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Social Media – Five ways to grow your small business

social media

Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Linkedin, Yelp, Pinterest, Tumblr, Myspace, Periscope, YouTube, Reddit, and more, the list goes on and on. Chances are unless you have just time traveled here from the early 1900s that you actively use or at least have heard of one or more of the social networks listed above. When you think of these networks I’m sure you think about how much time we spend on these sites daily, how much they have saturated our society to the point where we now know what our friends and family are up to almost 24/7. We all know “that guy” who posts updates, checkins and photos of what he’s up to, where and what he ate, and where he’s visiting each day on social media. While some may find that to be annoying, “that guy” is accomplishing two of the major goals of a social presence, relevancy and awareness.

social media grow your business While at times it may be extreme, by posting daily updates he is keeping his followers engaged in his life and aware of what he is up to. As a business you can accomplish these same goals but without the label of being “that guy” by following a few simple guidelines.

Before I give you some tips you may be asking yourself, “why does this even matter to my business, is this just a trend, is it worth my time?” My answer to that is absolutely!

Social media marketing increases your brand’s awareness. … Social media marketing helps to validate your brand. A company’s social media presence, when done correctly, tells consumers that their brand is active and focused on thriving communication with consumers. A well managed presence can improve customer service by allowing your customers to interact with you at their convenience. A well managed presence can increase brand and product recognition, a well managed presence can lead to sales to new and current customers.

Social media is important to your business, your current and potential customers are talking about you, their wants and needs wether you are listening or not. Why not join the conversation.

Below you will find my list of the top five ways different types of content to creatively utilize on social media to grow your small business.

Grow your small business with – Live Video

Live video is taking the social media world by storm. Live video was introduced by Twitter in 2015 with its Periscope app. The phenomenon grew substantially in 2016 with the introduction of Facebook Live and Instagram Live.

This is a big opportunity for businesses. The use of live video allows for real time interaction and these platforms allow a very unique opportunity to showcase your business, new products, a product demonstration, an event or a Q&A session to your clients and potential clients.

Imagine being able to give a demo of your product to potential investors or purchasers. Imagine a real estate agent being able to give a tour of a beautiful home to showcase different features of the house that are hard to demonstrate through pictures.

Live video only will continue to grow, Facebook has announced that it will roll out a 360-degree video for live users later this year and Instagram is working on introducing new additional live features as well.

Grow your small business with 24 Hour Content

This content stays active for a period of 24 hours and then disappears. This type of content is meant to showcase things that are “in the moment”

Snapchat is one of the most popular platforms for this type of content but is quickly being dethroned. Recently, Instagram launched a similar disappearing video feature, disappearing photos feature and a disappearing messages feature.

Businesses can use this type of content for things like multiple videos or photos of an event, a quick look at an upcoming product or a “flashcard” type presentation with product information.

Who does this type of content work best for? The 18-30 age range.

Snapchat has several case studies to show that content that disappears after 24 hours is more engaging for this age group because users make the best use of the available time during which they can interact with the content.

Use Social Advertising to grow your small business

Social networks are smart just like search engines. Different algorithms are used to directly target and personalize content to each user in a way that they will be more likely to interact with.

This is why millions of major brands spend obscene amounts of money on social advertising each year. According to Content Marketing Institute, paid advertising on social ads In 2016 reached $1.53 billion worldwide. That number is expected to increase to $41 billion by the end of 2017. Why? Because it works! Social Advertising isn’t just for the major brands though, it has great potential for small businesses as well.

Think of a billboard, the average price of a billboard advertisement in a major city is around $1500-$5000 per month. That is one single message that does not change for that month. You have people texting while driving, people your ad does not apply to or people who are distracted by the radio driving by your billboard with no interaction, and most that are interested wont have the time to write down or remember your website or phone number.

Social Advertising allows for you to directly target the exact type of customer you want to sell your product or service to. For example a realtor could target individuals with a high propensity to buy or sell a home within the next six months. Social Advertising is POWERFUL!

Use Reviews to grow your small business

Reviews are extremely important to any business, about 2/3 of online shoppers immediately check the reviews portion of a product or service on sites such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, WhitePages, YellowPages and more.

Many businesses think that reviews are out of their hands, that is absolutely not the case!

Establishing a process of asking each customer or client for a review in person, over the phone or through email is crucial to the success of your business. Having a good amount of positive reviews for your business on social media allows potential clients to be able to know, like and trust you. An area director for BNI has published a blog on why you should ask for reviews.

Use Giveaways to grow your small business

Who doesn’t like free stuff? Giveaways are one of the best ways to grow a following and connect with that following on social media. Its common fact that people love giveaways and drawings, whats not to like? By offering a giveaway you are providing value and excitement about your brand to your followers

Some ideas of different items you can giveaway are your companies products, a gift card to a local business (consider partnering with them to exchange social promotion), a free service, dinner and a movie, a local experience such as tickets to a theme park or show, a local gift basket, a charitable donation or cold hard cash.

You can simply pick a random follower as the winner or make a post about the giveaway stating “everyone who likes this post by Friday at 1pm will be entered to win our giveaway item”. Be sure to properly research giveaway guidelines for your individual industry as some industries such as banking, investing or insurance are heavily regulated on items they can and can’t giveaway.

If you liked this entry and want to visit the BNI chapter that I am a member of, please see more about our chapter and check us out – we meet Wednesday each week at 11 AM in the Pine Community Center in Wexford.

Author – JT McDonald – JT is a member of the Power Alliance chapter of BNI – and owner of 5427 Digital Media

Image Credit – Adobe Stock

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