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Sep 24, 2012

Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Social media marketing is defined as the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites.  By now, most of us know how valuable social media marketing is – some would say it is an essential part of any marketing campaign.

For small businesses, social media marketing is especially appealing because it is free.  However, “free” is a bit misleading; there isn’t any currency exchanged, but plenty of resources – mainly time and manpower – are forfeited.

Social Media Marketing
Therefore, it is important that small businesses use the most beneficial marketing practices available.  Check out these four ways to boost your social media presence.    

1.  Be a person, not just a company.

Naturally, you will use your social media account to share information about your business, links to your blog posts, and publicize upcoming events.  However, you shouldn’t use social media solely for promoting your business.  You are, after all, human – remind your clients of that fact! 

Share a photo from the company Christmas party.  Post a funny comment your daughter made this morning.  Ask followers to settle a friendly office dispute.  Just remember to keep things encouraging, optimistic, and interesting.  While it is valuable to share your personality with customers, too much of a good thing is a bad thing.  A handful of posts a week is good.  A handful of posts a day is bad.   

2.  “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

These thought-provoking words of wisdom where shared by Abraham Lincoln.  While he probably didn’t have social media marketing in mind, his theory does apply. 

Small businesses have limited resources – especially time and manpower.  When dealing with social media, it is very easy to put in a lot of time and see very little return on your investment.  Why?  Because you are spreading yourself too thin – a jack of all trades, master of none. 

Instead, limit yourself to just one social media platform.  Find the network with the highest concentration of your target audience.  Then, give it 110%.  Once you have your feet firmly on the ground and are seeing results, then you can consider adding a second network.

3.  Be visual appealing.

The internet has created a generation of skimmers.  Rarely do we sit and read an entire article from start to finish.  Usually there is a bit of skimming, scanning and jumping around happening.  So how can a company capture the interest of an attention-deficit reader?  By using photos. 

Take photos of everything – a recent promotional event, a newly released product, your company’s new office building construction site.  Start an album of most valued customers.  Those customers will share with friends and family, driving more traffic to your site.  When taking and uploading photos remember to get quality snaps, only upload the best, and caption with detail to provide additional product/company information. 

If a photo is worth a thousand words, how much is a video worth?  Round up some of your satisfied clients and ask them to do a video testimonial. 

4.  Give it away.  

Grab a piece of paper and start a list.  Write down all the most controversial topics related to your business.  Then, add all of the well-kept secretes of your industry.  Lastly, include all the hard-to-answer questions your customers ask.  Now, take your list and get to work; write online content that will address all those topics.

Your competitors are too afraid to do it; thus, you’ll have the competitive edge.  Plus, customers will know you care.  They will appreciate all the insider tips.  And they will reciprocate the love by liking, linking, and sharing.  .     

Let us know what you think.  Did you try some (or all) of these tips?  Have you seen any benefits?  Do you have a tip we left off the list?  Tell us about it!

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