Social Media and your small business

Social media’s impact on the business world is undeniable, but unfortunately too many small companies are putting in a sincere effort to utilize the medium, but failing to see a benefit.

This is just as damaging to a business as altogether ignoring social media.

Here are a few steps you can take to help create a successful relationship with social media and your small business.

Think 1-on-1

One of the greatest strengths of social media is the ability, when utilized correctly, to create genuine connections with customers or clients. Whatever social site you use, always think about your audience before posting any content. It does not benefit your business if you provide your followers with irrelevant or even worse offensive content. Each piece of information you share should have some practical value to the receiver.

Think Long Term

Whether your approach to social media is through a blog, Twitter or Facebook, you need a long-term plan in place. If your means of reaching your audience is through a blog, create an editorial calendar — or if you purchase blog content create relevant keywords — words that uniquely apply to your audience. For example, if you sell kites and your blog includes content about bike riding, regardless how good the bike riding content is, it will confuse — or even worse, alienate your audience. Take a little time to map out some article ideas you want to present to your potential customers.

Think Mastery

One common mistake small businesses make when jumping into the social media game is too much, too soon. Pick one of the social media platforms that most closely aligns with your business and the content you will create. Each platform has its strengths and its weaknesses and not all platforms are successful for every business. If your business is more photo-oriented then Instagram may be a good first choice, but if you create a significant amount of timely content you may want a blog and Twitter account.

Final Thoughts

Once you start a social media campaign, commit to the long haul. It may take time to develop a following, but high-quality content delivered on a consistent basis is the best approach. In fact, in time you want to be seen as the expert in your chosen field. As Saudia Davis points out in Using Social Media to Create Impact and Grow Your Business,

…become an expert in your space, serving as a primary source for information and insight from reporters, bloggers and other media outlets. Ultimately, this will drive people to your website, your phone lines or your storefront.

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