In today’s hyper connected world, there are many new tools that small business owners can use to market their services. At the forefront of this new wave of tools is Social Media. Establishing a presence on social networks is completely free, and can allow business owners to market to a targeted and engaged audience. However, while you may have some knowledge of social media in general, you may not be fully aware of the wide array of social networks available and their different applications in a business context. So we thought we’d give you a quick overview of a few major ones, as well as a few tips on how to use each one to maximize your marketing potential.
You probably know about this one. Most people do. In fact, Facebook has over 800 million active users, making it by far the largest social network, and a potential goldmine for small business marketing. To get started on using Facebook for Business, you need to first create a Facebook Business page. Its just like creating a personal page, except for your local business. After your all set up, you want to start building your audience. To do this, first invite all of your friends from your personal page to like your business page. From there, you should start to post content, both original and aggregated, that relates to your field and that you think your audience will find interesting. For instance, if you are a hair stylist, this could be a video of a customer raving about the new haircut you just gave them, or a link to an article detailing the trendiest celebrity haircuts of 2012. The goal of posting content like this is to draw your audience in and have them engage in conversations on your page. When a user interacts with your page, their friends can see that activity, and the sometimes may even want to go check out what the fuss is about. This is word of mouth and its most organic. Just make sure not to post too often (once or twice a day is fine). If people see you berating their news-feed with content, it at best will dilute the effectiveness of each post, and at worst will cause them to jump ship and un-like you completely.
Twitter is an online social networking service and micro blogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, known as “tweets”. This limitation in post length gives twitter a fast paced, as it happens feel. While Facebook is intended as an extension of your offline persona, your twitter identity is defined by the content you share. The goal for a small business on twitter is to become a trusted source of information regarding your field. For instance, if a twitter user in your area finds all the hair tips and hair-related articles you post to be valuable, then she will begin to trust you. This trust will carry over into the real world the next time she needs her hair styled. You can share much more frequently on twitter than you can on Facebook, due to it’s rapid nature.
Pinterest is basically a social network dedicated to the sharing of cool pictures. Pinterest gives you a “pinboard”, on which you can “pin” any cool photo you find on the web. When someone enjoys a photo you pinned they can share it by pinning it onto your wall. If you click on any photo, you are taken to the website it was found. This feature is awesome for marketing. Say you pin a cool photo from your website to your board, and it goes viral. Now you have a ton of links leading right back to you, which means a ton more traffic on your site, and hopefully more business.
Setster’s online scheduling platform includes a social media booking page where we present all of your social media posts onto a page that dynamically updates as you update your FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube accounts. This lets your clients get a great view of your business from a social stand point all in one place.