Using Social Media to Market Your Small Business

What is your brand? Your answer probably includes something to do with your small business, your slogan, and hopefully customer service.

What is your social media brand? That may be a harder question to answer. Do you even have one? If you don’t, it’s time to get busy. Social media is a great way for you to do marketing, provide customer service, and to a degree, sell. It also defines you brand in an entirely new way.

There are several different ways you can implement social media into your marketing campaign. As you do so, remember the golden rule of this form of marketing. Social media is a conversation, and no one likes to be sold to in a friendly conversation.

Facebook Marketing
Facebook is the number one social media marketing tool right now. If you do not have a Facebook Fan Page for your business yet, get one. They are free and fairly easy to set-up. At minimum your Fan Page should include a photo or your business or logo, a photo album tour, and photos of your staff. As your page grows, work to include photos and videos weekly, along with useful facts your Facebook fans want to know about.

If you already have a developed Facebook Fan Page, you need to make sure it is visually optimized. The website offers some great tips on how to utilize Facebook’s newest Fan Page Layout to promote your brand.

Remember the goal of your Facebook page is to build a community for people who like your business. Anytime someone posts a comment on your page, make time to respond to it. This helps create a conversation. Through the conversation you will gain insight, support, suggestions and even inspiration to grow your business from things your Facebook friends tell you.

All friends like to receive gifts and hear stories. Your Facebook friends are no different. Consider offering monthly events or giveaways to your Facebook friends. During the summer months you might offer kids who bring in a coupon you post on your page a free Frisbee with your logo on it. Or you may consider holding a monthly seminar for your Facebook friends to attend. Offering incentives to your friends keeps them interested in what you are posting on your page.

Because your Facebook friends are also your customers, share stories with them. If you have an employee of the month, highlight them on your Fan Page. If your employees dress up crazy on a holiday, share photos. Sharing stories and pictures on your page helps create the community environment your friends are looking for when they “like” your page.

Blog Marketing
Another important part of your social media campaign is blogging. If you do not yet have a blog on your website, get one. It’s free, and it allows you to keep your patients updated on the latest news. Additionally, Google search engines like it when your website is updated regularly. The blog gives you the ability to do this fairly seamlessly.

Trying to figure out what to blog about may be difficult at first. Remember why people are coming to your site. They are looking for information. Consider utilizing the Google News to find out what the latest national stories are related to your industry. Then blog about those stories weekly, giving them a local twist.

These are just a few of the many social media tools you can use to promote your small business on-line. If you have specific questions about creating your social media brand, visit the comment sections on this article, and I will answer them for you and others.

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