Marketing Your Small Business Through Social Media
In today's business environment, it’s crucial for every small business to create and grow a social media presence if they wish to really engage with their customers. Despite this, only 61% of small businesses have an effective social media presence and there are still many misconceptions to be overcome. Some companies mistakenly think that too much time will be required to maintain multiple social media accounts and that there will be no return seen on this investment; others just don’t feel it is the right route for them to take.
So, how do you kick start your business’s social media presence?
Know your Target Audience
In order to maximize impact, you must know who you are targeting and which social media sites they frequent. Each social media site has a different ambiance and consequently a different demographic, and researching this thoroughly is a worthwhile investment in time.
Social Media Goals
It’s important to be clear from the outset about exactly what you hope to gain for your business through the use of social media sites. Do you want to raise brand awareness, open a communication channel for your customers or try to generate sales through interactive advertising?
Three Popular Starting Points
Google+ and Google Hangouts: Both of these sites feature video chats and that makes them ideal if you want to give presentations or interviews aimed at potential and existing customers. As an added bonus, Hangouts automatically connects with your YouTube channel, extending your target audience even further.
Twitter: Twitter is a valuable promotional tool if used correctly. Choose hashtags which are relevant to your business as this will send your tweets further than if you didn’t use a hashtag. Keep a close eye on what’s trending on relevant topics, and add your own contributions with the hashtag.
A great way to gather Twitter followers is to join in one of the Twitter chats. These have thousands of contributors and last anywhere up to an hour. If you get engaged in just one of these conversations, you can amass a huge following in no time at all.
Facebook: Facebook can be a challenge for the small business to target effectively as there is such a variation in audience demographic. An effective strategy is to ask for ‘likes’ on the other social media sites, commenting regularly on applicable content, and making sure you keep your own page busy with fresh content.
Like it or loathe it, social media is definitely the way to go if you really want to get your small business out there, and although the exercise may seem rather bewildering and time consuming at first, the returns will far outweigh the investment in the long run.
Image source: infinitemarketing.info
About Alison Page
Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies. Read her full story at http://www.theladywriter.co.uk