Running your own business can be time consuming enough without having to think about social media. But is it something you should be doing and if so which ones and how?
Social media refers to the different ways you can interact with your customers on a more personal level as well as allowing you to share content with them. The benefits of using social media for a small business are:
- It allows you to form a dialogue with your customers. You can tell them about anything that is going on and equally they can talk to you too.
- You can potentially gain more customers through social media by networking. The more followers you gain, the more exposure you get.
- Social media promotes your company more widely.
- Using social media allows you to display more of a personality and voice which may be normally difficult to do.
The Best Social Media Sites to Use for Small Businesses
There are many social media sites out there and more developing all the time. The best ones to get started with are:
- Facebook – This is easily the most popular social media marketing site. Individuals as well as companies use it and chances are many of your competitors are using it too. You can have public or private conversations with your followers and this is a great way to share content such as links to websites, videos or photographs. If you’re starting out, you can grow your fan base by offering a giveaway of products or exclusive content. Keep it relevant to what you do and limit the amount you have to give away.
- Twitter – This concept is based on letting your followers know what you are doing on an ongoing basis and allows them to have more of an insight into your company. You can share tips and links to your content and engage with customers.
- LinkedIn – This professional network allows you to connect with other like minded people such as colleagues, clients and suppliers. You can keep in touch, share ideas, join groups and discover career opportunities.
Things to Talk About:
Social Media sites are not the place to conduct a hard sell approach, as you will just turn people off. Instead tell your followers things that are relevant and will interest them. Here are some examples:
- A new product launch or product range or perhaps a new service.
- Any (price) promotions.
- Moving to new premises.
- If you’re attending an event, show or seminar, etc.
You may think you don’t have time to use social media whilst running a small business, but the truth is that more and more customers expect to see this now whilst dealing and interacting with an organisation. The social media sites mentioned above are all free to use, but in order to see any benefit from them, they take time and commitment to regularly update. If you really can’t find the time, employ someone who can look after it for you.