Small business owners have very little spare time and many are saving time by cutting out social media usage to promote their business. However, social media should play a pivotal role in any company’s marketing efforts and is worth making time for. Here’s a look at some effective ways small business owners can leverage social media and still have time to run their companies.
Reach the Masses
When it comes to social media, this is time well spent and it can yield big dividends compared to the amount of time you dedicate to it. Think about how many potential customers your words can reach. You type something once, publish it to the web, and suddenly it’s available to millions of online surfers.
Social Media Software
When it comes to social media software, much of it is as simple as entering your words into your web browser and pressing enter. With the more visual forms of social media, like your own blog or Facebook, where your words go is a fairly straightforward process. With Twitter, however, it can feel like they just went into cyberspace and they’re gone.
TweetDeck (tweetdeck.com) is a versatile piece of software designed to help you better manage your Tweets as well as your Facebook posts. With TweetDeck you can arrange you Twitter feeds into ways that make sense to you, monitor many accounts inside the same interface, and set alerts to notify you of the most important Tweets.
The scheduling feature, however, is the real show for small business owners. This works in conjunction with setting aside a certain amount of time each day for social media. With this feature you’ll be able to schedule your Tweets to meet the needs and expectations of your audience. This is great for daily Tweets you don’t necessarily want to type out each time. Simply set them up in advance and they’ll post automatically.
Don’t forget to include LinkedIn when attending to the social media side of your business. With the prominence of Facebook and Twitter, it’s easy to overlook some other legitimate outlets. LinkedIn has more than 150 million registered business professionals from more than 200 countries and unique territories. Each month the website is home to nearly 40 million unique visits, making this a very important and prominent social media outlet.
You never know when your company is going to attract a big investor, a more cost effective manufacturing partner, a legal professional willing to offer inexpensive services, or a host of other potential relationships that could help take your small business to the next level. LinkedIn is the home of millions of business professionals and neglecting this crowd could prove costly in ways you may never discover.
If it’s possible for you to offer special deals, coupons, and the like to your social media followers, do it. Online coupons are proving to be a huge boon to business owners big and small. Remember, people are following your business through various social media outlets for a reason. Giving them one more way to do business with you is, well, smart business.
Set aside a particular day each week to unveil a new offer or coupon and you could find yourself the beneficiary of a blitz of social media followers ready, willing, and able to cash in on all your great offers.
Create a Blog
Blogs are a relatively easy thing to create. They’re also starting to be the preferred source for millions of web surfers seeking personalized information and entertainment on the Internet. Whether you have your own corporate domain and website, or are a small operator who isn’t ready for that type of presence, a blog make sense for any small business owner.
Your blog can contain anything you desire. Tout your products and services. Write in-depth information about them. Create an atmosphere that entices readers to write comments, provide product reviews, vouch for your company through testimonials, and to participate in your company’s success in any number of different ways.
If your company is in a position to hire a social media professional to manage your company’s online image, make certain you’re dealing with someone that can provide references and show a track record of success.
Utilizing the services of a full time social media liaison can truly elevate your company’s presence and reach. Professionally written content, managed discussions, timely press releases, and all the other benefits that come with a public relations expert can create “buzz” about your company on the Internet.
It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. Developing an image for your company can separate you from your competitors. That image can include a superior online presence and expert use of social media. In the modern era of high-tech everything, this is the kind of story that can propel a company into its next phase of growth.
Whatever you choose to do with social media, make certain your choice isn’t to ignore it or to treat is as a passing fancy. The “fad” phase of this powerful form of marketing wore off ages ago and now it’s become one of the greatest—and cheapest—marketing tools for small businesses everywhere.
This guest post is by Edwin, a writer and content specialist for USDish.com.