Planning and executing an effective marketing strategy can be a bit of a challenge especially for a small business. This is where Social Media Marketing can do wonders for your business. It’s easy enough to setup and affordable too. See my social media marketing tips below that I have personally used for my small business clients.
Facebook is the best social media marketing tool you can find right now. With over 750 million active users all over the world and growing, imagine your small business has the power to target all those people.
If you haven’t signed up for Facebook yet, you are missing on the biggest market, so sign up quick! Once you create a personal account for yourself on Facebook, you should create a ‘Page’ for your business. Select the right category for your small business and enter descriptions, website links, photos, videos etc.
Go through your competitor Facebook pages to understand what works for them. Once you have setup your page, spread the word amongst your Facebook friends. Remember when you have 25 people who like your page, you should register the username for your page.
As an advanced step, you should create a custom welcome page and have different sections for the most popular sections of your business. For example, if you have a restaurant, you should have a section showing the menu, reviews, directions, discounts etc. You should also look into creating Facebook Ads. This is where you can target those 750+ million users on Facebook.
Twitter is another great social media marketing platform for small businesses. Signup today and reserve your business name as the username. This should be done in addition to your own personal twitter account, as there might be instances where you will have tweet as the business and it is also a great way to have your business name out there. Once you setup your twitter account, spend some time searching for various search phrases that your business is closely related to. Remember to search for your competitors and check what they are doing and also search for your own business as people might already be talking about it!
As an advanced strategy, get desktop and mobile twitter clients like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. This will help you better organize your twitter campaigns.
LinkedIn is another good social network that is focused on businesses and professionals. Setup an account to reserve your business name and once the profile is setup, research your competitors and strategize your own marketing plan for your small business. Look up your customers, employees and known contacts to build a strong network. Get your customers to “recommend” your business which will increase your online reputation. Find groups that have a connection to your business, get involved in the conversations and answer questions. If you can’t find a group that interests you, start one!
4. Company Blog
There might be more attention on social networking sites but having a blog for your small business adds another dimension to your marketing strategy.
Setting up your own blog on your domain using a platform such as WordPress which is free and relatively easy to setup with a little technical knowledge, is the best way to proceed. You can also use blog sites such as blogger, however, setting up a blog on your own domain will look more professional, provide you with more control and flexibility and is well worth the effort.
Once the blog is setup on your website, focus on how to get your target audience there. Write great compelling content that people will enjoy reading. Find something interesting and relevant to write about, otherwise you will get bored and end up not making use of the blog. Add plugins and easy share buttons so that people who enjoy the post can easily share it with friends.
5. Participate on Blogs
It might seem like a waste of your valuable time but participating in other people’s blogs can be another valuable asset to your marketing efforts. Reputation and credibility takes time to build and don’t wait till everyone comes to you. Find a few blogs focused on your industry and try to be a regular reader offering helpful comments and participating in discussions. Once you have built up your credibility with these blog owners, they might let you guest post an article. This is a good way to get in front of a bigger audience.
6. Mobile & Local Strategies
Foursquare and Yelp are two good sites / apps focusing on your local small business. It lets people check-in with their mobile phones and use social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook to announce their location.
Again, it is important to atleast register your small business with these mobile social networks. You would be able to advertise your promotions to loads of potential customers and this again being in your local area.
Remember to add your listings on Google Places, Facebook Places, and also make sure your website is optimized for local searches.
YouTube is another very popular website where you can share your videos. You don’t need to produce expensive video presentations, simple videos that help your marketing efforts is all you need to take advantage of YouTube.
Try to create a video that will go viral and distribute it using many social networking sites as possible.
Flickr is another great website where businesses can post photos of products or related content.
These are only a few tips on small business social media marketing. There are hundreds of social networks out there and your customers can be on any one of them. Make sure you have created profiles for your small business in atleast the major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. Once you have set up the basics try to combine your social network profiles to get most out of your time. Connect Twitter with Facebook and then connect your LinkedIn profile with your blog. Remember to integrate social buttons and sharing tools on your website.
I hope these social media marketing strategies will help your small business get in front of your competitors and gain popularity with customers. See how we can help with your social media marketing.
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