Social Media 101: A Small Business Owner’s Guide
Are you a small business owner that’s not quite ready to make that next step into paid marketing endeavors? Have you ventured into exploring the free social media resources right at your fingertips? This goes beyond just creating a Facebook or Twitter account with your company’s basic information. Your audience needs to feel connected, and your content needs to be current, fresh, and engaging.
Facebook is a great tool that can easily be used to reach a broad spectrum of people at no cost to you. It is an easy outlet to provide incentives for new or current customers. For example, if you’re a boutique owner and want to drive new customers to your store, inviting users to “like” your page in return for a discount can intrigue those who have never visited your store to not only stop in but to also become a regular customer. It is also a great platform to provide specials to your current customers, such as discounts for students/teachers, promotions for certain days of the week, and more.
Twitter is another great social media resource that can help your business not only target an audience but keep them engaged as well. It is good to keep your tweets new and interesting. Users don’t want to look at your profile and see that your last tweet was two weeks ago. Tweets lose their momentum after two to three days. If you’re promoting your boutique, and you do not currently have a promotion to tweet about, keep your audience up to date on your inventory, new lines, reply to your followers, and respond to customer feedback. Also, encourage your audience to speak to you. Keep the conversation flowing.
Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are a very public way to see how your customers rate their experiences with your business. The positive feedback is beneficial in driving new customers, and the negative feedback allows you the opportunity to quickly learn of your areas for improvement. It also gives you a great opportunity to respond directly to any critics, head on, about any bad experiences they’ve encountered.
A few tips that may help exploring the social media world a little easier:
- Designate an account manager that is responsible for maintaining and updating your sites on a daily basis.
- Link your Facebook and Twitter accounts so that posts can be made simultaneously; thus saving time and eliminating double work.
- Grow your Twitter followers and Facebook fans by encouraging users on each site to check out both of your pages.
- Keep your fans/followers engaged by keeping your content new and interesting.
- Create and maintain daily or weekly reports that can help you gauge the success of your sites.
Developing an online presence through various social media platforms is a great starting point to grow awareness to your business. Once you have established success and the budget allows for it, pushing those social media efforts further by creating paid campaigns can increase traffic and profit in the long run. Through Facebook, you have the opportunity to target not only your Facebook Fans, but friends of fans as well, opening up the possibility of a whole new target audience. What a great way to establish and grow your brand name!
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