Social Media for Small Businesses

socialmedia

In addition to creating a website for your business, you should make sure to setup the appropriate social media accounts for your business to attract visitors and hopefully customers. Promoting your business on the right social networks can help attract visitors to your website/business as well as attract followers who can share/promote your business. And it’s important to pick the right social networks for your business. Depending on the type of business, certain social networks are going to be a better match for the type of content you should share and have more potential customers.

Facebook

Facebook has become the defacto social network for all major demographics. In general, you should have a presence on Facebook. It’s simple to create a Facebook page for your business. The basics of the page should include: location, contact info, company logo, product images. Once you have the basics setup, invite all your friends and family and ask them to share with their friends/family. This will get your page bootstrapped and hopefully will pick up some new fans. Once you have a base, then start posting regularly (but don’t be spammy). You’ll know you’re doing it right if your friend/family start liking and leaving comments on your posts. This means that Facebook is surfacing your content on their feeds and they’re feeling compelled to respond. And once you get posting down, then I suggest you start researching and looking into Facebook ads. Paying for fans, likes and more exposure is tricky and can either be a great channel or a drain on your marketing budget.

Twitter

Twitter is a great channel if you have a bunch of die-hard fans already and you want to keep in touch and push updates/promos. Setting up a Twitter account is simple and then you can put your Twitter handle in things like email newsletters, signage around your business and even on your website. However, if you’re a new business or have more of a casual fan base, skip Twitter for now. The reason is that Twitter has a lot of noise, bots and spam. From a ROI perspective, you’ll end up spending a lot of effort to get followers (who might not be real) so it would be better to leverage other social networks.

Instagram

Instagram is a must-have if you’re a business that has a physical and visual product to sell – for example, if you are a restaurant, bakery, clothing designer, jewelry maker or artist, Instagram is an excellent channel to use. And two very easy tactics to jump-start your fanbase are to follow well-known celebrities and like/comment on their posts and when posting your own content, research what hashtags are popular and make sure to use them. And like I mentioned earlier, beg your friends and family to follow your account and to like your posts.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is basically a great network to leverage if you have a business that focuses on selling to businesses or professionals. For example, if you provide consulting services, or sell a product to businesses or you have a product/service that you sell to consumers but think businesses could be a new channel. Unlike other social networks, you shouldn’t spend too much time trying to attract followers on LinkedIn. Your objective should be to setup a presence on the network and get customers to leave positive reviews. These will become great SEO content that Google will index and send new potential customers to your LinkedIn profile.

Tumblr

Tumblr is a great micro-blogging platform that is a great starting point if you don’t have a blog already. Since Tumblr is meant to be short micro posts, this isn’t the platform for a long editorial or guide. However, if you’re a business with visual products, this would be a great platform to post pictures of your products. A great example would be if you’re a restaurant or bakery – everyone loves to see what is being made. It is also great to see pictures of happy customers. Not only will your customers feel connected, but they can also become your advocates and attract more customers. TLDR – if you don’t have a blog already, have things like pithy quotes, product pictures, customer pictures, sign up for Tumblr.

YouTube

YouTube is pretty well-known at this point and obviously is focused on posting videos. Successful videos that will help attract customers and build your brand include:

  1. Video review of new products/offerings
  2. Video tutorials on how to maximize use of products
  3. Customer testimonials
  4. Video tours of your shop
  5. Video podcast discussing interesting topics

Pinterest

Pinterest┬áis a photo-heavy platform and is meant for businesses that have a lot of photo-worthy content. In addition, because most users leverage “boards” – it’s important to think about themes that users are organizing around. Think of a board that your typical user would have and how would your products/services look in that board. If you’re a clothing and jewelry maker, post pictures that attract these users to pin it to their board.

Google Plus+

Google Plus+ is an interesting platform because in some ways, it’s akin to Facebook but unfortunately doesn’t have the audience that Facebook does. So should you spend a lot of time on Google Plus+? The answer for most businesses is no. However, if you are looking to get more SEO traffic, it has been shown that posting high quality content on Google Plus+ can drive more traffic and help your ranking in Google SERP. So it’s probably worth a weekend of getting a Google Plus+ profile setup. But I wouldn’t advise spending time daily or even weekly on Google Plus+ unless you’re seeing a lot of engagement with your page and content.