Marketing is a whole new world compared with 20 or even 10 years ago. Gone are the days when people would use the yellow pages or an ad in a newspaper to find a company to do business with – now, if your business doesn’t have a website, you might as well not be in business at all. However, marketing today means more than just a website. Customers expect you to have a social media presence, and if you don’t have one you are missing out on a prime opportunity. So, how should you be using social media?
1. Use It To Get the Word Out About How Awesome You Are
Among all of the different marketing strategies for small business, none have the diverse opportunities that social media has. For one thing, it’s a great way to spread the word about your business – consumer review sites such as Yelp let potential customers know that you deliver great service and amazing product. There may be no better advertisement than a satisfied customer who wants to tell the world about their experience.
Of course, this kind of social media has a downside. Unhappy customers are only too happy to give their opinion as well. This can be turned into a positive, though, by engaging the customer and working with them to make things right. This not only (may) result in turning that dissatisfied customer into a loyal customer, it will show others that you really do want your customers to walk away happy.
It is also a great way to see what you are doing right, what you are doing wrong, and any changes you should be making so that your customers keep coming back.
2. Use It To Share Your Expertise
Content marketing sites such as WordPress are fairly easy to use, and when you publish a blog or other content it lets people know that you are an expert in your industry. This builds trust and keeps you in the forefront of people’s minds when they need that expertise. You want to be known as the person who can solve their problems and answer their questions, and social media can help make this happen.
3. Use It To Do Market Research
If you are looking for the next hot knickknack to sell in your store or trying to figure out what kind of birthday cake kids are clamoring for this year for your bakery, social media can help. Discussion forums are a great tool to use to see what everyone is talking about. Content curation sites such as Pinterest are also a way to get a sense of what is trending. These sites can also spark a new idea for your business – you never know!
4. Use It To Engage Customers
People feel loyal towards companies when those companies make a connection with them. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are just a few types of social media you can use to have a conversation with your customers. Start a conversation about your latest product or service, post a poll, or run a contest. Post pictures of your staff enjoying themselves at work or at a community event.
When you do use social media for your business, make sure that you are always authentic – no one likes a “salesy” kind of interaction, especially when they are trying to relax with some social media browsing. Also, if someone has a comment or a question about a post, make sure you reply to them quickly and respectfully, even if it’s just a quick “thank you” for a comment. Lastly, make sure you use your social sites often so that your followers keep you in mind when it’s time to buy what you are selling.
If you are just getting into social media, it can be a bit overwhelming. However, this kind of marketing has such potential that it can’t be ignored. Harness its power and start reaping the benefits!