Why You Need Social Media Marketing
“On Twitter the 55-64 year age bracket is the fastest growing demographic with 79% growth rate since 2012.”
Social media is so much a part of Internet marketing today that if you are not using it to promote your small business then you’re behind the curve. If you want to get out in front of your potential customers then you need to know where they are.
Location. Location. Location.
These are just a few examples of prime location spots for your business.
- Facebook is where people spend their free time at home, and now more and more on their phone while they are on the run.
- Facebook’s daily active users have reached 665 million1
- Twitter is used to promote products, catch breaking news, and interact with brands and celebrities.
- Twitter has experienced a 44% growth from June 2012 to March 20132
- Twitter has 288 million monthly active users2
- Youtube videos are an outstanding way to show off your product or service.
- Youtube has 1 billion unique monthly visitors3
- YouTube reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any cable network3
- An account on Pinterest is a great way for you to share product photos.
- LinkedIn has over 200 million users, gaining 2 new users every second, and 64% of the users are outside the USA4
- Google+ has 359 million monthly active users growing 33% from June 2012 through to March 2013 making it the second largest social network2
Having regular interaction with your customers using automation if necessary helps you connect, engage, create relationships, and grow your business.
A Facebook Page Can Grow Your Business
Facebook is where your customers are. Facebook is where you need to be as well and the best part of it all? It is free!
How Facebook Works
- A Facebook user has friends who can see their personal updates, pictures and information they post.
- Users post about a variety of things each day including information about businesses they like.
3 Ways a Business Might Use Facebook
- Post about specials you are having that day.
- Post sales that are currently going on.
- Post interesting articles you find online.
The options are endless, however, the more you post, the more possibility you have of getting your friends to share your information.
How to Start Your Facebook Page
- Go to facebook.com
- The website itself will walk you through all of the steps that are necessary, and you will be up and running in a matter of a few minutes. Make sure you create a page for your business.
- Be sure that you include pictures on your page, as well as up-to-date contact information and business hours.
- The more detailed you can make your page, the more helpful you will be to all of your customers or potential customers.
Once you have your page up, seek out a few people you know and send them friend invitations. You can even ask a few of your closest friends to suggest you as a friend to their own friends. This will help you spread the word about your business very quickly.
10 Things Your Business Should be Doing on Your Facebook Page
Here are 10 things your small town business should be doing right now on Facebook.
Register Your Username –
This will give you a simplified web address that is easy to remember and easy to promote.
Complete Your Page –
Fill out all the fields in the “Basic Information” section of your Page. Upload logos and header images. Categorize your business correctly.
Share Community News –
Share local events that are happening near your business. Readers will appreciate the information and you may gain extra foot traffic to your store or office.
Be the Expert –
Write short, useful tips that show your expertise. Readers who have seen your posts will remember you as being knowledgeable. Do not forget to prompt readers to click the Like button for more great tips.
Grab Customers When They’re Looking –
All industries have natural business cycles. For example a lawn service is very busy in the spring and late fall. Use posts and tips to prompt your readers to approach your business when they are most likely looking for your products or services.
Offer Specials –
Everyone loves a deal! Post your current specials or promotions on your Facebook Page. Even better, offer “Facebook Only” specials that will entice users to “Like” you.
Post Pictures –
Images are proven attention getters. Look for ways a picture can tell your story or show off your products.
Join In! –
If someone at the gas station complimented you, you wouldn’t drive away without saying, “Thank You”, would you? Most Important Tip of “Social Media 101”: Do not forget to respond to comments on your social media accounts, either!
Solve Problems –
If you get a complaint or negative comment on your page, view it as an opportunity. Reply quickly and offer a solution or direct the commenter to where they can find help. Customers are impressed when a business takes the time to listen.
Ask Questions –
People love to share their opinions! Not only will you get your community involved, you may get some interesting data back about what your customers like.
What are Facebook Tabs?
Facebook tabs were designed to provide more options to both consumers and businesses as a way to organize information and provide sub-sections to existing Facebook pages. In addition to your primary page, you can add a tab for a variety of elements about your business. Each tab has its own title and anyone visiting your main Facebook page will be able to scan all of these tabs at once. They’ll know exactly where to go in order to get the exact information they’re looking for.
Customize Facebook Tabs
- You can make a tab to promote a specific product or service
- You can use a tab to offer a discount or coupon.
- You can use third-party tabs to connect to other social media venues like Twitter, Pinterest, or any other online location that might help your business prosper.
Setting up a Custom Facebook Tab
- Log in as a Facebook developer.
- Tabs are located in a section of your account labeled “Views & Apps.”
- Once you’re in your account, click on “Create a New App.”
- From there, choose a name and image for the tab, and then enter basic information about the tab you want to create.
- If you have an existing page proceed to the next step otherwise create a page containing the desired content.
- Follow the instructions to connect your content to the tab you are creating.
- Then you simply save the changes and add the tab to your Facebook page.
How to use Twitter to Grow your Business
Twitter is a social network that breaks your thoughts down into simple tweets or 140 character messages. Basically, Twitter is meant to focus on what you’re doing right now. Here are a few ways you can use Twitter to engage your customer base.
Use Twitter Search
- Go to twitter.com/search
- Type in a question someone might ask about your product. Maybe if you have a wine company, you would search for, “What type of wine goes best with fish?”
- You’ll get a stream of results in chronological order from any Twitter handle that contains your search phrase.
- Respond to these people answering their questions.
