8 Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

If you haven’t adapted social media into your business’s marketing campaigns, you’re quite simply missing out one of the biggest opportunities to  take your brand to the next level. Using social media in savvy ways can open up doors to a whole new audience of potential customers.

However, many small businesses make simple mistakes that hold them back from connecting with their fans, often alienating them in the process. It’s not as easy as it once was, thanks to increased competition and the rise of paid traffic against organic, especially when it comes to Facebook.

To help you get to grips with the big, forever changing landscape of social media, here are ten tips to set you off on the right path.

1 Lean on your friends

Do any of your friends owe you favours or are particularly active on social media? Asking them to like/follow your page can help out a lot if you’ve decided to go all in with social media. If they’re the receptive type, ask them (politely) to invite a few of their friends to do the same.

2 Stick with it

Consistency is a big part of any business. If you’re ensuring your brand message always rings true, customers remain happy with their purchases, and your staff have good morale, why should it be any different for your social media? Don’t give up, even if you don’t see instant results.

3 Smart scheduling

Knowing how and when to post something on social media can be the difference between having 1000 people seeing it and 10. There are certain times of the day that are busiest for different platforms; Twitter users won’t be on at the same time as Facebook users, for example. Many employees take their lunch break between 12 and 1pm, so be sure that your “marquee” post for that day goes out then.

4 Make them want to share

When you have a business that is a little “dry”, i.e. cement blocks, it can be difficult to find a genuinely interested audience. Posting self-promotion on a constant basis isn’t going to win you many fans – mix it up with related viral videos and images and watch your reach increase.

5 Find your niche

It’s a well-known fact amongst marketers that businesses with an emphasis on design tend to do better on Pinterest. Equally, entertainment websites will perform better on Facebook and Twitter. Find which social media platform can best accommodate your business and focus on that one the most to see best results.

6 Advertise on a budget

If you’ve ever placed an ad in a newspaper, you have probably felt like you’ve wasted your money. You can’t target readers directly and circulation will always be limited. For a relatively low price, you can “boost” your posts to targeted, interested social media visitors and end up with a few extra fans in the process. Facebook offers some affordable advertising as long as you set your campaigns up properly, but StumbleUpon probably offers greater value for money with a smaller audience.

7 Everybody loves free stuff

Do you have a special event that you need to raise interest for? Perhaps you’re running a promotion for your products? Post about it on social media and incentivise people to like, share, retweet, and the rest – you will see a lot of engagement in return. You will be opening yourself up to potential new customers and fans.

Social Media Tips

Social network sites

  • Also referred to as ‘online reputation management’, social network sites should be your first step of advertising, marketing and building up an online reputation for your site.
  • Create a profile in some of the most popular social media sites like Facebook, pinterest, Twitter, linked, Google plus etc.
  • This would let you extend your online contacts network and help you connect and interact with your audience, share things and ultimately build your online reputation.

Social Bookmarking

  • This is yet another very powerful tool for promotion of your site. However you should know how to use them properly.
  • You should upload your current blog posts along with related pages to some of the most popular social bookmarking sites like Delicious, Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon etc.
  • These bookmarking sites are much favoured by the search engines since their content gets updated very often.
  • However before submitting your content to the social bookmarking sites learn how to handle the tags properly since they are extremely important for broadcasting your content on a wide area network.
  • Depending on the efficacy of your participation, your website traffic can be increased considerably.

Photo Sharing

  • Always share the photos on your site and make them public. This will allow your friends and audience to view them and comment on them and in the long run more traffic will be diverted to your site.
  • Share and upload your pictures on some of the major photosharing sites like flickr, picassa, photobucket etc.

Video Marketing

  • Similar to photo sharing, one can upload and share the product videos on sites like Vimeo, Youtube and others. This would allow other people to locate your presence in other ways.