Small Business, Social Media: Why the Two Should Mix

fbAs a small business, you might not think that you can compete against the “big boys” in your particularly industry. However, by having an effective social media engagement plan, you can achieve amazing results with regards to your SEO and customer relationships. Though Google is notoriously secretive about their methods and policies, many experts feel that 2014 will see the search engine giant focusing on two elements: 1) great content and 2) the size of your social media footprint. By getting that mix right, your business will be in a position to compete against anyone in your industry.

Business Bigfoot: How to Increase Your Social Media Footprint

Though it’s fairly common knowledge that using social media is important in your online marketing plan, many companies fail to understand the dynamics required to make an effective campaign. There is oftentimes a misconception that social media is just a “broadcast system” for your marketing messages. While social media can be used for marketing to your audience, there’s more to it than just talking at them. Think of your social media plan as a conversation with a potential customer, and remember that communication is a two-way street.

1) Invest your time in the right social media.

There are thousands of social media options out on the web today. However, attempting to engage with them all will only result in mediocre campaigns and spreading yourself too thin. Think about where your audience spends their time. For many, hitting the bigger social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will provide great paths to your marketplace. Other avenues that offer great SEO return include creating YouTube videos, as well as encouraging sharing on Pinterest.

2) Look to the experts.

It might be tempting to tackle your social media plan yourself, but getting an expert opinion can really help to boost your business. Given the importance social media is starting to take on, getting your business’ mix right can actually affect your bottom line. SEO specialist companies, like Everspark Interactive in Atlanta, can help you develop a plan of attack and even implement and maintain it for you, leaving you to focus on other aspects of your business.

3) Don’t underestimate the importance of blogging.

It’s a fact: Google loves fresh and unique content on your site. When Google sees that you’re updating your site frequently and taking it seriously, then they’ll take you and your website more seriously. Blogging is an easy way to achieve this, and you can promote your posts on your social media channels, driving traffic right back to your site. Try using guest bloggers to discuss issues in your industry that might be of interest to your readers.

4) Make sure your website is social media ready.

Sharing is the name of the game when it comes to social media, and you’ll want to ensure that your site is ready for it. Have social media buttons available for your content and blog posts, and encourage your audience to re-post and re-tweet your uploads. The easier you make it for your readers, the more likely you are to reap the rewards of social sharing.

5) Join the conversation.

Blasting your audience with repeated marketing messages isn’t effective communication, and it also doesn’t encourage them to pay much attention. Use your social media to ask questions, and be sure to share relevant posts and tweets from your followers with your audience. By treating social media like a conversation, you can organically build followers and a great reputation for your brand.

Getting into social media can be a real game-changer for small businesses. By being more flexible and adaptable than your larger competitors, you have a chance to build your brand’s reputation and customer trust. Think less about “broadcast” and more about “conversation” and watch your followers – and bottom line – grow.

As a writer of online content, writer Melanie Fleury enjoys learning about what makes websites rank. SEO companies like Everspark Interactive, include social media as a part of what helps with search engine optimization. Social media like Facebook and Twitter are becoming increasingly important in the ranking of sites.

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  1. For small businesses, relationships between businesses not only customers, can be effectively built and sustained using social media. There’s a tool, called Alignable, specifically designed for small businesses. It helps these local businesses connect and collaborate to reach new customers.

  2. Good tips. To add to #5… businesses should join in the conversation with other local, businesses too. Using Alignable, the local business social network, small business can easily collaborate to “compete against the big boys”.

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