Many businesses use Facebook and Twitter etc. to market their products and services and over the last few years, small business owners have welcomed the amount of increased enquiries and sales that this has bought in.
Facebook is by far the most popular social media platform for small business and can literally grow a business’s customer base over night. SO how do you set up the right profile on Facebook for your business and what is needed in order to maintain it? When a user is searching on Facebook they will often type in a product or service and possibly a local. Facebook tends to work well for local advertising but can work nationally if the product or service you are offering can be supplied to them at their location rather than them having to come and visit you.
When you set up your profile, include as much information as you can such as opening times, pictures, contact details and services / prices. You may also want to try and get your previous customers to leave some reviews for others to read. Make sure that you post something on your profile page at least once a week and if possibly run competitions and ask for followers to comment on your posts to maintain interaction with them.
Many businesses use one of more of the social media sites for marketing purposes. Some find it easy to market their business and get a lot of response from it where as others may struggle to build up a community or to know what to write.
When you do post anything on a social media site or indeed on your own website, be sure to spread it across all sites in order to get the most of out one article. You may want to reword it slightly, or just put snippets on the social media sites that click back to your website for the full article.
Before hiring a social media specialist, you need to educate yourself. This does not mean you need to become an expert in the subject, but you should at least know the basics. This will save time and money as your social media specialist will not have to take time to train you on this and there may be some parts that you can do yourself and leave the more technical items to the specialist. As well as this, you may want to study the lingo used on the social media sites such as RT for retweet, Hashtags etc.
Many businesses are now coming on board with social media marketing and starting to understand the positive impact it can have. It can be a great way to market your business and can often be very cost effective. Unfortunately many businesses are still not aware exactly how to run their social media campaigns and profiles and either end up losing heart and not being active or having a negative effect by the way in which they post.
It is recommended to try and get some training for the person or people that are going to be responsible for the social media marketing as this can make it work better for the business and allow you to get the most out of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. If you are struggling to find time to have staff out of the business for training then why not find a social media expert that can come to you and offer in house training or even find a training course which can be done online. Many employers will ask their employees to take the course online even at home, often offering them overtime, to avoid time used up in the day.
Social media marketing can be extremely effective and many businesses are already on board. Some businesses only use social media as their form of online marketing and for those especially, it is vital it works.
When looking at Facebook for example, you firstly need to ensure that your business page is completed as fully as possible. Be sure to add plenty of images, ideally a mix of products you sell, group of staff photos as well as any special offers and pictures of your premises. You should also make sure that you have your opening hours displayed and that you have an easy and clear way for people to contact you should they wish to.
Once you have a solid profile, with a good description of what you do you can then start to promote your page. You can pay for Facebook advertising to start you off or you may want to invest a bit of time by sharing your page within local groups and with friends.
Once you have a number of followers be sure to keep you page updated with any latest news, events and products. You may also want to add a place for reviews and price lists.
Let’s try for a moment to remember the world before social media, no Facebook, no Twitter, no Instagram how did you reach your customers? Newspapers? Tv adverts? Radio broadcasts? As a business, you would have carefully planned and researched who you were targeting and how best to reach them. And it is no different now, except now they can reach you far more easily. As a consumer, I expect to be able to communicate with a business in the same way I do with friends and that is invariably going to be through social media. If a business has no presence on social media I am often sceptical about them, wondering why they are not making it as easy as possible to contact or research them. The simple fact is when I am looking to spend money with a particular company I want to feel comfortable with who they are and I want to know that if something goes horribly wrong a can contact them in an instant. By avoiding social media marketing a company can come across as standoffish and even lose customers. So to all of you wondering if Facebook is the right place for you consider this, not only can I find out everything I want to know about you in a couple of clicks, you too can find out about me, we can be ‘friends’ we can ‘chat’ and I might even ‘like’ you.