Let’s face it. These days if you are not exposing small business online you are clearly not only a dinosaur holding on to the last remnants of a time long passed, but you are in danger of your business going belly up at some point and becoming extinct.
Social Media is all around us live, kicking, and evolving at such a rapid pace that it’s quite easy to get lost in the trends that suddenly arise from nowhere, and most people get confused on how to dominate this medium effectively for their business.
The end result is then half assed facebook business pages, twitter accounts that look like either ghost towns or are full of spam traffic, and blogs that just regurgitate the same bullshit over and over again.
I’m going to take this moment to point out some “9 Real World” ways to use Social Media to promote your business effectively, help you develop the relationships crucial to your company, and to get the leads you need to help grow your business while educating yourself at the same time
This will be a 3 part series extending through out the next 6 days and will be mostly aimed at small, local businesses and home business owners, however larger companies can also gain much from these tips.
Let’s get it popping with the first 3.
Branding Yourself And Your Business
It all starts with Identity, and it all ends with Identity. That’s a simple truth that while so easy to comprehend can be quite a task to achieve. I started with this one because I believe this is the single most important step you have to take when not only starting your business offline but especially if you’re taking that step online. The market is saturated with everybody doing everything online these days. Where as before you perhaps only had to compete with local competitors, these days you can live in Miami, Florida and a competitor from Tampa, Florida or Chattanooga, Tennessee can scoop up your potential clients. This can happen not because they offer more than you but because they have successfully branded themselves and created an identity that appeals to the market you both share and created a memorable stamp that will draw in clients and customers.
Being Different Creates The “Brand”
Do not be afraid to step out and do something unorthodox to what your competitors are doing. While there has been much success amongst businesses that do the same thing, you will notice that the ones that stand out have found a formula that places them above the rest because they established themselves into a micro niche by narrowing down their market for what a specific class of potential clients.
For example take a look at the “Mini Cooper” car company. When they came out into the market about 10 years ago the move then was big, extravagant, SUV’s and cars. There was no demand really for small cars, as it just wasn’t appeasing to the market. They however capitalized off that by sticking to their format and catering to that small micro niche market that “did” embrace small cars. Instead of trying to convince people that small cars was the way to go they branded themselves into the small car market and it has paid off big time for them. They were visionaries in the sense that they offered an alternative to what the market wanted and what the competition was offering.
Fast forward 10 years later and now you have other small car companies like “Fiat” entering the car sales market here in the United States and aggressively pursuing that niche that the “Mini Cooper” car company not only established but now have on lockdown because they were the pioneers at it.
Being different in marketing is not something new. Personalizing your brand is something that is Marketing 101 however most of us fail to use it the correct way hence just being just another color in a suffocated collage as opposed to being our own free breathing painting.
Send Traffic To Your Website Effectively
Effective Social Media Marketing can definitely help boost the traffic going to your business site in a multitude of ways. By putting a blog onto your website you can post articles from there on facebook, twitter, and other social bookmarking sites and in the process you will have visitors visiting your site by clicking on those links, reading the information you have to offer, and then viewing your main sites products and services.
An In Depth Example So You Can Grasp What I Mean
Gloria owns a catering business and has a facebook page, a twitter account, along with a website which is her main base for her small, fledgling company. She continuously spam blasts through facebook and twitter specials, and promotional deals she has going on in an effort to drive traffic to her site and get more business. Her facebook business page consists of family, friends, and a few clients here and there while her twitter account is full of random people who follow accounts like TMZ, or P.Diddy, and could give a damn about what she is selling.
Frustrated beyond belief she then decides to add a blog to her company site.
She then starts blogging about various subjects like:
- Catering tips
- Parties her company has worked
- The benefits of hiring a catering company as opposed to cooking for a party yourself
- Success stories along with funny moments that happen through out her daily business life
- She adds pictures and videos to give her visitors a visual look into the life of a catering company
- She adds an email sign up form to her site encouraging her visitors to subscribe for the monthly newletter which will have deals, specials, and the occasional recipe.
- Gloria also starts writing reviews on why she prefers cookware A versus cookware B, and various other reviews in regards to the tools of her trade.
She then starts using facebook, twitter, linkedin, and other social media sites to promote her posts and drive traffic back to her site. Now all of a sudden she is noticing her twitter followers are becoming targeted because people want to read what she has to offer. Her facebook likes go up because potential clients are interested in the benefits of hiring a catering company and see her as a guide or teacher. She is constantly answering questions on facebook and starts connecting with more like minded people in her industry.
Her business starts to grow at a faster pace because now she is seen as an authority who provides an inside look into the world of catering, and want to be part of that experience.
She also notices that her website is now on the first page of the search engines when you enter in “catering” because of all the traffic going to it.
Gloria has now found a way to use “Social Media Marketing” to her advantage because she is “Marketing While Being Social.” She has given people a solution without trying to sell them. People do not want to be sold. In today’s market people want solutions. If you are an authority on solutions they will come to you. Get the picture?
Provide Customer Service Via Facebook And Twitter
Encourage people to ask questions on your facebook wall and your twitter account. Product specific questions arise and when you answer that, it may answer the same questions others have or encourage different questions all together. When you provide people with answers via social media they feel comfortable with you. Other people/fans/potential clients see that you are a company that interacts with no hesitation and will feel more comfortable asking questions themselves. That in itself can be a difference maker between you and your competitor.
I hope you enjoyed Part 1 to my 3 part series. I highly encourage you to leave your comments, questions, and thoughts below as feedback is always welcome.
Stay tuned for part 2