In today’s marketplace, having a social media presence has many benefits for businesses. An effective social media presence with the right kind of interactions can help companies spread the word about their products and services, generate positive word of mouth, and give customers a place to interact with their brand.
Social media can be a free or nearly free form of advertising. For some types of businesses, it can provide a source of sales leads. Social media can also be a way for businesses without another significant web presence to build one without creating an expensive website.
Getting Started in Social Media
Getting a Facebook page or Twitter handle for your business seems easy, and it can be, but the world of social media can be incredibly time-consuming and overwhelming for some. There are dozens of social media sites, each with a different niche or target audience, and it can be difficult to know which ones are worth the time it will take to develop an engaging presence there.
Facebook and Twitter are the two biggest social media sites, and they also have the most general audiences. Besides these two, you can look into other, smaller sites to see if they seem like a good way to connect with the audience you want to reach. For example, Tumblr is built more around personal experiences, fictional stories, and blogs. Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat are image-centered.
Step By Step
Rome wasn’t built (or filled) in a day, and you likely won’t gain a million Facebook or Twitter followers that quickly either. Getting the basic page set up comes first, then adding information, links to content or your website if you have one, images, etc.
Next, invite your friends and post your page information around your business location or office so that customers and contacts will find you. Asking friends to recommend your page or handle to their friends is a good step, and you can also host small giveaways and other promotions that can boost your traffic.
The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends having an editorial calendar to plan your content rather than just posting spur of the moment. Planned posts will help you take advantage of holidays and control your content better.
Early on, you should figure out how to track your engagement so you know how campaigns are doing and which promotions were most successful. Some social media platforms come with built-in analytics tracking. You can also download a software program to help you with this, and once you get started, you will find tracking to be a valuable tool that helps your business grow.
Always remember that the main goal of social media is to be social—that is, friendly and personable. You want to handle social media like a business, but you don’t want your customers to see it that way. Sharing information about your personal life, when you feel comfortable, can help customers feel connected to you and want to become or remain customers.
CCSU offers courses for businesses including information about social media and other ways to grow and develop your business. Join our mailing list for information about what we offer.