Try getting the attention of your friend sitting across the room typing away on their mobile device. You’ll need all the luck in the world with that one. The amount of face-to-face contact is dwindling because many find it easier and more convenient to connect with on social media. A 2013 study by Google proved that there are more people who have mobile phones than have running water or electricity. Crazy, right?
Small businesses are trying to find where they fit into the social media world. With so many different groups of people to be reached, how does a small business go about this effectively? Small businesses often have limited manpower and few extra resources to hire a social media specialist. No worries! We’ve got your back.
Develop. Define your goals and objectives. What do you want to get out of your social media experience? New customers? Increased brand loyalty? There’s a whirlwind of possibilities. Also consider who you are trying to reach on social media by defining your target audience, including psychographics and demographics. How you plan to reach this audience? Running a business isn’t the easiest thing in the book, and having a social media plan will give you something to refer to on days when you can’t help but lose focus.
Commit. Like most things, you have to give social media your all or nothing. You cannot tweet one day and decide you aren’t going to do it again for the next six days. Social media must be consistent… and we don’t mean posting a Facebook status everyday at 3 p.m. on the button. Strive to post and interact with your target audience in the manner that is strategic, consistent and tailored to your business goals.
Build. You can’t expect everyone to follow you on Twitter or like your Facebook page without some kind of promotion. Design new business cards with your social media handles and link your social media accounts to your website for fluid user interactivity. Find other small businesses that relate and make connections with them.
Process. Don’t embark on the social media journey if your schedule doesn’t have a little extra time to spare. To turn social media into a daily process, plan time each day to schedule posts for upcoming days (we recommend HootSuite for social media scheduling and management). This way, all of your platforms will be reached and you will be able to interact with consumers.
Continue. You’ve established your business on social media and the response is great! Now what? Remember that social media efforts, while awesome and effective, do not substitute for other forms of advertising. As hard as it is to believe, there are still people with limited use or completely void of social media. A good way to keep other advertising around is by including social media in current and future campaigns.
Now that we’ve covered the how of social media, it’s important for you to understand why.
- Social media is customer-focused; it stays personal without being face-to-face.
- You can convey the personality of your business and employees.
- Improve customer service by allowing customers to connect with you on their own platforms.
- You can promote your business at a lower cost. Although there are paid ways to advertise on social media accounts, there are also dozens of free tools available.
- Customers are able to connect with each other.
- You can build a loyal customer following.
Source: Huffington Post