We know that owning and running a small business this day and age can be trying and difficult, but also very rewarding. With larger corporate companies to compete with having vast dollars to throw at marketing how can one compete? Small Business owners are a different breed than the larger corporate run companies. Small business owners are more creative with their approach to reach their customers, but never the less, small business owners have to work a lot harder and on a much smaller budget when marketing their business. In this blog we will discuss how social media can benefit your business.
There are many ways a small business can market themselves on a small budget, or even for free. With the age of the internet, apps, Facebook, twitter and more now available to us the options are endless. Online social media is another form of the traditional word of mouth advertising that has worked for decades. The main difference is that it is done online and reaches a much larger audience. Social Media is where we are at today, and we need to embrace this technology if we are to keep up with the ever change needs of our customers.
So if you haven’t taken the leap into Social Media as of yet, this is the time. Make a Business Page on Facebook, sign up for Pinterest, Twitter and Google +. They are very user friendly and can greatly help you reach a wider audience. Once you’ve done this invite all your friends and family to check out your pages and ask them to share with others. Again, word of mouth spreads quickly use these tools to your advantage. Tip: don’t make social media as a way to just sell your services or products, use it as a way to build an audience. Educate and inform your followers. People gravitate to people who interest them not just try to push product and services. The sales will follow. Be sure to share posts of others that interest you as well. Use pictures when posting on Social Media, a picture reaches a much larger audience.
Another form of free marketing for your business is blogging. There are a vast number of blogging sites you can use from Blogger.com, Tumblr.com and WordPress.com are just a few. Personally we use WordPress and find it easy to use. Consider starting with one blog a month until you get comfortable with it, and then write twice a month and then once a week. Talk about your business, what makes you stand out, why your customers will benefit from your business or service, and talk about your skills and experience in the industry. Making others aware that you are an expert in your field will help you gain readers. Sell yourself, not just your product or service. Feel free to post specials and events that you may have, but don’t make this a blog strictly about selling your products or services. Educate and inform your readers, that is more effective than just selling.
Another very useful Social Media tool is Linkedin. Linkedin is a business networking resource. There are thousands if not millions of users, but it’s not like Facebook. This tool is meant to help you connect with businesses and business people. You can have discussions in groups as well as with individuals. You can search for contacts either as a business, group or individual as well. This is a great way to build relationships with other businesses whether in your field of expertise or not. For a basic account there is no cost. Give it a try you’ll be surprised in the connections you make.
We hope these tips have helped you understand some of the Social Media tools you can use to help promote yourself and business. Next week we will discuss other methods of marketing including, email marketing, promotional materials, trades shows and more. Be sure to check out our blog next week for this.
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