fb Why You Should Be Using Social Media to Promote Your Business

Why You Should Be Using Social Media to Promote Your Business

February 6, 2014 | digitalexe |

Co-authored by LaShaun Williams, Content Manager

When developing your social media strategy it is crucial to consider who your market is, what market you are in, and what type of services/product you offer; it can’t be a one size fits all kind of plan.

Here are some tips to noodle on when considering what is best for your small business. 

1. Spread word of mouth

If you are a consumer business, retailer with a physical location, or have a specific item that is shippable, then social media can be an invaluable way to spread the word about your services or products.  Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter provide a great place to publish if you have a following and need to get the word out and engage with a broader audience.  Nothing is better than your own customers Liking your page on Facebook, then sharing or tweeting about your services with their own network.  These platforms can be useful in letting you know who your customers are and if your social media strategy is effective.  Additionally, these very customers will become your biggest advocates -- driving traffic right to your store. 

2. Offer Coupons

I really like what Amazon is doing right now with it's Twitter strategy, which includes a contest to win one of several $500 egift cards if you follow them and retweet the contest tweet.  Tweets about coupons - particularly if they happen on a regular basis, can be very effective way to engage your customers and ensure that they follow your company's Twitter handle.  Here's what Amazon's looks like:



3. Establish thought leadership

No physical location?   If you are a virtual business and do not necessarily have services/products that are shippable, social media is an excellent way to establish thought leadership to change the way your customers think.  Become an expert.  Launch a website, then create some interesting and relevant content, such as how-to-guides, useful tips, research, or anything that will inform the customer and make them smarter about a particular product or service.  Another creative way to use social media in this virtual business scenario is to put aside a small budget to place ads on Facebook or Twitter -- it’s a whole lot cheaper than billboards.

4. Establish a presence

Not a consumer business? If you are a B2B company, then a professional social media site like LinkedIn will prove useful.  Actively nurture your contacts and participate in discussions, as this will give you visibility among professionals that may cater to your services/products.  You can also use Twitter to follow other businesses’ Twitter feeds, which again gives you visibility, allowing you to build your audience and find potential customers from their list of followers.  However, these business owners must have a good strategy, which includes having the right tools (smart phones, computer), the time, and skill to manage social media platforms regularly -- at the very least once a week.  This is important because everything is visible on social media, and so quick follow through is paramount to establishing a presence and sending the right message to customers.

Final thought: Consider your social media strategy carefully - it should be an outlet for how you communicate with your customers and prospects.  Use these tools to reinforce your business goals by aligning your social media content with the things that are on in your business.  And, remember: social media does not replace your personal touch OR having your website.  Use social media to meet customers/prospects, and then use your own website and/or physical location to allow them to better get to know you. 


ChangeU: For your independent study… 

The "Ultimate" Small Business Guide to Social Media Marketing: http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/small-business-matters/ultimate-small-business-guide-social-media-marketing



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