Social media has changed how we interact with others – both personally and professionally. Checking what your friends and family are up to on Facebook, seeing what’s breaking on Twitter and drooling over more avo-on-toast and beach yoga pics on Instagram is just a normal part of our switched-on digital lifestyle. But social media can be more than just an enjoyable break from work – it can help you ensure that your small business achieves success without a huge marketing spend.
Build a strong brand
You might only be a small business, but social media means you can make a big noise by building a great brand identity. For example, if you’re an informal, relaxed sort of company, let that show in your tone of voice when you’re posting updates or sharing content. Use Twitter, Facebook or Instagram ‘likes’ to show your followers what you’re interested in, and soon you’ll have your own, unique voice that reflects your brand’s key values. Just don’t try to copy anyone else – an authentic voice is far more powerful.
Drive traffic to your website
All your activity on social media – whether that’s sharing news, blog posts, or posting cool pictures – should all focus on a ‘call to action.’ That is, giving people a compelling reason to visit your website, where they’ll be able to convert that interest into something great for you, whether that’s buying your product or signing up to your newsletter. Think about what you want your customers to do, and then use social media to get you there.
Connect with new communities
Social media is full of thousands of potential connections, who could be passionate fans of what you do or what you’re selling. Use your company keywords to find new followers and groups, and join in. Encourage your followers to engage with you on social media – whether that’s hosting a Twitter chat, posting pics of themselves using your products or services, or filling in surveys about their satisfaction levels. Long-term loyalty comes from showing your clients you’re listening to them, not just talking at them.
Grow your reputation
Being connected on social media (and not letting your profiles get digitally dusty and unloved) shows the public you care about your company, and what people say about you. Make sure you check regularly any hashtags or notifications about your business, and if there’s a quibble – get back to them! Responding with any complaints or queries head on is the best way of dealing with these issues, and prevents small quibbles growing into bigger problems.
Essentially, the reason social media is so popular with SMEs is simple – it makes you more money. Research has shown that 72% of people are more likely to make a purchase from a small business after interacting with them on Twitter and more than 50% of businesses agree social media helps them increase sales within two years (Social Media Examiner). So get your company social and find those new customers.
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