– A Big Business For The Small Business.
Many small businesses find the world of social media quite terrifying. The simple vastness of cyberspace, the endless jargon and ever changing trends are daunting to say the least. Yes, the cheap advertising costs are great – but which platform is the one for you? How do you even begin??
Research shows that too much choice can create inner paralysis. Too much information boggles the mind and as a result, a large proportion of the UK’s small business owners simply do not bother with social media at all, they do not have the time to invest in what is often a full-time job despite the masses of potential they are missing out on in not doing so.
So, how do you untangle the social media web? Well, obviously the answer is to employ a brilliant marketing agency such as yours truly to take away all of the stress! But initially, it is advisable to understand the different platforms separately to best know which would work for you. You can then decide which medium is most appropriate for your specific market, and use it to tell your business story and interact with your clients.
We’ve decided to share a bit of our knowledge to help you out! Below are the main social media platforms with their different features. Have a read through and see which one would work best for your business.
Officially the world’s largest social media platform. You should already have a Facebook business page, now you need to make sure that you are using it properly and that it is actually the best place for your company to sit.
Facebook is perfect for the B2C company as it is a relaxed, colloquial platform that people tend to view at their leisure. However it could be argued that Facebook for the smaller business is actually not that effective anymore. The sheer volume of content on the site from witty posts to images and videos makes it hard for anybody to stand out. This coupled with Facebook’s recent decision to limit the number of people who see your posts unless you pay for a boost, makes it all the more difficult for the smaller business to make an impact. If you do have the money to pay for boosts, brilliant, if not, it might be an idea to use a newer platform. Mediums such as Instagram or Pinterest are great for design based industries and can also link into your other social media channels.
Twitter may seem to be the most daunting of them all. Once logged in, you are thrust into a million one sentence conversations and it may all seem like a circus of words!
The trick is to only ‘follow’ accounts appropriate to your industry or target market, then simply watch what is being discussed and reply, retweet, tweet as appropriate. It’s a great platform for interacting with businesses and building up a sense of camaraderie in your local area. A good place to start is by watching out for certain hashtags. There are specific hours each week dedicated to different industries such as a #handmadehour, #hairhour, #smallbiz hour. If you start watching these conversations and getting involved, you’ll soon find yourself making new contacts. It’s a great platform for cross-sharing of tips, advice, company updates and discount codes.
In stark contrast to Facebook and maybe even Twitter, LinkedIn is the place for professionals. If your business is in B2B or career development then you need to be on LinkedIn. It houses over 300 million professionals. Make sure that your profile is kept up to date, containing all key information so that it can be found easily via search engines.
There are some great networking opportunities such as ‘Groups’ and ‘Pulse’ which provide an effective platform via which to create a voice in your industry. By publishing serious industry articles, you can engage with like-minded people and businesses. It also has an app called SlideShare allows you to upload presentations.
It’s a great business organisational tool. Instead of having a drawer full of business cards, simply connect with anybody you meet at corporate events through LinkedIn. Not only will you remind them of your business, but you can throw that annoying business card in the bin. Keep in touch by spending just a few minutes a day updating your profile with any business information, comment on appropriate discussions or give somebody a testimonial, it all makes for great networking.
Google Plus is without doubt the most underused Social Media platform. It however, needs not to be as it works SO well for the small business. It is essential for SEO. If your ultimate goal is to generate more business, through Google, or otherwise, then an active Google+ page is critical. It is evident that content posted on Google+ gets indexed much faster by Google’s search engine and leads to better search results.
Although it might seem that you perhaps aren’t seeing the same engagement that you do with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, the backend benefits can be huge. Team your Google+ page with a Google Local page and it will appear alongside your business listing in Google Maps. More and more people are using the Google Local facility to find goods and services locally. It’s also great for client interaction; customers are able to leave reviews.
In addition to the above, there is also Instagram and Pinterest for photos sharing and Tumblr … but let’s leave those for another day whilst you get your head around the big boys first!
Hopefully, the above tips and descriptions have helped clarify the complex world of Social Media!
There is so much more to using twitter and social media in general, so if you need any help or want some advice on the best way forward with your marketing, give us a call: 01795 430030 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org