Inbound Marketing: Social Media Ideas for Small Businesses
[Guest Blogger: Megan Totka]
Social media plays a huge role in the success (or failure) of most small businesses. Having great social media pages can be an unbelievably effective marketing tool. Social media is considered an example of inbound marketing – where the customer seeks out the business. Many people have seen the major effects that social media can have on their personal relationships. Who hasn’t had family members or friends go at it on Facebook? Unfortunately, the same can be true for businesses. Comments from consumers, both positive and negative, can garner lots of attention, and quickly. Customers actually seek out the social media pages of companies to post their thoughts, positive, negative, and everything in between.
Here are some ideas on social media do’s and don’ts when it comes to small businesses:
- Do – post interactive content. Asking questions of your customer base and encouraging them to interact with you and their fellow customers is great. Even creating polls or quick games will keep people coming back to your social media posts over and over.
- Do – make your pages visually interesting. This can be accomplished easily on most large social networks. Facebook now has timeline, which offers the ability to put up a large photo at the very top of your page. Twitter allows users to change their background. Some social media sites, such as Instagram or flickr, are based solely on photos.
- Do – update often. The more people click on your page, the more people will be able to see your posts. We are not suggesting to bombard your customers with updates, but changing your status or tweeting meaningfully once or twice per day can be a great way to get people to see your posts. Also consider posting around the same time each day, that way customers will know when to look for your updates.
- Do – post relevant information. Your customers probably don’t care what you and your dog ate for breakfast. Keep your posts short, sweet, and meaningful.
- Don’t – automatically delete negative comments. Most people’s knee jerk reaction is to delete any negative comments on social media posts. But this is not always the most effective. Your company may gain a reputation for sweeping problems under the rug. Instead, ask the customer why they feel they were wronged and what the company can do to fix it. You may be surprised at how simple the solution is. And as a bonus, other users of your page will see that you did your best to remedy the problem.
- Don’t – overload your page with information. Having a lot of great, basic information on your social media pages can be very helpful, especially as Facebook or Twitter pages can be your first hit on a search. But be mindful not to put so much information on your page that your customer becomes overwhelmed. If anything, you can always use a social media site to drive more traffic towards your full website.
Following some or all of these tips can help you and your small business to use your social media presence to its fullest. If customers seek you out, you want to make them glad that they did. Useful and pleasant social media can be a large part of this strategy.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She has spent time working for major media news outlets in San Antonio and Cleveland.