Social media offers exceptional marketing opportunities for small businesses. Statistics show that approximately 60 percent of small business owners spend less than $100 to advertise on social media. Over 50 percent of them have gained new customers in 2011 from Facebook and Twitter. Using social media to promote your business is a great way to build awareness, gain loyal customers and generate sales.Here are five social media tips for small businesses:
1. Build a Strong Online Presence
The first step in promoting your business on social media websites is to build a strong online presence. Start by creating a profile on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Any social media profiles that you have are all a part of your brand. Make sure you include keyword phrases that are relevant to your business. Devote at least 30 minutes a day to your social media efforts.Set up a website and provide valuable content. Share your posts on social networking sites. Design an attractive homepage and choose a human face that people can tie down to your business. Try to find out which network has the highest concentration of your target audience. Join national organizations such as the Better Business Bureau.
2. Interact With Your Audience
Targeting your social media efforts to a specific area will help you obtain viable leads. Social media is free to use. All you have to do is to come with a strategy that fits your company’s needs. If you use social networking sites to connect with your customers, authenticity is a must. You can show the personality behind the logo by adding “behind-the-scenes” photos.
3. Be Proactive
Respond to your followers frequently. Leave comments on other people’s blogs. Take part in discussions and show your expertise. Create a series of instructional videos around your products and use testimonials from happy customers in order to gain credibility. Create a poll and let your fans choose the color of your next product. Ask for feedback.
4. Promote Your Business Locally
Create an account on Google Local. In a few weeks you will get a map listing for your company name. Ask your customers to write reviews on Yahoo local. Make sure your company has a free profile on local business listing sites and web directories. Get your business listed on community websites. Another great way to promote your company is to run a localized PPC campaign on Google AdWords. Social media websites give you the opportunity to find and connect with potential customers in your hometown.
5. Monitor Your Clients and Prospects
Add your customer’s blogs to your RSS reader, follow them on Twitter, and join their Facebook pages. Monitor what your clients are saying about your business in order to anticipate and serve their needs. Listen to what others have to say and value their opinions.
The most important benefit of social media for small businesses is the opportunity to interact with your audience and build relationships with potential customers. A small business should never underestimate the power of social media.