Friday, May 16, 2014

Making the Most of Social Media for Your Small Business



How to Use Social Media to Build Business

social media marketing, small business, home business
In today’s modern technology age, more and more businesses are using social media to connect and communicate with their customers on a whole new level. With millions of consumers using social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn both on their computers and on their phones, it only makes sense for small business owners to jump into the social media pool as well. With proper planning and controlled execution, business owners can create and manage an effective social media marketing plan.

Develop a Social Media Marketing Plan

Unlike utilizing social media for personal use, using these websites for a business takes some planning to ensure it will benefit the organization. Start by laying out a social media marketing plan. This plan should include the purpose of the endeavor, what the desired outcome of the plan is, how the plan will be executed, including a comprehensive timeline, as well as who will be responsible for maintaining the social media sites. Taking the time to plan these aspects of social media will help small business owners determine if this is the correct path for their marketing and determine what outcomes will be possible.

Start with Internal Promotions

Once a plan has been put in place and the site is up and running, it is time to start promoting. First and foremost, make sure to announce to the members and associates within your business that a social media site for the company has been launched – this internal announcement should include what platform is being used, the purpose of the site, and how or who will be managing it. Then, begin announcing the launch of your social media site to customers – include a link to the site in email signature blocks and add the site’s URL to business cards and other printed promotions.

Follow Strict Content Guidelines

The most successful social media for business always puts the customer first. As you begin developing content, make sure to keep what the customer wants to see in mind. An easy way to accomplish this is by following the 80/20 rule – 80 percent of what is posted should be beneficial to the customer while 20 percent should be self-promotion for the business. It is also important to evaluate the feedback you receive from customers regarding the content that is posted and make adjustments to meet their needs along the way. Social media is a unique opportunity to reinforce positive impressions!

Social media is everywhere we look nowadays – on our computers, smartphones, and tablets. Virtually every type of business, big or small, is using it to communicate with customers. With this type of popularity, it only makes sense for small business owners to research how a social media site can benefit their business. By using proper planning and following the guidelines that have been proven to work for other organizations, launching a social media site can grant small businesses increased exposure as well as the opportunity to engage and grow their customer base as well as cultivate long-lasting customer relationships.

How is your home business working out? If you need tips or help making it more profitable or just want to learn about new opportunities, Stacy O'Quinn can help! For more information, click here.

*Photo Courtesy of Jason Howie via Creative Commons License

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