Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
Although it might seem like social media was invented to give high school kids and bored college students infinite storage for cute pictures of animals with kitschy captions, this world of meme generation is actually a potent tool for communication. Once you've waded through the general white noise that pervades one huge sector of the Net, you'll realize that no matter what people are talking about, they're still completely engrossed in an ongoing conversation. People are using the Web to share what's on their minds, building entire communities out of common interests.
Enter small businesses. By showing your consumers that you're hip enough to have an online presence, they'll have the option of making you part of their digital discussions. For that reason, there is enormous potential waiting for companies that propel their brands into the hearts of their Web-based audiences. If social media marketing for small businesses is the goal, these tips will get you there:
Give your brand a voice.
You've already built a fan base with your products and loyal consumers are buying what you're selling. This step is half the battle. Ensuring that the quality of your brand doesn't get swallowed in marketing strategies, however, can be tough. As businesses become more successful, things like achieving a healthy bottom line and pushing for more success take precedent over remaining true to the original message. With a social media presence, however, a lot of that work can be done online. Not only will you be able to speak directly to your loyal followers, you'll be able to promote the more organic, humanistic qualities of your business.
Compete with a bigger marketplace.
Large companies often have a much wider pool of consumers, and while that doesn't necessarily make them better or more successful, it does mean that they'll have a harder time forging unique connections with people. This is where social media and small businesses work extremely well together. If you're consistently providing direct feedback to comments and criticisms on your Facebook page, for instance, you're showing consumers that you care about their opinions. Little by little, if you're providing the same service as a corporate giant, you might be able to draw some of their people to your business just by being active with them online.
Make good use of negativity.
Small business owners might discover that their social media sites can also incur the wrath of unhappy customers. You know what? Let them come. In fact, this interaction can - and will - provide you with invaluable opportunities to tweak the way you do business. If someone is upset enough to take time out of their lives to let you know about it, that typically means they care enough about their relationship with the company to bother with it at all. This also means that you might have a chance to make things right - all on public display. By showing other satisfied consumers that you're willing to turn things around for someone else, you're simultaneously reinforcing the idea that their confidence in your business is well-placed.
Stay consistent and get them to buy.
Once you've established your online voice, make sure you're keeping it going. Because the nature of social media is constantly changing and evolving, consistent posts are crucial. Even a few days of dormancy can be enough time for people to start losing interest, so make sure that once a pattern of activity is developed, it stays that way. Furthermore, don't let the cat pics and Hollywood gossip articles swallow your selling power - once you have a good base of online followers growing, remember to sell them something.