Promoting Small Businesses using Social Media
Time flies when you are busy, and when you think about it, it wasn’t that long ago that business owners cottoned on to the power of social media, and how it could be exploited to boost company profiles, brand recognition, and ultimately – sales.
Rather than the hard sell to push products and services to increase their bottom line, which seemed to dominate pretty much all business social media activity during it’s infancy, owners and managers are now aware that blatant sales pitches no longer work.
Engage followers – not shun them
People have become much more media savvy in recent years, and have become somewhat immune to direct-sell campaigns. If you approach social media marketing like a bull in a china shop, you are more likely to leave your prospective customers feeling cold and switched off from you.
Today 97% of all small businesses, sole-traders and professional marketers use social media to engage with new customers, and build trusted relationships with existing customers and clients.
The changing face of the working environment
The idea of being ‘social’ while at work is a concept that didn’t exist 50 years ago, or even 30 years ago, and it is a frame of mind that a lot of people still have trouble shaking off, especially when employed in more traditional businesses that follow the same working guidelines that were set in stone by previous generations.
Small businesses that are just setting up, or still evolving, will be busier than ever in the digital age, and social media will be at the forefront of their business branding and awareness. Google are now using social media algorithms to help determine page rankings, so it is even more important to build and maintain a strong presence.
Getting Google on your side
Having Google use your social media algorithms can be seen as a very good thing from a small business owner’s point of view. Your sales and marketing activity can only be strengthened by the influence Google has on your rankings. Your presence will grow within your chosen niche, and your will be ranking higher for your chosen keywords over your direct competitors, who may be a little more quiet on the social media front.
Little has changed in the past year, so 80% of people online are still favouring Facebook over other sites to discover and follow specific brands or niches. With over half of adult users having two or more social media accounts, this is an area that cannot be ignored by new businesses and sole-traders.
Twitter is still proving very effective with 34% of leads generated for online firms, but business owners should never forget to have a Google+ account simply because it does help to increase your page rankings with Google.
Becoming more visual
People are generally very visually orientated, so there is great power within photographs and video. As the old saying goes ‘a picture paints a thousand words’, so even if you are not the best post writer in the world, if you can get your message across with an engaging image or captivating video, you will still be able to compete with the most talented word-smiths on the internet.
You only have to look at the viewing figures on You Tube for the 2015 Super Bowl to see the evidence of power that video can carry. Collectively, the videos uploaded about the Super Bowl attracted more than 1 billion views, the largest portion of those through social media sites including Facebook and Twitter.
Many studies have proven that video and images draw in more customer engagement, and attracts more readers to click through to business websites. Visual teasers are known to hold attention for longer, so this in turn increases your sales potential.
If you plan to run a lot of video marketing campaigns on social media, make sure you balance these with purely social posts to keep your followers engaged, and make sure you have a sound website in place to welcome new visitors through social media sites!
The most important thing to remember with social media? Never be silent!