Small Business Dimensions

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WORK YOUR NETWORK

Social media can help customers embrace your business

When you can’t be there in person to represent your business, product or service, social media can help make the connection. Think about it – with a little time and creativity, you can speak directly to your customers.

Social media works like a trail of breadcrumbs to lead prospects and customers to your business. And like breadcrumbs, social media must be enticing to capture your audience’s attention and to get  them to engage with your company. Otherwise, they’ll move on to something else. To help in that regard, let’s discuss what it takes to make social media an effective part of a marketing plan.

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YOU MAY “LIKE” THIS …

Having a Facebook page is a cost effective – read, free – way to “greet” people when they “Google” you. But put away the sales pitch. Facebook is a two-way street. People can discuss you and your products or services and pass along information to others in their social network. So make sure your Facebook page is all it can be – keep information, pictures and other items fresh and timely. This includes answering questions and requests quickly, so make time in your day to monitor your business pages. Once you have a page, you can set up news feeds, share messages and promote events. For tutorials and other helpful information to make Facebook easy, visit facebook.com/business/learn/facebook-page-basics/.

DO: Post regularly.

DON’T: Overwhelm with content. Be selective and craft meaningful posts.

 

#TWEET TWEET

When people use Twitter, they’re in a “discovery” mindset and open to interacting with new businesses. When someone engages with you, be sure to quickly respond to any problem that arises (preferably with a sense of humor and customer service). Take the time, too, to read the  conversations among your followers. You might uncover ideas or problems your business can help solve. To discover Twitter’s full list of business tools, start with business.twitter.com/.

Use Twitter to build brand loyalty and engagement:

DO: “Listen” to conversations to gauge customer sentiment. Thank others for retweets.

DON’T: Tweet at people but tweet with them

 

QUICK YET POWERFUL

Snapchat and Instagram are fast ways to communicate and offer many benefits as well as a few drawbacks. Snapchat messages self-destruct after a set time once users open them – think “Mission Impossible.” Instagram offers visual storytelling about your business. With both, you can:

  • Give followers a quick preview of a new product or service
  • Have customers send photos or videos using your product and offer rewards for doing so
  • Lightheartedly interact with your customer base
  • Share compelling images and drive traffic to your website

WEAVE A WEB WITH SOCIAL MEDIA

When you use cohesive messaging across social media, such as promoting an event or new product, you can disseminate your message throughout your network of customers. It will help you build awareness, rapport and engagement.

THE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

1 Make sure your profile is the same on each platform and complete –  they are for your company’s first impression.

2 Be helpful – if you see someone looking for a recommendation, make one and make a friend.

3 Don’t ask for retweets – if your message is good, it will be shared.

4 Use good grammar and spelling and avoid YELLING in all caps.

5 Use hashtags sparingly – you can’t tag every word in a tweet to improve searching.