Having a social media presence is important if you want to reach your target market. It doesn’t matter if you are a work from home mom blogger, a small business, or a large corporation. Networking your brand on social media is the best and quickest way to get your content in front of your audience. Small business social networks might seem dubious but your target audience IS on social networks, and you have the perfect opportunity to communicate, connect, and form business relationships with them in a way that will allow you to be relevant in your customer’s minds when the time comes for them to be in need of your services.
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According to a recent Pew Research Center report, nearly least two-thirds (65%) of all Americans are using social media. This report shows a 7% increase from 2005 to 2015. Now half-way into 2016 that number has likey continued to increase.
But knowing this, and knowing how to utilize the social networks for small businesses are two different things.
It can be both frustrating and confusing when beginning a small business social network page. Chances are you may have thought that you could just start a page like you began your social profile and within a few short weeks all of your hundreds of friends would be hundreds of followers and potential customers. And, chances are that didn’t happen and after months and months of work, you’ve thrown up your hands in disgust and said, “what’s the point?”
The point is a business social profile operates differently than a personal profile. The networks have designed business pages, and business social accounts to operate differently than a personal account. Why? Because they recognize that a business is a potential profit earning source for their network. Therefore they are hoping you will pay them to get the word out about your brand or product.
But, as a small business owner your advertising budget is probably nill or next to nill. You have to be cautious and diligent about where you put your money and your time. So that leaves the question. How do you utilize the social networks as a small business and not go overboard spending ad dollars.
5 Tips for Small Business Social Networks
- Know that when you are starting out it takes time to build a following.
- Set small obtainable goals.
Set a simple goal of gaining 100 followers and set a deadline, like 100 followers in 1 month or 500 followers in 3 months.
- You need to post to your network pages often, 2-6x per day depending on the network.
- Use a Social Media template to help you set goals and begin to understand what kinds of posts resonate with your followers.
- Use Networking Scheduling Tools and Apps to make your job easier.
For small businesses start small, and as your following grows, let the number of times you post to your pages grow as well. Start with 3 posts per day, then progress to 5 posts per day. Ultimately, I think a regular presence on social networks is the best possible practice to interact with, inspire, and educate your followers. Posting every 2-3 hours around the clock, keeps a steady feed of information at the ready and increases the likelihood that your posts will begin to be seen.
Be Social on Social Media Networks
Keep in mind that a social network is first and foremost intended to be social. So, think about how you utilize Facebook as a user. Think about the kinds of Tweets that attract your attention. Consider which photos, memes and quotes are inspiring to you and share similar content to your own page. Last but not least, be authentic in sharing what truly represents you and your brand message.
It’s a good idea to mix up the kind of posts that you share. You want to share links to articles that are representative of your brand message. You want to share images (without links) that speak to your audience but also is true to what your company is about. You also want to share text only posts, that encourage interaction.
In all things, you want to provide your followers with a call to action. This can be done by suggesting a Like, a, Re-Tweet, a follow or other social media prompt. Be tasteful in your method but prompt followers in how to respond to your messages.