Of all the technologies that have changed our lives in recent years, none has done so more than social media. Social media has taken root as one of the most influential and most used forms of communication around the world. From politics, to entertainment, to personal and business, there is not one platform as accessible and widely used as social media. With Twitter and Facebook, to mention the most popular, you have a way of connecting with people from all over the world, and in the same neighbourhood with the strike of a few keys.
And the best part is that it is free. While individuals in their personal capacities have been quick to latch onto the idea of social media, businesses and particularly small businesses have been less interested, and to their detriment. Big companies have a dedicated marketing budget with a full time marketing department, a small business simply cannot afford this, so it is time to realise that social media is the best and most useful alternative.
The whole world is using social media, and without it your small business is out of date and simply won’t grow. Yes, business and the market are constantly changing but in order to keep and expand your client base you need to be consistent. As odd a paradox as it might seem.
So, how can you use social media to benefit your small business?
1. Realise that the persona you portray on your business social media page, is not the same person that you portray on your personal page. You can be yourself on your personal page, but on your business page you need to portray confidence and success. Don’t spread yourself too thin either, concentrate your social media presence on the three main social media platforms, this is usually Facebook, Twitter and Google+ but do your own research.
2. Make your profile interesting. Images can be extremely useful in reinforcing the image of your company so be careful in choosing them. Make sure you look confident and welcoming. Don’t upload personal photos, keep it professional.
3. The pages that you like and share and follow will give your clients an idea of your business profile and so it is important to find out who the leaders in your field are and follow them. You want your clients to see your business as part of this greater, successful network. So sign up for good industry blogs and comment and get involved. Then share this on your social media pages.
4. Plan ahead. Have a plan for the year ahead and then increase the number of stakeholders interested in what you are doing. Give people small pieces of information to get excited about and to start talking about. Ask for people’s opinions and collaborate with people you respect; this will double or triple the people you are able to reach.
With the economy starting to rebound, it is a good time for small business. But the only way to succeed and thrive in the current climate is to take advantage of the resources that are available to you. So don’t sit back and think that social media is for young people. It simply is not, it is for everyone and if you don’t jump on board you are going to get left behind.
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