Social media can be an excellent opportunity for small businesses because of its high return on investment.
The ten tips below can help your small business succeed on social media and help you identify a wide range of resources available.
1. Set goals. Goals will help you to understand where you need to direct your efforts and how you hope to measure your success. Be as concrete as possible; for example, instead of saying “increase sales,” say “increase sales by 50 percent.”
2. Be personal. One of the great values of social media is the ability to put a personal spin on interactions. As a small business, your opportunity to do this is even greater. Interacting with customers in a way that makes them feel like they are dealing with other humans inspires a greater feeling of loyalty toward a business.
3. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Find out where your customers are and spend your time and energy there. It can be too tempting to try to succeed on every social network, but that will only lead to spreading yourself too thin particularly as a small business.
4. Incorporate video. Instructional video, customer testimonials, tours of your offices or retail spaces – anything you can think of that your customers might find useful or interesting that can be expressed through video will make you stand out. You can upload videos easily on YouTube and embed them on other social media as well as on your company website.
5. Provide valuable content. Think about the questions you hear most often from your customers; search the web for the problems in your field that tend to go unanswered. This will point you to content you can provide that no one else has, and your value to customers will skyrocket.
6. Visit other homes and neighborhoods. “Social” is a key aspect of social media. It means that you don’t just wait for people to come to you; you need to go out andengage with customers, comment on blogs, respond to tweets and more depending on the channels you have chosen. This is an excellent way to draw in new customers as well.
7. Seize the local advantage. Get yourself listed on Google places, and be sure that you have accounts at places like Yelp and Foursquare. Talk to your customers; remember that complaints and dissatisfied customers are an opportunity. Leverage your advantage as a local business to stand out from large corporations that don’t have the same stake in the community.
8. Stay consistent. Maintain consistency with your brand and message, and try to post at regular times each day and each week.
9. Be generous. Social media is no time to be guarded. Share information, share discounts and push promotions. You can even identify other complementary businesses and help to promote them. This makes you look like a member of a wider community as well.
10. Measure success. Based on your goals, use Google analytics and other tools to measure your ROI and see what approaches are producing the best results.
For not very much money, small businesses can builder a larger and more loyal customer base through savvy use of social media.
If you are a small business, in what other ways do you use social media and how much success have you had with it? Can you add to the ten tips above?
Steve Minks has over 25 years of IT & Digital expertise with a background in Property Development, Telecoms and as an accredited Health & Fitness professional. As a Digital consultant with test.icesugarmedia.com, Steve also enjoys writing on a range of subjects, functional exercise, visiting historical places and spending time with his family.
“Qualman is to social media what Demming is to quality and Drucker to management.” – Scott Galloway, NYU Stern School of Business