Social Media for Small Businesses


 

Social Media old store

Until recently, small businesses with local clients could ignore social media marketing as a passing fad. In 2013, ignoring social media means losing customers and sales. According to a recent Nielsen survey, Americans spend 50% of their time online accessing social media sites from computers and mobile devices.  One out of every ten pages viewed online is a Facebook page, and blogs are almost as popular as the social media giant. Small businesses must develop a viable social media plan and take the time to engage their customers on social networks. How can a small business find the resources to enter this world? It helps to start small.
 
1.       Get a Facebook Page. If you’re in the retail or service sector, you need a Facebook page.  Many young consumers turn to Facebook before they search the phonebook. Make sure that your location, hours, and contact information are available on Facebook. Include regular updates to promote your business and to connect with your customers. Share relevant news, tips, and photos. Stay positive, and respond to comments. People use Facebook to socialize with friends and neighbors. You want your business to be an integral part of their virtual neighborhoods.
 
2.       Aim for Three Blogs a Week.  For bare minimum search engine optimization (SEO), most experts suggest that a business blog at least once a week. For marketing purposes, aim for three times a week. Post useful, well-written articles that showcase your staff members as experts in their fields.  If you have several employees, share the task. That will give the blog a fresher feel, and will keep any one person from getting overwhelmed.
 
3.       Don’t Worry about Twitter. Small and medium-sized businesses have found that tweets are not an effective way to reach customers or create demand . Ignore any social media platform that doesn’t help you connect with your customers. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to try a new program if it fits with your business. For instance, an antique shop might find Pinterest a useful way to share the latest acquisitions.
 
4.       Make Time for Social Media. If you save your social media marketing for down time, you’ll never update your pages. Make social media updates part of your daily routine, and commit to completing them the same way that you commit to unlocking the front door and turning on the lights.
 
Social media is a democratic, inexpensive way to reach your customers. Even a very small business can create an excellent social media presence. Your customers are out there – go and meet them!