Why small businesses should use social media

Question: Why do businesses use social media?

Is it:
a) to attract customers or clients?
b) to make sales?
c) to promote offers?
d) to create an awareness of their brand?


All the above.

So why should you use social media for your small business? What have you got to gain from it? If you can’t keep up with all the tweets & posts out there now, how will anyone see yours amidst all that noise?

These are all questions I have asked myself in the past and here’s what I have learnt.

What can social media bring to your business?

Everyone talks about how it is integral to your marketing plan, but what exactly are the benefits?

Social media makes people aware of your business identity.

What does your business stand for? What values does it encompass? What do you believe in? Echo this on your social media. Don’t talk in a voice that isn’t you. Make your social media the voice of your business in real time.

Let your potential customers and clients see what it would be like to know you. They will like you, engage & connect with you, trust you and one day buy from you (when they’re ready). But for the moment, it’s about being the personality for your business.

You can promote your content.

Everyone knows you should have a blog on your website (easier said than done…). Once you have it on there and are regularly writing, then what do you do with it? You want people to read it after all?

You promote it on social media – use keywords, hashtags, share posts to relevant groups, tag in influencers – spread the word!

Searches on social media will find your blog promotion and share it. This will mean you will start getting more traffic to your website and more potential customers/clients seeing what you offer. Bingo.

Your content and profile may appear in searches online.

Google is no longer the only place to conduct a search online. I use YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter to search for things. If you’re on YouTube with video blogs for example, you will feature in searches for your keywords. If you were pinning your blog posts on Pinterest, you would feature in searches on there. If your blog post had a hashtag relevant to your subject matter, you would feature in a search on Twitter – you get the picture??

It’s great for free market research to build your client personas.

If you want to build a better picture of who you should be attracting, start to build up profiles of ideal customers on social media.

Look at who they follow; what they’re interested in; if they take part in chats to do with your industry; what hobbies do they have; what sort of language do they use when they write posts; what problems do they have; what are they saying they want?

Using that information you have a picture of your ideal customer and can direct your marketing straight to them.

You can generate specific leads.

You can now use both Facebook and Twitter to advertise your business. Look at what you post and what is successful and driving the most engagement. Then use those subjects/posts to create an advert. You can target a specific audience, even down to who watches Strictly Come Dancing!

You can check your reputation.

Keep an eye on what people are saying about you using searches and respond to anything positive or negative. Manage your identity and how people hear about you. Fixing problems online shows great customer service and shows you’re human after all!

Big brands are using customer’s negative feedback to reinforce their customer service standards. How many people do you know who tweet complaints to a large brand when they can’t get through to their customer service? How quickly do they get it sorted?!!

It’s FREE!

So, now do you think you should be using social media for your small business?

As you can see, social media is a valuable free marketing tool for a business owner.  Not only does it allow you to reach your customers, but it allows you to engage with them, listen to them and even sell to them. So what are you waiting for? Find out where your ideal customers are going (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+?) and start talking to them!

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