The basics of social media for small businesses
What is social media?
Social media is any website or mobile phone function that allows you to easily share content and ideas with other people. The blog on your own website (if you have one) is a type of social media. The most well known social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google My Business, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.
Sharing before selling
Social media is about sharing more than selling. People are becoming more and more resistant to having hard sell advertising forced on them. Social media is a chance to engage with customers and show them the person or people behind the business. People do business with other people.
Sharing content – whether it’s original articles, aggregated articles, photos or videos – is a way to engage with your customers.
If you’re a mechanic, for example, share information about cars that’s not directly related to your business. If you own an Italian restaurant, share photos of Italy or fun facts about Italian culture. If you’re a chocolate maker, post Instagram photos of your staff making Valentine hearts behind the scenes.
So which social media sites should I use?
The good news is that you do not need to be active on all the social media platforms. In fact, it’s not a good idea to try to spread yourself so thin. Also, some social media platforms work better for some types of businesses than others.
You want to be where your customers are. We can guide you to choosing the best social media platform for what you’re trying to do.
Really strapped for time?
If the thought of taking the time to post on social media sites is really overwhelming to you, and you don’t have someone on your staff who can handle the task, talk to us about out-sourcing the whole thing. Many businesses find this an effective way to be active on social media without having to find non-existent time in which to do it.
One last thing…your website
Your social media accounts don’t exist in a bubble. If you use them effectively, they should draw people to your website. Your website is the “hub” of everything you do online. It’s the one property you own and that you have full control of. It’s important to have a website that reflects your brand, is updated with your latest information, and presents you the way you want to be seen. (Of course, we can help here, too.)