How social media can benefit small business
What is social media?
Social media has been around for a few years now. Facebook launched in 2004 and Twitter soon followed in 2006. There are many variations on these two themes but all follow a similar format. They’re very easy to setup, manage and customise with your company branding. Sometimes referred to as Micro Blogs they can help communicate with your clients and drive more traffic to your website. Most are free and provide a powerful way to display interactive media on your website without the expense of hosting all these services yourself.
There are lots of Micro Blogs to choose from. Here are few popular ones that offer good support:
Why should my business invest the time?
Most small companies shy away from social media, believing they simply don’t have the time to use them. If you meet a potential client face to face, you exchange business cards, follow up with a call and add this person to your email list. Social media is a easy way to network along side face to face contact. It’s not a direct fix for falling sales but rather a way of networking to attract new. As with face to face contact your audience need to know you’re 100% genuine. It allows you to understand your market and monitor users needs.
Will I get any return?
It’s a good idea to plan first and take time to understand your market. Following other companies is a great way to start. You’re not guaranteed a return when using social media, but you can experiment, watch your results closely and plan the best way to network with potential future clients.
Let’s say you set up a Twitter account. This includes a feed to your website. You start tweeting useful expert content with links to your blog. You add the occasional tweet about your products and you setup Google Analytics to track the progress. You’re now feeding your site with up to date content and gaining new followers to your tweets.
To further compliment the above, you add a “Subscribe to my newsletter” and a visible advert “Free gift to every new subscription”. Now your site is benefiting from the new traffic, people are joining you on Twitter and signing up for your company newsletter.
Your site now ranks higher in search engines due to the increased traffic and you have three new ways of communicating with clients.
It’s also possible to mix and match other social sites. For instance Facebook or Google+ will give visitors the sense of belonging and allow them to comment, add photos and share views with your company. You can run a live feed talking about your activities, for example if you are at an event, and let them know your latest and greatest products.
You’ll have a great way to communicate with your clients and gain feedback. Your site will rank higher in search engines and benefit from the spike in additional traffic. You may get additional enquiries and these could lead to a potential sale. It’s easy to join and after the initial outlay in time it’s easy to update on the go using mobile devices. So what are you waiting for, get tweeting and blogging now!