Having a strong social media presence is one of the most effective ways a small business can compete with competitors that might have larger media budgets. The internet has put everybody on the same playing field, but it is up to you to pick up the ball and start running. Here are eight simple ideas for stepping up your social media game:
- Ask people to do something: Many small business entrepreneurs are great at putting out content, but not so good at getting their audience engaged with it. They are simply not asking people to do anything – they never ask for the “like,” pose a question, request a link, share a testimonial, or do anything to take their marketing to the next step.
- Run a contest: Come up with a creative contest that will get people to think about your business in some way. Offer a small prize or free services, and the dollar value of your exposure could be much more than you would have gotten through any paid marketing outlet.
- Incorporate visuals: They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure you have plenty of visual cues in your social media posts. Include photos, short videos, and infographics that can catch someone’s eye and draw them in.
- Be a problem solver: Invite people to challenge you with their tough questions about your business or the services you provide. Give them straight and helpful answers, and they’ll be more likely to remember you when they are looking to spend some money.
- Get personal: People love to hear a good story, so ask your customers to share their stories of how they found your business, or what they like about your product. It’s a form of testimonial that feels very comfortable and engaging.
- Be persistent and consistent: Social media can sometimes be a quick score, but more often it is the long drive. Allocate time in your schedule to pay attention to your social media marketing strategy, and you will build an audience over the long run.
- Make sure your website measures up: It is possible to have a great social media strategy and then lose business because of a lousy website. Ask some unbiased outsiders to review your website and give you their honest opinions. If it doesn’t stack up, draw them in, or get them to do something, it’s time for a change.
- Go the whole nine yards: Don’t just post a blog on your website and let it die. Provide links on all of your social media outlets. If it’s good enough, send out an email, or include it in a monthly e-newsletter. If you have put time and effort into writing a blog, you want to get as much out of it as possible.
Most importantly, make it easy to do business with you. If your social media actually succeeds in building interest, don’t make it hard to contact you or conduct business.