If your definition of social media is Facebook, then you’re on the right path to understanding how to use social media for your business. Facebook is the quintessential form of social media, but it’s not the only aspect of this type of marketing.
Online marketing, which covers all types of marketing done via the internet, uses social media to handle most of the workload. But before you set up a Facebook Page for your business, here’s some introductory information on using social media for small business.
Not quite sure if social media is the right fit for your business? Maybe you have a small business that’s been around for 25 years, and you don’t see a reason to change something that’s not broken. Or maybe you’re just starting your business, and you’re not sure if you’re ready to use social media.
Here’s the reality. If you have a small business, no matter what industry you’re in, and you want to thrive in 2017, then you should include your business on social media.
In fact, even if you have yet to create a profile page on Facebook or sign up for a Twitter account, chances are your business is already on social media. If someone is talking about your business on the internet, you’re already there. That’s why it’s so important to be on social media. You want to establish your own brand for your small business — before someone else does it for you.
Managing your brand
How would that happen? Consider the site called Yelp, which is where customers post reviews of businesses. Your customers, satisfied or not, can post comments about their experiences with your company. When customers aren’t happy, it’s up to you to find their comment and reply to let them know you’ve heard their complaint and will find a solution. But that’s not enough.
You also need to have a current profile. This way when other internet users read comments about your business, they can do their own research and make their own judgments. If you don’t have a social media account for your business, this puts your company at a disadvantage. While social media is the leading method of online marketing, it’s also the best way to let potential customers find your business, no matter what part of the world they live in.
Before we get started with choosing the best social media for business marketing, let’s talk the lingo. Social media includes any website or app that allows internet users to create or share content socially. When you establish your business on social media, you will create a profile, page, and user name on sites or apps. We’ll talk about the different sites of social media in a second.
For each social media site you use, you’re responsible for updating your business’s information over time. If you don’t, your site may give people the wrong information, such as a change in your business hours. You also need to communicate with your social media followers or fans. This involves responding to comments and messages. You also need to give users something in the form of content, which includes videos, photos, or words. This is done through posting on your social media page.
Speaking of Yelp, Facebook, and Twitter, how do you know which sites to use for your social media needs? Let’s start by listing the most popular social media sites for marketing:
A quick rundown of each of these sites will help you choose which ones are most interesting or relevant to your business:
- Facebook has the largest number of users at more than 1.6 billion worldwide, and Facebook Ads allow you to publish marketing advertisements directly on the site.
- Twitter features the famous hashtag, and includes the latest news updates. Here you can connect with your customers and online consumers in seconds.
- YouTube is the kingpin of video sharing sites, and it’s owned by Google. You can create video commercials for your company and air those on different YouTube channels.
- Instagram is a photo sharing site that’s getting better for marketing. You can now create short videos or photo collages and share them in the form of business advertisements.
- Pinterest is another picture sharing site. Here businesses can upload images along with links back to their website to attract new customers.
- LinkedIn is all about business, literally. This is where business owners, and employees, go to share information about their companies. You can advertise your business or look for future employees here.
- Yelp, as we’ve mentioned, is a review site. As a business owner you want to create a page about your company. This way when people are searching for your business hours, location, or pricing, they have all of the information they need, directly from you, the owner.
You can use as many social media sites for your small business as you want. However, when you open an account you’ll need to keep it up to date for best practices.
To set up your profiles, you’ll need to write some simple descriptions about your business and upload images to fill your background photo and profile picture. It’s best to use your logo as your company profile picture.
Promotion on social media involves content. For example, you may post photos of your latest product line, or share video commercials for your company. These are advertisements that you control and share on your social media accounts. You can also pay others to share your content. This is called sponsored content, and it can provide you with valuable ROI.
Social media is an excellent way to market your small business, whether you simply want to establish an online presence or you want to set up an ad campaign. Once you become familiar with using the best social media sites for your business, you may want to keep organized by using an editorial calendar.
This calendar system lets you plan out your social media marketing strategy for months at a time. It’ll keep you organized and ensure you don’t forget to post about the big annual sale in plenty of time to advertise it.
Bottom line is the more regularly you use social media for your business, the greater the chances that potential customers will come across your business online. And that’s the ultimate goal with social media for small business, to market your services or products to customers using social media channels.
> Do you need a logo to fill your company’s social media profile pictures? Take a look through some of the design templates in our logo maker to get some ideas.