Embrace the Hashtag
Anytime you see a string of text following a pound sign (#) that means the term being “hash tagged” is searchable. If you were to click on the “Discover” link on Twitter’s website and enter the hashtag term, you would find a list of users who are also using the same hashtag. Write an engaging tweet using a hashtag that relates to your business.
Join the #FollowFriday Movement
If you are entirely new to Twitter without many followers (people who have clicked the “Follow” button on your profile) then #FollowFriday is an activity that you simply must do. Every Friday, you can create tweets similar to the below:
#followfriday @username @username @username
The idea is that by adding other users’ twitter handles (@username) with the hashtag #followfriday, you will increase your followers and market reach. This is a very effective method of gaining followers since it does not require intensive effort for the business owner. It also doesn’t require you to pay an agency $20 to $200 to guarantee you 20,000 Twitter followers who are not real.
Don’t Be Afraid to Engage!
When business accounts on Twitter actually take the time to have real conversations with users, it makes the business authentic and increases likeability. In this social media marketing age, users can tell instantly when they are reading a “marketing” tweet versus one that reads like a real live person is talking. As the saying goes, have a conversation with your customers; don’t just talk to them.
Using Twitter Search for your Business
One of the best methods for maximizing your social media experience is using the Twitter search function on a regular basis. Here are the basic facts about the search function.
What is Twitter search?
Twitter’s search engine allows users to view real-time breaking news, global discussions, and chats about virtually every subject possible, information about competitors, and reviews and feedback from customers.
Why is Twitter search important?
When you’re on the Twitter site, you can search by entering your search term in the search box located on the upper right hand side the screen. No matter what type of company you have, it is likely that someone has been posting about a topic related to your industry within the past 24 hours.
Another great method for searching is with hashtags (i.e. #taxchanges). Many users add hashtags to their tweets so that the messages reach a wider audience and allow a larger number of people to join in the conversation. For example, if you run a company that is having a sale, include the hashtag #sale in your tweets. To search for a hashtag, simply type it into the search box.
How does Twitter search work?
- Go to twitter.com/search.
- Type in a question someone might ask about your product. If you have a wine company, you use a hashtag phrase such as #wine or enter a search phrase such as, “What type of wine goes best with fish?”
- You will get a stream of results in chronological order from any Twitter handle that contains your search phrase.
- Respond to these people answering their questions, or interact with people who have interesting tweets about your product or service.
How to Use Instagram for your Business
The Power of Instagram
Instagram boasts more than 80 million users, not to mention a $1 billion purchase by Facebook. This wide acceptance and use, coupled with being owned by a seemingly unstoppable social media juggernaut, provides the perfect venue for a business to reach its customers.
Instagram for Business Via Visual Branding
- Human beings are very visual creatures. We react either positively or negatively to an image, and that response is almost always instantaneous. An image of a waterfall might bring calm to a frustrated day. A photo of McDonald’s golden arches may stir up feelings of hunger.
Use this visual recognition to your company’s advantage. By sharing pictures on Instagram, you can help both potential and current customers immediately identify your business with a series of photos. For example, if you are selling baked goods, you can share photos of a cake at your store. If you are in the finance industry, you can post pictures of happy clients signing the mortgage on their first house. The possibilities are endless, but the real goal is to help customers identify your business with the images you provide.
Instagram for Business as a Promotional Tool
- By utilizing photographs in your promotions, customers will feel more engaged with your business.
- It gives more of a behind-the-scenes view of your business.
- Photos of upcoming product launches, new recipes, or anything else that can allow a “story” to be told by way of pictures.
There is no reason to be too clever. Just post naturally and allow the power of Instagram to connect with your customers on a personal level, and you will see a bump in success.
How to Use Pinterest for your Business
What is Pinterest?
It serves as a virtual pinboard, a place where anyone can share images in an organized fashion for all the world to see. Pinterest is now ranked as the third most popular social media site in existence.
Pinterest for business allows for social media integration
- It is important that you use it in conjunction with other social media sites.
- Facebook is an obvious choice and allows for complete integration between the two.
- Twitter connects in a similar fashion, where anything that shared in one media is instantly shared in the other.
Pinterest for business requires strategy
- Images you are pinning should represent your business in some form.
- Don’t just spam your page to fill up its content.
- Create more than one board, so there is also an organizational element to consider.
- Space out your pinning so that potential customers can be slowly drawn to your business, rather than feeling overwhelmed.
Social Media Tips for Growing Your Business
Here are 5 social media tips for growing your business in the ever expanding world of technology.
Designate a social media staff member or team
Figure out who will be taking these duties and break down their tasks accordingly. If this is employee, make it clear what they need to accomplish.
Create a blog, Facebook page, and Twitter account for your company
Currently, the most prominent social media networks are Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thus, this is where you need to be. Create company accounts for each of these networks. Make sure to use an avatar for each account, such as the company logo or a picture of your staff. A blog can also be a great asset for your company’s web site.
Follow up with customer comments on a regular basis
When customers ask questions, provide answers publicly to keep the discussion going in the community.
Interact with relevant companies and clients via social media
If you want people to visit your social media networks, it is important to visit and comment on content from other companies and individuals. It won’t take more than a few minutes per day to locate and reply to new, interesting content.
Use social media to get feedback and other insight from your customers
Use a call to action if you are not getting the feedback that you desire. Consider offering an incentive, such as a coupon or a raffle entry, for completing a feedback form. Are you unsure what content to cover in your blog? Ask them directly and then follow through with their suggestions.