Guest blogging at www.proofedbylinds.co.uk is very welcome.
My guest is Marcela De Vivo a freelance writer from Southern California. Marcela kindly sent me a wonderful list of topics to choose from. With my love of social media, it had to be about how it could be used to the small business’s advantage. I hope you find some of her tips useful.
You’re in a quickly shrinking minority if you run a small business and don’t utilize at least one social media platform.
In 2013, there are tons of different ways that you can market your brand and increase your visibility, particularly online, the most significant of which is social media. With so many different platforms and each with its own individual audience, those who aren’t taking advantage of Twitter, Facebook and other networking sites are missing out on a large group of potential clients and/or patrons.
What these social media sites are so good at doing, is building your brand; they’re able to get your name out to a larger group of people, make your mission known and make you more recognizable.
Which platforms you use and how you use them will be specific to your business and your niche. However, there are plenty of general rules that apply to all small businesses looking to start a social media campaign.
We’ll look at some of the general rules here and help carve out some simple blueprints for building your brand via social media.
1. Selecting platforms – I wouldn’t advise that you go out and just make an account for every single social media platform there is. Each one takes time and energy, so there needs to be a calculated approach.
Here are the questions you need to answer:
- Where do my clients/patrons/target audiences gather?
- What social media accounts are most conducive to my product/business?
- What social media accounts are most utilized by others in my niche?
- Where am I most likely to generate a committed following?
The answers will be different for everybody. These are questions that you need to answer before you decide where your focus is going to be.
It takes a time commitment to effectively manage a social media page, so be choosy about which ones you want to use for your business and try to pick platforms that will play to your strengths. For example, a bakery would do well with something focused on imagery, like Pinterest or Instagram, while a tech blog might do better with Twitter or StumbleUpon.
2. Marketing your accounts – If you have a physical store or location, you’ll want to put links to your social media accounts on your business cards and even on small pictures in your windows and around your building. Also consider providing exclusive deals for those who “like” your Facebook page or “follow” you on Twitter. That will give people a reason to seek out your account and pay attention.
You’ll also want to be sure that you include a link to each account on your website. Just make sure there are enough ways for people to know about your accounts and to be able to follow them if they choose.
3. Recognizing what it can and can’t do – Social media gets talked about a lot within the context of business, so it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not a silver bullet for your operation. There are a lot of things that it can do well, which would include:
- Generate leads
- Network with others in your industry
- Generate web traffic
- Provide a platform for your content or product
- Keep you connected with those who are interested
All these are good things, yet we should also be aware of the limitations that social media platforms have. They shouldn’t be counted on to do the following:
- Get bad or low-value content in front of people
- Work on their own without continual management
- Increase traffic and sales by huge percentages
- Reduce workloads in other areas
Any form of marketing, whether it be social media or something else, doesn’t make or break you. It can help, but it has to be second tier to a great product or something of greater value that your company is offering.
Consider that people will like your Facebook fan page because they actually like what you do and believe in it. That’s where a solid social media following has got to come from.
Putting Social Media to Work
Don’t view social media as a replacement for your brand and what you’ve created. Social networking in and of itself doesn’t hold any real value – goods and services do. So whatever platform is used to deliver those goods and services will only work because of good ol’ supply and demand.
That means social media will work for you, if you put in the work first.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer and self-starting business owner in Southern California. With the help of Hostpapa.co.uk, she learned how to take her business to the next level through different platforms, including social media.
Latest posts by Lindsay McLoughlin (see all)
- Writer meets… Performance Coach - Thursday 14 May 2015
- Writer meets… Positive Psychologist - Thursday 18 December 2014
- Which social media platform is best for your business? - Wednesday 17 September 2014
- Radio marketing: advanced marketing strategy - Saturday 30 August 2014