I did a previous blog post on reasons why small businesses need to use social media. Now I’ve decided to give you some tips on how best you can use this medium for your business.
Social media can provide a huge amount of advantages for small businesses, including free marketing and wide reach. But what are the top tips and things you can do to make that happen? Here’s some I’ve thought of:
Useful content to showcase your knowhow
I’ve said before, when you’re posting content you should make sure it’s often useful. This is a great way to bring in followers and likes. Not only will your posts be helpful for people and encourage them to keep following you, you will be showing yourself to be the expert in your field. Posting useful articles or tips and tricks about your industry will demonstrate your knowhow. Just remember not to give away too much information!
Run a competition – air your wares
Competitions are great way to gain followers and also showcase yourself. Offer something from your business for free or for a reduced price and get people talking about your products. This way you’re offering something great but at hardly any cost to you. On Twitter you can do a simple ‘Retweet and follow to enter’ competition to really help spread the word. But also think of more imaginative ideas that can get people engaged in your business, for example ask them to submit ideas or photos to win. I stress ‘engagement’ a lot on this blog but that’s really the aim of the game, so getting some interaction when running your competition to make them even more worthwhile.
Strategise – think about what you want to achieve
Really this is the most important point when working with social media, and needs an article all of it’s own. If you are a small business looking to get into social media, you should come up with a strategy first to figure out what you want to achieve and how.
Some basic questions you should be asking yourself before you even approach social platforms are ‘what do I want social media to do for my business, what goals do I want to achieve, and what message do I want to get across’. Think about which social sites will be best for you, you don’t need to use them all; Facebook may not appeal to your target market and posting pictures of paperwork on Pinterest are not likely to be very popular… Strategy is the key here, think about what you want, and get a social media expert to help you formalise this.
Put your personality out there
The great thing as I’ve said before about social media is its ability to give a human voice to your business. For small businesses this is an extremely valuable tool. It sets you apart from the larger faceless corporations. Use social media to enhance the human side of your business by putting your personality into your tweets and posts. Start a blog and show people the ‘behind the scenes’ workings of your business, tweet about your day, keep things funny and engaging. All of these things will endear customers to your business, it will make them want to interact with you online and hopefully convert to full paying customers.
Again any more tips for small businesses using social media – use the comments box below to give your own!