Are you a small business owner looking for ways to grow your business? Are you hoping to attract more customer to your business, or have found out about social media marketing, and now want to try it?
As a small business owner you face many difficulties – limited capital, minimal support staff and having a lot to do in seemingly very little time. So, how do you grow your small business without heavy investment in advertising and marketing? Answer – using technology. Web 2.0 provides you with different tools and strategies that assist you with producing leads and increase the exposure of your locally established business. Social media is one such tool. Here’s all you need to know as small business owner to start expanding incomes using social media.
What is Social Media?
Social Media is a category of online media where individuals are talking, partaking, sharing, organizing, and bookmarking online. Examples include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, GooglePlus, and MySpace.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is using the above mentioned platforms to contact new audience of customers and create brand awareness. By spreading word of a product from one client to another, Social Media Marketing endeavors to acquire more prominent authenticity for a message since it is divided among trusted “friends.”
Which Social Media Channels are most popular?
Studies show that Facebook and Twitter are most mainstream online media channels followed closely by YouTube and LinkedIn, GooglePlus.
Why should Social Media Marketing Interest me?
If you think this sort of Marketing isn’t for you, think again. These platforms offer an enormous advantages to small business. Here are a few reasons why you are using Social Media for your business.
Exposure: As a small business owner you depend on network marketing to channel leads your business – which, in turn depends on your interaction with people. This is the center idea of what Social Media is! But, Social Media offers essentially limitless freedoms to interact with people – a huge number of them! With this intriguing type of marketing, your business is no longer limited to local leads; you will find leads coming in from a differentiated geographic market!
Zero-cost: While other marketing media would be costly, this kind of advertising is relatively free, or requires negligible investment. It’s a great low cost way to get your message across.
Improved web presence: Being on popular social media platforms reinforces your web presence. The more people talk about you on Facebook or Twitter, the more chances of your business being found on applicable web searches like Google, Yahoo!, or Bing.
Direct contact with prospects: These platforms put you in contact with your clients straightforwardly. You can have one-on-one contact with them, know what they truly need.
Go viral: Such marketing offers you the chance to become famous online with your marketing. Think about this. You put up a video about your business on YouTube. 10 people like it, and five of them share it with their friends, who in-turn share it with 20 additional people. This is known as “viral marketing,” and it can be a very effective method to build your lead generation.
What is a Social Media “game plan” and why should you have one?
A social media game plan is a process consisting of a few simple steps that can help you achieve your social media marketing objectives. The social media field is huge and you can get lost in it if you don’t play by the rules. There’s a lot of competition and you must have a clear plan if you want to stand apart of the crowd and get notice.
Your ideal Social Media game plan
A typical game plan for your business should consist of these four steps
Build your network
Propagate your presence
Step 1 – build your network: The first step is to look for and add those users to your network whom you think fall into your target audience segment. While placing a request to add users to your network, it is always better to accompany such requests with a personalized message. You can also look for and join groups that relate to your line of business.
Step 2- propagate: The next step is to announce your Social Media presence. You can do this by adding links to your online media pages on your site, email signature line or newsletter, if you have one. You are out there with your business-announce it!
Step 3- stay connected: The third step is to stay connected with your fans and group members. Social media marketing drive is not difficult to start, but requires effort to keep up with. And like many networking efforts, results are generally not immediate. Acquire permission from group members and others on your network to send emails. You can then email relevant content to people on your network. The key here is to send RELEVANT, VALUE ADDING content-not an advertisement of your products/services.
Dos and Don’t
While social networking is all about human interaction and cannot be strait-jacketed, here are some tips that will prove to be useful.
What you should do?
Increase the value of your contacts: Always enhance your contacts. Always! Provide them useful information, tips and other interesting facts that they can use. For example, Jane, a locally established entrepreneur sells health drinks and weight loss products. So, it makes sense for her to give to provide her customers with interesting articles on this topic of weight reduction.
What you should not do?
DON’T overtly push your products/services: Social media is a platform
Where you build relationships, to create value. It’s not an advertising venue. Your audience will disregard you if all you talk about is the stuff you sell. Think about it, would you talk to your family and friends about the products you sell all the time? Obviously not! Then, don’t treat your social media audience any differently.
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