6 Social Media Marketing Tips for Small BusinessesPosted by oicadmin on 09/15/12
Tags: social media marketing , social media , blogging , small business , tips , strategies
The capacity to plan and execute a social media marketing strategy is sometimes limited for small business. Because small businesses lack having a the resources and manpower to consistently manage social media marketing, some local companies tend to fall behind on this powerful medium.
This is a big deal, because local businesses that build cohesive social marketing campaigns can get a significant jump over their competitors. And because social media promotes customer interaction, credibility, and loyalty, small businesses in particular can greatly capitalize on these marketing opportunities.
So if you're seeking ways to promote your small business and have yet to delve into social media marketing, below we offers six solid tips to get you started.
1. Start Blogging
Okay, so blogging was probably not what you expected as the first tip to build your social media strategy. However, the blog content you produce (whether that be an article, video, or infographic) is the foundation for what you share via social media. In a sense, you can be as active as ever on Google+ or Facebook, but if you're not sharing quality, audience-relevant content, you're social media strategy will not reach its fullest potential.
The idea is to use the content of your blog to inbound traffic from social media sites to your small business website. This can be immensely powerful for a local business, because local social media followers often have see more trust and respect in supporting a business in their area. That said, not only should you be producing and sharing content about your business, but also sharing content about the area (when relevant to your market or product/service offering.)
2. Spruce Up Your Profile Pages
Most social media platforms allow businesses to get creative with their profile pages. Both Facebook and Google+ alike offer tremendous customization, enabling businesses to show-off the goods and funnel users down a conversion path.
An example of this is using custom tabs on your business's Facebook page. With custom tabs, you can add image galleries, videos, or an incentivizing freebie. You can also include a link to your email opt-in to build your company's email list.
To start using custom tabs on Facebook, you'll need to install an iFrame applications. Here is a solid list of iFrame apps that can be used for various purposes.
3. Create a Plan & Keep on It
It's common for us to hear the question "How many times per day should I post on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook?”
Unfortunately, there isn't an ideal number of daily posts. However, research does suggest that posting 2-3 times a day is a good baseline.
Anyone can manage a consistent posting schedule for a couple weeks, yet the real champs of social media marketing are the businesses that keep at it every day of the week. Because your followers check social media sites at different times throughout the day, only posting once every 24 hours is simply not enough - for most followers won't see it.
In short, consistency wins. Make an effort to post various types of content throughout the day. Additionally, stagger your social media posts at different times in order to reach more fans. Also, always remember to include a call-to-action statements (or verbs) like 'check-out,' 'click' or 'share.' This will help increase the level of engagement users have with your content.
4. Maintain Brand Integrity
It's easy to let personal interests mingle with a company's social media presence, especially if the business is small and local. We see this all the time, and in more contexts that social media.
For instance, the owner of a local brewery wanted all of his logo's designed around fish, purely because he loved fishing. However, nothing about his brand or beer had anything to do with fishing.
Like my favorite yoga teacher always said, "keep the ego out of it." That same idea can be applied to social media marketing. Avoid making posts about your business that center on you.
The fact of the matter is: nobody cares.
Okay, so maybe friends and fellow employees of the company care, but keep your personal life out the business's social media front. A good tip to avoid being tempted into doing this is always speaking in-terms of the business as a whole. Use "we," not "I" - because as we all know, there is no "i" in team.
5. Be Empathic & Engaging
Think of social media marketing as storytelling. Furthermore, think of your target audience or customers as the characters of the story. Be empathic: put yourself in shoes of the audience and think about what motivates them.
This concept is paramount in almost any form of marketing. Empathy drives engagement, and when you have engagement, the ability develop relationships (and drive leads) is limitless. Analyze and measure what patterns and reactions your followers display. In essence, let their actions, needs, and desires drive the story.
6. Reach Out
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of building a strong social media presence is proactively reaching out to individuals and other local businesses. Don't hesitate to tag people or other companies in your posts. Not only will tagged recipients find it awesome that your singled them out, but their friends and colleagues can catch on too.
The cool thing about Facebook and Google+ is that users get notified (typically through the social newsfeed) when their friends get tagged. Although this is not always the case, the concept of reaching out is imperative to generate more awareness.
Another easy way to reach out is to start following other related businesses, especially those within your local area. This shows that you’re engaged in your local economy and care about what other companies are doing in the area. It's also a great way to build relationships with other businesses.
This blog post was contributed by Internet marketing specialists Tyler Tafelsky. You can connect with Tyler on Google+.