How to Promote A Small Business Using Social Media

Do you think social media is overrated? Feel that it is unnecessary when promoting your business and its product or service? Well, think again. Whether you believe that a sustained online and social media presence is necessary or not, people are talking. Yes, they are talking about your business. Reviews are being written about your product or service. Through social media sites such as Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, your customers are speaking about their experiences telling other potential customers what your service and product is like. So, you see, you cannot avoid using social media, for even if you don't like it, millions of others do and in the 'write about everything' culture we see online these days, people are blogging and talking and spreading the word, good or bad, without your input.
Wouldn't it be useful to enhance the chances that those words be positive, by having your say? Wouldn't it be great for you business to find new marketplaces, new demographics, to expand and develop your brand right in front of a customer base potentially millions strong?
For these reasons, you have to get involved, otherwise you are in danger of letting your business fall behind against your competitors, who you can be certain will be reaping the rewards of an effective social media campaign as we speak.

But How Do I Promote My Small Business With Social Media?

Regardless of whether you are a tech-head or a novice when it comes to online marketing or social media, it is a relatively easy task to put your small business on the online map, sitting it alongside huge multinational corporations.
But how can my small company compete with their resources?

This is a great question, and the answer to it is the main reason why advertisers and marketing experts now see social media as the number one outlet for developing a customer base for a product or service. You see, while huge successful companies have the buying power to purchase advertising time on TV and radio that you and your business might not have, when it comes to social media promotion there are few if any costs, so even the most modest of companies can set up a social media campaign as effective as the largest of corporations. Combine this with the fact that social media can target any demographic via the billions of internet users world-wide compared to the relatively narrow demographics of television and radio, then it becomes self-evident how an effective social media campaign could potentially increase the success and size of your small business exponentially.

The Essential Top 6 Social Media Tips For Promoting Your Small Business

Entire libraries are filled with books on all sorts of advertising and marketing strategies, and social media is no different. This may appear daunting at first, but if you just keep the following six things in mind you can easily lay the basis for a successful social media campaign promoting your business.

  1. Target Your Audience: While we said earlier that technically you can target a world-wide audience of almost any demographic, before embarking on your social media campaign you should determine what your primary customer base will be. This includes answering the most important question in business: 'Who am I selling my product to?'. So, who is most likely to buy what you're company sells. In social media we build networks, and those networks will be populated by those who have an interest in either what you are selling or something similar. For example, you want to promote your plumbing business, well you're not going to target teens are you? You will build a social media campaign to target home owners, business owners, and land lords.
  2. Perfect Your Media Outlet: One of the biggest mistakes which business owners make is to sign up for far too many social media sites. If you are a small business you need to spend time building interactions with your customers through care and attention. This can only be applied by focusing on around 3 or 4 social media sites at one time. It is recommended that any business owner have a Facebook business page, a Twitter account, and then a social blog such as Tumblr, Blogger, or Wordpress. Build up a fan-base through using these sites and then when your online customer base is healthy, expand out slowly to other social media sites. If you start with too many at once often none of them will grow adequately.
  3. Engage With Your Audience: In this day and age, everyone is constantly online via mobile devices wherever they are. For that reason social media has become about more than just clicking a like button on a page, users want interaction, they want to feel as though they are part of something and that they matter in the eyes of a business which they use. Therefore you need to engage with your audience. Make sure that you post regularly to your accounts asking followers questions, and always – ALWAYS – respond to every comment. Even if it is just to say 'thank you for the comment'. 
  4. Assign a Social Media Manager: This can make your life MUCH easier. If you have the money, hire someone to administrate your social media accounts. This frees up time for you to take care of other more pressing matters, but also, if you can hire someone well versed in social media then they will be able to form the most effective media strategy for your business.
  5. Network with Similar Businesses: This might seem counter-intuitive, and it is, but the truth is that it works. Let's say that your Facebook page as 1000 likes on it with an active user-base of around 300, but another business which is loosely connected to what you sell has a page with ten times that number of followers. Send a friendly PM or email message to the page administrator and ask if you could promote their business in return for them doing the same. This way you get access to their customer base! Always be friendly and always network. This cannot be stressed enough.
  6. Post Non-related Material: With the sheer number of social media pages out there, browsers, fans, users, they all have millions of sites clambering for their attention. For this reason as well as networking and gaining new customers, you have to make sure your page is fun. Somewhere people will check back on to re-engage with you. Then when they do require your product, your business will be at the forefront of their mind because they are interacting with you often. Post funny questions, re-tweet and share entertaining posts from other Facebook and Twitter users, talk about favourite sports, television shows, movies etc. Get people talking on your page and make it a lively and enjoyable place for them to visit.
These are just some suggestions, but if you embrace social media and follow these tips, you will exponentially increase your chances for business growth.
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