In today’s business environment, using social media is no longer a choice, it’s a necessity. Social media is a great way of communicating with your customers whilst promoting your brand and products, which is why it’s so widely used by small and large companies everywhere. The use of social media can promote awareness, which is especially important for small businesses, but must be done strategically to be effective; here are 6 tips to help you along the way:
1- Invest serious time and effort into managing your social media outlets
Whether you use Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or any other social media platform, it is crucial that it is done well in order to maximize effectiveness. Social media is an easy access point for interaction between customers and small businesses; therefore, responding to comments or tweets that prompt communication can go a long way. Customers will value this communication, and this type of one-on-one interaction is something that reemphasizes the personal feel a small business has.
As seen by numerous companies, social media that ignores customers and deletes criticisms can prove to be a detriment to any business. It is important that your audience get a sense that they are important and that you spend effort in maintaining your social media platforms.
2- Choose the right channels for your business
Although social media is a more informal way of communicating and promoting a company, the type of social media channel should match the qualities of the company. The platform is important as it sets the tone and determines the environment of any interactions. These should therefore match the rest of the company’s marketing channels – consistency is key.
Research the different social media channels to help you choose which is most appropriate for you and your business. It will be tempting to choose all the platforms that are available to you, as each has its own benefits. To help focus your decision, keep in mind that you’ll have to invest time and resources into managing every channel you choose.
3- Match the tone of your social media communications with that of your business
The message you convey through your posts should match that of your business as well. Therefore, if you are an exclusive, high-end boutique, it is important that your posts and tweets reflect this and differ from those of a family friendly restaurant, for example.
This is also true for other content that you share with your audience. Don’t share funny cartoons from your company account if it’s not consistent with your brand or the rest of your marketing strategy.
4- Emphasize the “local” angle
Social Media, in all its forms, can be great for communicating with your target audience. Make sure to emphasize that you are a local company that is part of a community. One way of doing this, is by offering promotional deals for local sports team or by offering a discount to any recent graduates of the local college, for example.
Posting the information about such offers on your social media outlets incentivizes current and potential customers to follow you on Twitter or like you on Facebook (if those are your chosen social media platforms). Furthermore, this demonstrates clearly to your target audience that you are a business that cares about the community you are a part of and highlights a competitive advantage over a larger, more corporate competitor.
5- Advertise what you are currently offering
Whether you are a clothing boutique, restaurant, or pet supply store, keep customers aware of what you offer. Posting pictures with popular items or weekly specials can keep your company on customers’ minds.
Pictures should look good and always be accompanied by a description with relevant information to give customers a full understanding of the product or service depicted. If followers ask questions about what you’ve posted, be sure to answer them in a friendly manner. This will inform your customers while engaging them as well.
6- Don’t push too hard
Although social media is very important, it is essential that followers are engaged but not annoyed. Once you’ve gained a following, which can cost time, money, and effort, it is important not to lose them. Posting too persistently or irrelevantly will drive away potential and current customers, so make sure you don’t post too often. Always ensure that posts or tweets are relevant , important, and engaging.