So, you’ve learned how to build internal, inbound and outbound links in Step 5b to grow your business. Well done, that can be tricky. Now it’s time to dive into one of your biggest concerns, fears and questions – how do you use social media for small businesses? Let’s find out!
Biggest Social Media Myths
The biggest myth about social media for small businesses is that you need to be everywhere. Relax – you don’t have to be involved in every facet to succeed, we actually recommend against it!
The key is understanding the different social media platforms, or “channels” – who’s on them, how to use them, how often the conversation is – and then decide which ones are right for your business. Think of social media like you think of transit – you mainly use one, like the bus, but you also drive, walk and take the skytrain at different times of the day for different occasions.
How To Use Social Media For Small Businesses
When it comes to social media for small businesses, success isn’t measured by the number of followers you have – it’s measured by the depth of relationships you have with your customers. Remember you get to set the goals for your campaign, so you get to decide if it’s a success. As long as you’re focused and share your passion, you’ll do well. Regardless of the tools you use, these 3 rules always apply:
1) Tell Your Story
Your followers who have unique stories and want to hear yours – social media is your way to connect with people and tell them what makes you special. So stop worrying about the number of followers you have, and focus on being you.
2) Keep It Simple
You’re talking with people, not writing Shakespeare, so keep your language simple and easy to understand. Remember the phrase KISS? Keep It Simple Stupid!
3) Do What Works For You
If you use a social media channel for a few months and don’t enjoy it, stop using it. Social media is like dieting – focus on what you can do over the long run, as the goal is to build relationships with people, and that doesn’t happen over night.
Popular Social Media Tools For Small Businesses
There are a ton of options on how to use social media for small businesses. To decide which tool is right for you, ask yourself: Who am I trying to target? What do I want to accomplish? How much time am I willing to spend? To get started, we’ve explored 3 popular social media channels for small businesses, and we’ll help you figure out which ones are the best for you:
Focus: B2C (can be used by B2B, but B2B may find more value with LinkedIn)
Who’s Here: The largest audience is men and women aged 18-24, but research your customers using Facebook AdWords to see who you can reach, as you may be surprised who uses Facebook!
How To Use It: Facebook is great for sharing news, company milestones, team events, pictures and your blog. The system allows you to interact with people on a personal level, and since you’re not limited by how long your message can be, you can dive into details and conversations with clients and potential clients. It’s also a great way to display all the info about your company in a public place other than your website, plus it’s one of the worlds’ largest photo sharing websites, so feel free to post photos of your team, your services and anything else that gives us a “behind the scene” peak at your company.
Focus: B2B and B2C
Who’s Here: There’s a large range of people age 18-50, and it has a slightly higher female userbase (55% female).
How To Use It: Twitter is the fastest way to hear what’s going with your customers, as people tweet constantly about what they’re doing. (Plus, since they can only write 140 characters, it’s less time consuming than picking up the phone, writing an email and even commenting on your website or blog.)
Some companies are using it to answer questions, share promotions and connect with customers at events, as well as sharing news about their company, recent blogs posts and Facebook updates.
TIP: It can be a harder network to build relationships with potential customers due to the communication restrictions, plus you can get overwhelmed with the number of followers to interact with on your home feed, so make sure you choose Twitter for the right purpose. It’s great for feedback, quick updates and short Q&A.
Who’s Here: It’s a slumber party – 83% of the people are female between 18-24 yrs.
How To Use It: Pinterest is a visual network. If you love images and want to share the heart of your company, this is a great place to do it! The main message behind Pinterest is to show what your brand is about. Pinterest is fairly easy – you “just upload photos and curate a gallery,” but like everything else, have a focus and a goal, otherwise you’re not maximizing your time.
Other Social Media Channels For Small Businesses
We’ll go over these 3 social media channels in more detail, as there’s lots to learn! To keep focused and get started with confidence, we’re saving other networks for a later date. However, if you’d like a better overview of social media for small businesses and how Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest compare to Google + and LinkedIn, check out this detailed Social Media Infographic from Mashable. (Hubpsot also does a good summary of the newer social networks, Google+ and Pinterest for small businesses, if you’d like a more complete picture.)
HAVE CONFIDENCE: Do What Works For You!
If you find that you’re more successful on one social media network than an!other, consider that a success. Find a channel that works for you and stick with it. Remember, you don’t have to do it all, just do what works for your business.
Alright, now it’s time to learn more about social media for small businesses using these 3 networks, starting with Step 7 – How To Use Facebook for your Small Business.
New to Spokal? This is part of our 12 Steps To Getting Customers Online guide. Feel free to check it out and let us know what you think.