You’ve heard about it, you’ve seen it, but you haven’t done anything about getting on board with social media for your small business. You might think it’s all about people having their heads buried in their smartphones, or might be afraid that you just don’t know enough to make it work for your company. The truth is that not doing anything could be the worst thing you can do for your business.
It’s time to accept the fact that prospects and customers are out there using social media to shape their everyday activities and frame their purchase decisions. If you’re not involved socially, you will be left behind. With that in mind, here are six social media strategies for your small business growth:
1. Show Up Every Day: The problem with business marketing is that you never know precisely when a prospect will be looking for information on your particular product or service. In the “old” days it might have been acceptable to simply run a print advertisement in a weekly newspaper which would be kept around for reference purposes. Now, when an idea pops into someone’s head, they head straight to their smartphone or digital device for information. That is why you need to have an element of social media in your marketing plan every day. When they find you, they want to know what is happening now and what you can do for them today.
2. Fight “Fake” News: Don’t just post or repost random stories without checking their reliability. Only post items that you know in fact to be true. Make sure everything you publish about your company, industry or products and services is true and “fact-checkable.”
3. Check for Continuity: Your story must be the same across all digital access points – from your mobile website to your Twitter feed, to your Facebook page. Since you don’t know where a prospect is likely to first look for information, or what pops up first in a Google search, you must be sure that they have access to your entire story. It cannot matter what direction they come at you, it must all present a complete picture of your company. This may mean going back and deleting or revising old posts to ensure consistency with your current messaging.
4. Be a Valued Source: Make sure you provide plenty of reliable information that your audience can use to make their lives easier, faster, or better. When called for, you can rely on academic or industry information to support a statement, but don’t act like you are a professor providing a daily lesson. People want to know they are dealing with real people who can help them sort through the technical stuff.
5. Visuals and Videos: The printed word is great for explaining and providing motivational information, but it takes a picture, infographic, or video to really catch their attention. People today love the visual, so take steps to use quality photos in your posts, and learn how to make quick videos that explain the points you want to make.
6. Know Your Audience: Each generation is different, and utilizes social media differently. Know whether you are dealing with Baby Boomers, Millennials or a Generation Z audience, and tailor your social media outreach accordingly. Each might use the available social media channels is different ways, and may want to receive different types of messages from you. If you don’t know who your customers are, or how they want to engage with you, try talking to a few of them, either in person or online. Making people feel that their opinion and input is valued is a great way to build real relationships.
Make 2018 the year of living socially for your small business and you’ll make strides towards becoming a truly engaged organization. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try new concepts, or to work with people who can help achieve your social media goals. You don’t have to do everything yourself; you just have to know what you want done and then find professionals who can do it for you.