So, you’re a small business and people keep saying, “you should use social media!”
At this point, there are really only two replies you can utter. The first is, “yeah, I should” or maybe, “yeah, I’m doing some things already.”
The second reply – and a very common reply when asked about social media – is, “uh…social what?”
The reality is that there are a lot of small business owners that do not utilize Social Media tools to help market their business. Per a Wall Street Journal small business post “according to a recent poll, nearly half of small business owners do not use Social Media.”
Why don’t they use Social Media?
- They don’t know about what tools are available and how to use them
- They’re more comfortable with – or better understand – traditional media
- They’ve been doing the same thing – the same way – for a long time
- They feel that it’s not necessary to their business
- Gasp! – they’re 40+ in age!
- No one has held their hand and made it easy for them
At Exo Creative, we help small and mid-size businesses understand and use social media as part of an overall marketing approach.
What is Social Media?
Social Media is an umbrella term for any online activity that fosters sharing, interaction and communication between groups of people that have some sort of connection. The term Social Media generally refers to specific things like a blog, Facebook or Twitter. There are fancier definitions for Social Media of course, but really, this it.
So, how do you use Social Media for small business?
There is an entire industry built around how to best use Social Media with a lot of brilliant minds creating fantastic solutions every day. But for a small business, the most important step is to just get started.
- Create accounts with Social Media that make sense for your business
- Listen to what others are saying
- Educate yourself on how to use these Social Media tool (or have someone help you learn)
- Have a strategy / set goal – what do you want to accomplish?
- Define how (or if) each of these Social Media tools will help you reach your marketing goal
What can you use Social Media for?
- Advertising, marketing and promoting your business
- Public relations
- Customer service
- Amplifying word of mouth
And what are some common Social Media tools?
Facebook is the big daddy of them all – you’ve probably heard of it! With over 750 Million users worldwide, it’s where a lot of people are spending their time – and where a lot of advertisers are going to reach both new and existing customers.
Twitter is an interactive messaging system that allows users to connect with their friends or anyone else they might share a common interest with. It’s a great place for businesses to send out timely messages to their customers.
Foursquare offers the ability for people to ‘check in’ at business locations. When they do, they can also opt to share their location on Facebook and Twitter. That’s like free advertising.
Blogs like WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger are where you can establish yourself as an authority in your field or industry, communicate with customers and much more. Blogs offer many benefits to small business owners.
Yelp is a business review site. If you care about what customers are saying about your business – and they probably are already talking about you – here is a way to help guide the opinions of others. You can also respond to positive and negative reviews here.
The variety of uses that Facebook and Twitter and the others provide is infinite. And there are many other Social Media to use as well when managing your brand online.
In the end, Social Media is just another tool you can use to help solve business problems.
So – what’s keeping you from starting?