Social media marketing is an excellent platform to use when you want to build and maintain a strong presence in your industry. Social Media can easily drive thousands of unique visitors to sites in minutes. Large companies have implemented and adapted social platforms into their advertising and marketing campaigns. The question now is: how can the small businesses capitalize from these platforms?
Social media benefits
• Builds community and interaction
• Encourages brand loyalty
• Can create exposure (often virally)
• Enables you to listen
Social media drawbacks
• Time consuming to build up and maintain
• Growth is often slow in many situations
• Difficult to assess return on investment (ROI)
For a small business to take advantage of any social marketing campaign, it has to understand that this requires time investment and that the return on investment or ROI will not happen instantly. Therefore, it is important to focus on essential segments in order to send out the message.
The following are a few tips for small business owners on how to use social media marketing to grow and expand their businesses:
1 – Communication: Small businesses can start to communicate with their clients by joining conversations on social networks. When your social media marketing efforts are geared at local areas, you can be sure that clients will walk into the store and purchase your product. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and others will make it easier for small businesses and their clients to share media on services and products.
2 – Effective strategies: Customers should be encouraged to send feedback about your services and products. Integrate your website with your blogs, Facebook, Twitter and various other social media sites to allow your clients to voice their opinion and speak with one another about your services.
3 – Multimedia: Take advantage of websites such as Flicker and YouTube, which have exploded in recent years. Everyone loves to share media with friends. When you provide worthwhile content, people will also share, circulate and comment on it. Short videos will also do a lot for businesses, as this is a good way to get a constant stream of subscribers as well as occasional new customers.
4 – Reviews and opinions: Google, Yelp and Zagat all allow customers to review your services and products. You need to participate in local discussions about your business. Encourage your customers to give reviews and get a discount or incentive. For this, you can choose new products or the less popular products and this will help boost sales.
5 – Local business listings: Claim your company listing locally on Google, Yahoo and Bing. This will boost your ranking and visibility on the internet.
When a business is prepared to take some time and effort in order to become an active member in their local community using social media marketing, this will significantly help to expand the business. When investments are made to develop the website as a primary center for communication, digital media and social media efforts, then the sky will be the limit.