customer should be blessed to have you...because you are!
Without your customers you would have no income...so make 'the hand that feeds you' know you care.
Build a business with a strong foundation of customers that back you up and watch your business soar!