Social media can be a useful tool for local businesses, provided it is used correctly. Social media marketing puts your message in front of your current and potential customers. With it they might post negative reviews, criticize your product or service, and recommend potential clients to stay away from your business.
Customers can rave about the great products or services you provide and what needs some improvement. They might also offer positive reviews that contribute to increased sales. To put it simply, that’s a great deal of marketing power to hand over to the general public.
In formulating your social media strategy, you should consider three important components.
The most common mistake for businesses to make is using social media to stage sales pitches. This is great if you want to be ignored or called out online for using a cheap tactic to make money. Regardless, you are misusing a fantastic resource for your business. Preferably, emphasize the development of personal relationships and making lasting connections with people.
Posting acknowledgements, along the lines of a consultant congratulating a client’s success or a company submitting posts about an event it is hosting, promotes your product and/or service while making a personal connection. These types of posts increase the curiosity of the reader, leading them to find out more information about your business. How did the consultant help his client achieve success? Why is the company hosting the event? Using this approach, your business is being promoted while building a relationship with your customers.
In addition, remember to build a relationship with your clientele professionally, rather than socially. More often than not, they don’t care about your personal life.
Having an active social media presence also offers your business more exposure. Your business’s social media presence, makes it simpler for people to post comments. Although people can accomplish this whether your business has an online presence or not, your social media involvement will make it easy for you to respond to comments, start a discussion, or create a poll related to the issue.
Finally, your business’s social media marketing should include a local component. A good start is to get in touch and build professional connections with businesses in your local community. They can be related products or services, establishments with the same marketing demographic, or even businesses that offer similar products and services. This can lead to mutually beneficial marketing opportunities like promotional events, while serving to increase awareness of your business.
Generally, social media provides a free resource for businesses, as well as individuals, to use. Don’t be fooled by articles about how the social media revolution has saved this or that business. Though you may be encouraged to create a Twitter account or Facebook page to start posting and marketing your business as soon as possible, be careful. Social media for local business is not the same as your personal social accounts. If you try to get in touch with your customers like you do your friends, you will very likely be unsuccessful. Likewise, if you try to use social media as a sales opportunity, it will quite simply not work.
Remember, by using social media, you are giving your customers a considerable amount of power and while the benefits may be forthcoming, so may the failures. To ensure this will not happen for your business, be certain you are making use of social media wisely.