How to use Social Media for Small Business

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Why Social Media is essential for your business growth

As a small to medium sized enterprise, you may have thought that you do not have the time or the resources for social media marketing strategies. There is also a misconception that social media is a secondary if not a superfluous means of getting your brand/enterprise known. Regardless of whether you are a small start-up or a multi-store business, social media marketing is essential for your growth, and ultimately your profits.

Why use social media?

It was reported by GMSA Intelligence that there are officially more mobile devices in the world than there are people. This alone should give an indicator as to the smart devices and the app based program dependence of our world. There has been some data which suggest that nearly 74% of all online adults use social media and networking while the number of adults which read a newspaper (where the traditional ads would be placed) is closer to 30%. Clearly the margin for reaching people lies within social medium.

What networks should you use?

While there is a tendency for businesses to set up a Facebook business page , it should not be the end-all process to building your social presence. True, there are 1,7 billion users and counting for that site and as such it should be on the list of sites, but you should also consider sites such as:

  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Snapchat
  • Pinterest

Each site has a different function and will work to help boost your presence. Sites such as Instagram and Pinterest are specifically helpful to small enterprises which have graphics, photos, and visual information to share with the public as opposed to type/snippets. These two sites are also a great way of sharing photos from travels and conferences. Just remember to put descriptive tags in the description so that people can find them.

How can social media help my business?

Social Media can help in several ways. Primarily, by using social mediums for your business you allow for a potentially large audience to see and share the information. Consider. Would you rather post a article or picture on your Facebook page or send your friend a print ad in the mail? More than likely it is the first. Now, if that persons share the content and they post it to their page not only do you get the original person seeing your content, but then the next person and all their friends see the content. In truth you are getting marketing for free (unless of course you have a pay per click ad which is a whole different topic).

Social Media for small businesses increase the user engagement of the target audience as well. When you post a video or something which informs your target audience, rather than trying to sell them something, then the person feels empowered. That person, according to various studies, is more apt to purchase your services. Consider which is more appealing:

Buy your premium package of books here (with a call to action button)

Or

How to preserve the binding on your first edition books (with a call to action for a specific product)

Think about what appeals to you. If your marketing strategy would not entice you to purchase the goods or the services that you offer, then it will probably not bring in new clients. Additionally, consider how you go about obtaining information about a company or a new product. Do you look at the newspaper, search through various brochures, travel guides, and coupons, or do you look online for information? What content do you share? Do you share pictures, snippets, and videos, or do you copy huge chunks of text and send it?

Going beyond the Social Sites

While it is fundamental to social media networking to have active accounts in various social sites, a small business should also build up information for those social sites in other areas. For example, using Google Business Information Pages to give information for local buyers helps to increase your SERPs (Search Engine Result Page) for local business searches. Posting blogs within your site with the ability to share snippets and links on social media can help not only your social media presence but your SEO for the site as well. Apart from all this, having a social medium presence tells your potential customers that you are up to date with the latest trends and that you are focused on providing information in the best possible way to them.

The three steps to get started

There are basically three steps which you can take to get started in Social Media networking and marketing. Note that these are starter steps and that you will need to expand as your business needs require.

  1. Have a Facebook Business Page as Facebook is the dominant social media choice
  2. Input your information for your business into Google Business Listings
  3. Ensure that all of your pictures can be shared via Pinterest and that your sites images are properly tagged.

Don’t get discouraged

Social media marketing is an ongoing process. Do not get discouraged if you do not see immediate results. Good things sometimes take a bit of time to get rooted. Be persistent, be creative, but most of all be active in your social Medium and your small business is sure to see results.

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