If you've ever asked if Facebook and Twitter are really necessary for your small business, you are not alone. Millions of business owners across the country struggle with social media, how it fits into their business model, and the right way to handle it. Some argue that there's no real way to quantify results, others that it's a danger to their brand. Whichever way you're leaning, everyone can agree that sometimes a little further investigation is required before implementing a social media strategy for your small business.
Each of the major platforms serves a different purpose entirely and if leveraged properly, can all work together to benefit your business. Though some industries still struggle to find an application, social media is no longer a trend, it's a necessity. In this piece we'll go over three reasons why social media is necessary for your small business.
Technology is at the fingertips of every generation now, it's inescapable. Hundreds of millions of people are connected through social media and many rely on it daily for their news, gossip, and recommendations. A study in 2011 conducted by Nielsen revealed that American internet users spend more time on Facebook than any other website on the internet. Recent studies indicate that still to be true, but now with an even stronger emphasis on mobile phone users. The point is, people are flocking to social media first when they need information... including information about your business.
Are you available on Twitter if a customer, or prospective customer, has a question about your business? Are Facebook users able to recommend your business by sharing it with their friends? Does your business have a Google+ page where your customers can write reviews? If anything, being there to monitor the discussion and answer questions is imperative for your business and a crucial aspect of customer service in today's social media and technology rich world.
Staying At Top of Mind
Social media shouldn't be used just for advertising your business, it should be for providing value to your customers and prospective customers. Think of the industry you're in and what your customers like, that's the content you should be posting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+! For example, a Bakery might post recipes, neat information about their baking process, and other neat items that are indirectly related to their business.
By doing this, you are building trust for your business and staying at the top of mind. It doesn't mean that you can't post a coupon or special every once in awhile, it just means that engagement with your business on social media will be better if it isn't just about you. Make it about your customers and stay in front of them with information about things they are interested in.
Look the Part
Branding your business, regardless of its size, is crucial for success. This brand should be reflected perfectly in everything you do, including social media. Your brand is something people can remember and it's what they look to when researching your business. Ensuring your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+ pages are branded is key for customer engagement. It builds trust.
Custom design an image for your social media profile picture (avatar), Facebook timeline cover, Twitter background, and Google+ header. Don't forget to add your logo, contact numbers, and tagline. This items are a staple to your brand and shouldn't be adjusted unless your branding changes. Do not use them to advertise the monthly special!
Need some help with your social media strategy? Want to run a Facebook ad campaign? Check out some of our social media services and send us a note, we can't wait to meet you!