9 Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

Does your company use social media as part of its marketing mix? Or are you thinking of introducing social media into your business? Below are 9 tips to keep handy that will ensure you are more efficient with your participation in social networks, increase your inbound marketing efforts and continue to work toward your goals.

1. Have a plan for your social media.

Are you going to use social media as an extension of your blog and share updates on your content? Do you want to meet new business connections? Are you trying to create a greater sense of community? Are you trying to establish your business as a go-to resource on a specific topic? Whatever your goals are, make sure you have a strategy before going ahead.

2. Social media success takes time.

Unless you already have a well-established online presence, you may find that your foray into social media may not produce the instant results you’re hoping for. The key is to start making connections, getting to other influential people and working toward serving your audience.

3. Analyze your competition.

While you want to set yourself apart from everyone else making noise on social media, there is no need to completely reinvent the wheel. Watch what your competitors are doing on social media. Who are doing well and why are they doing well? These are important things to know.

[quote float=”right”]Social media is a great way to increase your exposure and connect more meaningfully with your followers, and it should be a complement to your marketing activities rather than replacing them.[/quote]

4. Be careful with your social media management team.

Hiring a team or individual to help you with your social media campaign is a good idea, but you need to make sure a consistent and appropriate message is shared. Set up well-defined guidelines to make sure everyone is on the same page.

5. Put some effort into your profiles.

Always fill out a profile completely and think about what your potential follower wants to know about you. Use an appropriately professional image and update details as needed.

6. Let everyone know you’re on social media.

Add “follow me” buttons to your website, let your email subscribers know that there is a new way to connect with you and include the information in your advertisements. Publicizing your participation is an important step into growing your following.

7. Keep the “social” in social media.

While people love to hear from businesses and receive their updates, the focus should always be on the social. Keep your own focus on sharing helpful information, being helpful and avoiding constant blatant self-promotion.

8. Share readily.

Building on the social aspect of social media, readily share the content of others. Sharing is a great way to meet new people and to be seen as a hub of helpful information in your topic area.

9. Respond to those that engage you.

Where possible, respond to comments and engage your audience further. There’s nothing worse than a business page that shows no real interaction by the owner.

Above all, keep in mind that you are still working and growing a business. You still need to develop products, grow your mailing list and sell your products. Social media is a great way to increase your exposure and connect more meaningfully with your followers, and it should be a complement to your marketing activities rather than replacing them. Stay steady and focused and you’ll be seeing the benefits of your participation, too.