Does your small business struggle to find the resources it needs to compete with larger companies? If the answer is yes, I encourage you to look into social media. Social networks can help you actively seek out clients and/or customers with little to no cost, and are a great way to generate leads and acquire referrals. There’s a good chance you already have a handle on Facebook and Twitter, but there can be more added value in other social mediums, such as LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest and Reddit. While you may not have the means to spend big dollars on advertising, social media allows you to compete with the larger companies who are.
With such vast numbers of users on each social network, your chances of reaching someone who could potentially be interested in the goods or services your business has to offer are too huge to ignore. Social networks give you the opportunity to find these people and engage with them on a personal level. This will give your small business a distinct advantage over larger, less personal companies.
So, how do you get started? The first thing to remember is that social networking is all about conversation. It’s important that you personally engage on these networks in a genuine manner, keeping in mind that consumers don’t like to be solicited or bombarded with advertising. Another factor to remember is that each network has its own personality and character to follow. For example, Twitter is more public, fast-paced and geared towards news dissemination. Facebook, on the other hand, is more personalized and geared towards engagement and conversations. It may take some time, but once you grasp the different voices of social media outlets, you’ll then be able to figure out which outlet is best for your company.
The next step is to follow and join as many groups that relate to your company’s area of expertise. As the opportunity arises, share your knowledge and experience with others. If your business has a company blog, don’t forget to post your blog content on each and every one of the networks you belong to! This will not only increase your SEO, but it will increase your chances to be found by potential customers who are actively looking for the same topics. The more you position yourself as an expert in your industry, the more people will be inclined to engage and start a conversation about your business.
While social media is a cost-effective marketing choice, it takes work to manage. You can make accounts for you or your business at no charge, but you’ve got to give each and every network your own tender love and care. If social media is not your forte, hire a millennial! These guys eat, sleep and breathe social media, and can easily be trained on your industry and the voice that you wish to convey.
Remember that social media is an investment. Building a reputation within an online community takes time. If you don’t see results right away, don’t get discouraged! Give it some time – wait at least six months before you decide to abandon a network that isn’t working for your business.
All of these resources are right at your fingertips! If you follow the above guidelines and convey your message in a cohesive and personable manner, you will see results. The biggest mistake entrepreneurs and small businesses are making is not using social media. Unleash your online potential to the fullest – we promise, you won’t regret it!