In the eCommerce world, social media has almost completely replaced word of mouth for marketing and building an audience for your small business. Without social media, it is near impossible to survive, let alone turn a profit. If Social Media marketing is new to you or your company, then read on and check out these 8 laws for using social media for small businesses.
1) Building a Consistent Identity
Creating an identity for you company that runs uniform across all Social Media sites is very important. Your identity would likely be a logo, slogan and public image. Each account on any site needs to have the same logo present so once it catches a potential customers eyes, they recognize it from across all other platforms your company works on.
2) Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!
Twitter has become a huge site for networking with potential clients and customers. It is very important to tweet out any time a new article is published on your site, a new product is released, or any other company news is released. You need to stay active and consistent on Twitter. If your tweets come few and far between, then kiss your followers goodbye. People on Twitter fiend for constant new topics and stories, so if you stop keeping up to date, they will ditch your Twitter feed. In order to make tweeting and sharing your content easy, add an sharing options to your site or embed a Twitter feed. To do this, simply go to Twitter and log in. Access the settings and click on widgets. From here you can customize a Twitter widget for your site and generate the html code. Just add it to your site, and you are ready to go.
3) Network more then you tweet
Meeting new people and businesses is essential to grow a company. This helps you build a better audience, gain traction in the market, and earn the respect of other companies. Sites like Facebook and Twitter allow you to send messages publicly to other accounts. Use this to your advantage by including the handles of other accounts when releasing news that may appeal to them. This way, companies will return the favor and start mentioning you in posts helping you to gain more followers and build a bigger audience.
4) Use Multimedia
Photographs, videos and well designed graphics catch the eyes of users. If you can develop intriguing videos or photos, they have the potential to go viral which will let your business explode in the internet world. The internet is a fast and powerful tool, why not be the one that makes the viral content, as opposed to the one that receives it? This is not to say that adding catchy graphics will guarantee that your content goes viral. The key here is to up your chances and follow trends. Stay up to date on what type of content is going viral and use it as inspiration when creating your own content.
5) Have Fun With Memes
Going on with the multimedia theme, lets talk about memes. Memes have become the new humorous Polaroid, except they are all digital and on the internet. If you are out of the loop, memes are photos and graphics with words added to them usually telling a joke. They are extremely popular so why not jump on the band wagon and start making memes that make fun of your competitor or shows the use of your product. Use sites like Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram to spread the meme like wild fire.
6) Learn the Power of the Hashtag
The hashtag helps determine what is trending on specific social media sites. Say you run a t-shirt company for your local professional and college sports teams. If a team wins a game, or better yet a championship, create a post on all the social media sites and add the hashtag of the event. If it is already a trending topic, add the hashtag that's been created by someone else and is gaining some traction. This way you either shove your product in the middle of the news stream, or you become the one to help create the trending topic. Either way it will help you gain more of an audience and sell more product.
7) Don't get too Professional
The problem with many Twitter and Facebook accounts for companies is that the person behind the account is always too professional with their posts. Although you are running a business, social media is a fairly laid back medium, and using the lingo of the latest Tweets or Facebook posts is important. Much of the users on the social media sites tend to be in the younger demographic, so it is important to stay 'hip' on the latest words and phrases.
It is important to note that Facebook spikes in usage on weekends where as company Twitter accounts and LinkedIn traffic spikes during weekdays. Stay active on social media through the weekend. This is the ideal time to let loose a bit. During weekdays however, make sure you stay fairly professional, but not boring. The idea is to cater to your audience. Focus on business men and women during the week, and relaxed internet surfers by weekend.
8) Post about topics unrelated to your niche
If your a site that sells homemade jewelry, your social media coverage usually will be about fashion, homemade goods, jewelry and style. But why not also tweet about a movie you just saw? Use the movie as a platform to access a bigger audience, but make sure to tie your niche into the post. For example, comment on the costume design or jewelry a character was wearing. Sure it may be a bit out of your field, but its an easy way to add personality to your post as well as grow your company's appeal to potential buyers.
So there you have it, 8 easy to implement steps on how to take advantage of the power social media has on growing small businesses. Have your own thoughts on how to better use social media? Feel free to voice your opinions in the comment section below.