Many small business owners feel overwhelmed at the thought of even starting their own social media profiles and activities and do not even know where to begin. This is completely understandable; technology is constantly changing and trends fly by.
However, social media is here to stay and it should be a major part of your online presence and marketing strategy. Social media is just a tool and should be used in conjunction with other strategies: ideally, your website would encourage users to “Like” you or “+1” your website pages.
Once they are a fan on Facebook, connect and engage with your customers. Offer interesting information and become an expert in your industry so that they can come to you for help.
Run contests and competitions. Encourage users back to your website for free downloads. Bring customers to shows and events via social media and then encourage Twitter conversations at the event (webinars, trade shows, etc) through more competitions, treasure hunts, Q & A sessions and more.
Social media should be just another tool to engage with your customers…in order to increase sales. Don’t be overwhelmed by it and take each day one step at a time. Start out by creating an account where your target market is likely to be found. Spend an hour creating your profile then set aside time each day to nurture it – nothing major. 30 minutes a day is perfectly fine.
One warning: Don’t use social media just for the sake of it. Customers sense insincerity and it is a waste of your time and theirs. Do it right.
Some great places to learn more:
For more information on how you can use social media in your own small business, I will be running a presentation with fellow GNONers Ellen and June, on September 2oth. We will take you step by step through the process of how to set up an account, how to set your privacy settings, best usage ideas – all in a small and hands on tutorial! Contact me to learn more.
Here’s a fantastic infographic simplifying social media and its uses.
Infographic design by Emily Caufield.