How Small Businesses Can Use Social Media to Their Advantage - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

How Small Businesses Can Use Social Media to Their Advantage

All businesses are fully aware of the advantages of using social media as a part of their marketing, but small businesses face a lot of challenges when it comes to managing their marketing efforts.

Typically, cannot hire a team of marketers to take care of social media and their time is limited. What is a small business to do? Here are some tried and true methods of using social media efficiently and with excellent results.

Take Control Of One Platform

You do not have to do all social networks! Repeat that as many times as you need to. Having multiple accounts can be a great thing but make sure that there is one platform that you do exceptionally well in.

When you do well in one arena, you are more likely to see higher engagement and potential virality of your content. You can use a growth hack for Instagram followers or going viral on Facebook. Learn the tricks of your chosen platform and use them often.

Create A Plan

Making any type of business move without a plan is a recipe for failure. Plans are helpful to set the goals that will help you be successful every step of the way. Your goals should be realistic and within your scope of knowledge or the knowledge of your employees. You also should bear in mind that you do not have to use every tool available.

If you know Facebook well but are confused about how Snapchat functions, stick with Facebook! If you eventually have an employee who knows another platform well, then you can engage in that social network.

No matter what platform you are engaging with, be clear about what your intentions are. Is this where you make announcements about new product lines or is your focus to share articles that show why people need your service? Are you going to hold online contests to get people excited about your product or service? Who is your target market? When are they online the most? All these things can help you hone your social media skills quickly.

Assert Your Authority

Your business is going well already because you are good at what you do, why not share that online? Utilizing LinkedIn and connecting with others is a fantastic way to assert yourself as an authority in your market and lends to your credibility.

Creating guest posts and partnering with other companies on social media will not only show you as a leader but will also help you expand your target market. Remember, your business competition can be your greatest asset and social media shrinks the business world to make them more accessible.

Nurture Your Connections

Beyond the content you create, the most important thing about social media is nurturing your relationships. If people are commenting, liking, and sharing your posts, you must take the time to respond. Let them know you appreciate their support, answer questions, and really show you care.

When people feel like a company cares about them, they are more likely to become repeat consumers and will share about your business to anyone who will listen to them. Just like the ripples that occur when a rock is thrown into the pond, you take care of one or a dozen and more will follow. If you are working towards more passive income, this is one way to guarantee your success.

Share The Love

Not only should you be talking to your clientele online, but you should also be showing them some love right back. Customer appreciation can range from a simple “Thank you” on a post to choosing a Customer Of The Week on your social media page. Contests are another good way to share the love you have for those that are using your service or product.

At the holidays, all your clientele should get a personalized holiday card in the mail. You can include coupons or deep discounts. Creating a VIP consumer group is also another way to really nurture the relationship and say “Thank you”. The more you show the love to your consumers, the more repeat business you will score.

Step Outside The Box

Sometimes, social media can feel like a crowded room and no one can see you because everyone looks the same. Thinking outside the box and doing something to stand out can help you be visual. It doesn’t have to be anything extreme, just enough to get noticed.

Let’s say you are a small restaurant that features a local band each weekend and you are sharing space with another five or six restaurants in your area. If the one thing that sets you apart is the weekends of music, you can use that in your content so that people will take notice. It could even be a simple re-branding with a bright logo that could help you be more noticeable and could even get you more likes on Instagram for example.

Automate It

One of the biggest hurdles every small business deals with is the issue of time. The time to create the content, the time to post it, and the time to respond to people who are commenting on our content.

Time is important and managing it is not the easiest. Fortunately, the small business can use automation to take care of scheduling all their posts. Being able to take a day to create a week’s worth of content is far easier than trying to do it each day or every few days. Automated posts will go live when you choose to and aligning with high traffic time frames will ensure your visibility while you are out with clients are dealing with other business details.

Social media may feel like just one more task to add to the mix but it can become a major part of your routine that helps garner sales. Use what works and drop what doesn’t. Remember, you have a distinct advantage over large corporations because you have an easier time creating real relationships with your clientele. When you have those relationships, you will see your profits rise and combat your larger competition.





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