Social Media Tips for Small Business

Lauren Owens - July 23, 2013

Social media is a great way for small businesses to find and connect with their core audience. Often, because of strained resources or a general lack of understanding, small businesses don’t make the most of their efforts in the social sphere. You can turn this around by adhering to some tried and true social media best practices.

Don’t Just Broadcast, Engage

One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make in social media is participating in a one-sided conversation. If you are on social media but simply adding content and creating updates, you’re only half way there. The next step is engaging with your audience.

You can do this by:

  • Responding to posts left on your page by users (even if it’s a simple “thank you!”)
  • Asking questions of your followers; in some channels, you can do this by conducting a poll
  • Hosting a Google+ Hangout to connect in real-time
  • Driving engagement by running a contest or sweepstakes

Go Where Your Audience Is

The instinct of many small businesses is to be everywhere. But in order to be effective in social media, it’s a better idea to limit your engagement to the channels where you’ll get the most benefit. For B-to-B businesses, this could be LinkedIn and Twitter; for B-to-C businesses, this could be Facebook and Pinterest. The idea is to be selective and to participate in social media strategically.

Promote Your Page to Grow Your Audience Fast

If you just arrived on social media, your followers are likely limited to your friends and employees. You can turn that around fast by employing some tried-and-true methods.

  • Promote your page using paid placements – Encourage “likes” and “follows” by creating targeted ads on channels like Facebook and Twitter
  • Cross-promote your page on your other marketing channels – this includes email marketing, printed collateral and your website.
  • Consider conducting a “like-gated” contest in Facebook, or a “pinfluencer” contest in Pinterest.

Track Your Social Media Marketing Efforts

If you’re not engaging in some form of social media measurement, you’re not making the most of your time and resources.

Many social sharing tools, such as Hootsuite, have some form of measurement tracking. You can also track your social media efforts where you track everything else – in Google Analytics. To learn how, take a look at this white paper on measuring social engagement.

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