Are you a small-business owner looking to expand your business? Do you want to increase your leads or learn more about Social Media Marketing?
You face many challenges as a small business owner. There is limited capital, little support staff, and too many things to do in a short time. How can you grow your small business with minimal marketing and advertising investment? Technology is the answer. Web 2.0 gives you a variety of tools and techniques to help you generate leads and increase exposure for your home-based business. One such tool is social media. This is all you need as a small-business owner to increase your revenues through social media.
What is Social Media?
Social media is an online category that allows people to talk, share, network, and bookmark online. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are some examples.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing uses the platforms mentioned above to reach new consumers and increase brand awareness. Social Media Marketing spreads word about a product to users. It is shared among trusted friends and helps to increase its legitimacy.
Which social media channels are the most popular?
According to studies, Facebook and Twitter are the most used social media channels. They are closely followed by YouTube and LinkedIn.
Why is Social Media Marketing important to me?
This type of Marketing may not be for you. These platforms provide a lot of benefits for small business owners. These are just a few reasons to use Social Media for your small business.
Exposure: As a small-business owner, you rely heavily on network marketing to bring in leads. This is dependent on your interactions with others. This is the essence of Social Media! Social Media gives you virtually endless opportunities to interact with people, many millions! This interesting marketing method allows you to reach people from all over the world.
Zero cost: This type of marketing requires minimal monetary investment and is generally cheaper than other media. This is a cost-effective way to communicate your message.
Your web presence will be improved by being on social media platforms. Your business will be more likely to appear in relevant searches like Google, Yahoo! or Bing if you have more followers on Facebook and Twitter.
You can contact prospects directly: These platforms allow you to get in touch with customers directly. It’s possible to have one-on-1 contact with your prospects and get to know their needs.
Go viral: This marketing gives you the chance to make your marketing viral. This is how it works: A video about your business is posted on YouTube. It is liked by 10 people, five of whom share it with their friends. 20 people then share it with others. This is called “viral marketing” and can be very effective in increasing your lead generation.
What is a Social Media strategy and why do you need one?
A social media strategy is a set of steps that will help you reach your goals in social media marketing. You can easily get lost in the social media world. You need to be able to distinguish yourself from the rest and stand out in the crowd if you want your business to be noticed.
Your ideal Social Media strategy
These are the steps that make up a typical business game plan.
Your network is your best asset
Propagate your presence
Step 1: Build your network. The first step in building your network is to find and add users to your network who you believe are part of your target audience segment. It is better to include a personal message with any request to add users. You can also search for groups relevant to your business and join them. If you sell health drinks or other products related to health, you might join groups that discuss nutrition, diet, and health. These groups can help you reach a wider audience for your products. Remember to add value when you are in a group. Be able to answer questions, participate in discussions, and be subtle. Don’t push your products.
Step 2: Promote your Social Media presence. This can be done by linking to your social media pages via your website, email signature line, or newsletter. It’s easy to be visible for your business. Make sure you announce it!
Step 3: Stay connected Although social media marketing initiatives are easy to set up, it requires effort to keep them going. Like many networking efforts, the results will not be immediate. To send e-mails, you must get permission from your group members. Then, you can e-mail the relevant content to your network. It is important to only send relevant, value-adding content and not an advertisement for your products/services. You can also send links to a company that sells health-drinks and encourage people to contact you if they are interested. This will get you more attention than simply sending prospects an emailed flyer devoted to your product.
Dos and don’ts
These tips will help you make social networking more fun.
What should you do?
Add value to your contacts. Always! Always! Jane, for example, is a home-based entrepreneur who sells weight loss products and health drinks. It makes sense that Jane would provide interesting articles about weight loss to her audience.
Participation online should be consistent. It’s not something you can do once and forget. It’s about building relationships… and relationships take time. Your social media communications should be consistent. At least once a day, post/update an interesting tweet. Multiple postings per day is possible in certain cases. But, remember rule #1-add value. Your posts should not sound like ramblings, or ads for your product/service.
Be attentive to the discussion: If you are a member of a forum, or a group, take part in relevant discussions. Help others by sharing your professional expertise. Contribute to bring depth and dimension to the discussion.
Conversation is key: Social media marketing thrives upon relationships. Engage in conversation with prospects to build strong relationships. Keep in touch with your audience by maintaining a two-way conversation. You should show genuine interest in their thoughts and respond to any comments or observations.
You should be an expert in the topic you’re discussing. Be sure you are knowledgeable about the topic. If you’re not sure about something, research it. These mistakes can spread quickly and harm your business’ reputation.
Personalize your interaction Ask about an event, occasion, or vacation photo posted on a Wall.
Show your individuality: Small business owners have a distinct advantage over large corporations in that they are smaller and retain that personal touch. Your audience should get to know the person behind your business. Your interactions should reflect your personal side.
You must respond to customers’ grievances immediately: Did you know that 88% customers complain on social media, which deters them from repeat business? And deleting customer complaints is even worse! It’s even worse to delete customer complaints via social media. Even if they are not resolved, you should at least reply to let them know that they are being heard. Recognize everything.
Mention your Social Media presence. Advertise your profiles. Your website, blog, email, and print materials should always include links to your social media profiles. It’s a good idea to include twitter and Facebook widgets on websites and blogs. These widgets provide a live feed from your Twitter/Facebook page. To encourage people to follow your social media pages, offer incentives or valuable information like whitepapers and articles.