A Beginners Guide to Social Media for Small Businesses

November 17, 2016 Published by ,

beginners guide to social media for small businesses

Why do I need social media marketing?  Well look how the recent presidential election was won.

FDR won because of radio, JFK won because of television, Trump won because of social media
That’s how powerful a marketing tool it is in the 21st century.

Being in business without engaging with social media leaves you one step behind your competitors. Even if you are a sole trader or small business you need to have a social presence. “But we don’t get any business through Facebook or Twitter” we hear you cry. This is NOT the only reason for using social media. Social signals also play a part  in SEO  and how authoritative your brand is.

Social media marketing can help with a number of goals, such as:

Which social platform to use?

Facebook

​Facebook’s casual, friendly environment begins with creating a Facebook Business Fan Page. Social media marketing for business pages revolves around furthering your conversation with audiences by posting industry-related articles, images, videos, etc. However, don’t make it all industry related as this can be boring. Try, if you can, to add a personal touch. Tell YOUR story. Give your audience something for nothing. Share stories, pitfalls you face.  Be revealing and be real in order to start online conversations.

Google+

Google+ is the new Facebook competitor, and it promotes the same fun, casual atmosphere. On Google+ you can upload and share photos, videos, links, and view all your +1s. Also take advantage of Google+ circles, which allow you to segment your followers into smaller groups, enabling you to share information with some followers while barring others. For example, you might try creating a “super-fan” circle, and share special discounts and exclusive offers only with that group

Pinterest

Pinterest is the latest in social media marketing trends. Pinterest’s image-centred platform is ideal for retail, but anyone can benefit from using Pinterest for social media purposes.

Pinterest allows small businesses to showcase their own product offerings while also developing their own brand’s personality with some unique pinboards.

Twitter

Twitter is the social media marketing tool that lets you broadcast your updates across the web. Follow tweeters in your industry or related fields, and you should gain a steady stream of followers in return.

Mix up your official-related tweets about specials, discounts, and news updates with some fun and quirky tweets interspersed. Be sure to retweet when a customer has something nice to say about you, and don’t forget answer people’s questions when possible.  Interact as much as possible. If you can link something you are doing, regarding your business or not, with someone famous then they may retweet or follow to their millions of followers.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the more professional social media marketing sites. LinkedIn Groups is a great venue for entering into a professional dialog with people in similar industries and provides a place to share content with like-minded individuals.

Encourage customers or clients to give your business a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. Recommendations makes your business appear more credible and reliable for new customers. Also browse the Questions section of LinkedIn; providing answers helps you get established and earns trust.

Youtube

YouTube is the number one place for creating video content, with can be an incredibly powerful social media marketing tool. Many businesses try to create video content with the aim of having their video “go viral,” but in reality those chances are pretty slim. Instead, focus on creating useful, instructive “how-to” videos. These how-to videos also have the added benefit of ranking on the video search results of Google, so don’t under-estimate the power of video content!

Snapchat

Snapchat is primarily used for creating multimedia messages referred to as “snaps”; snaps can consist of a photo or a short video, and can be edited to include filters and effects, text captions, and drawings.

“Stories” are viewed in chronological order, and each segment is accessible for 24 hours. This is an idea platform if you are appealing to a younger market of 16-24 year olds.

 

Social media is particularly important for small businesses with little or no marketing budget. It is free and, if used properly and effectively, can reap great rewards.

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This post was written by Caroline Phillips