Social Media: The Key to Growing Your Small Business

February 29, 2012

Small business owners don’t have access to the million-dollar marketing budgets of Fortune 500s. For them, each month provides the opportunity to grow their bottom line, but efforts need to be made strategically. If you’re bypassing social media due to time or staff limitations, you may be missing a huge opportunity to take your business to the next level.

Social media is no longer an option for small businesses, it’s a must. Engaging your customers through social media avenues like Twitter and Facebook not only helps build brand presence, but is a free way to stay on top of trends and understand future customers needs.

Let’s take Facebook for example.

Think it’s just for kids and won’t garner you a qualified audience? Sure, Facebook users come from various age brackets, but take a quick look at www.checkfacebook.com and you’ll see that American adults have a huge interest in Facebook, with 42.7 percent of users being over the age of 35.

Maintaining a good Facebook presence means logging on regularly – at least a couple times a week if not every day. Keep your fans updated and engaged, offering meaningful news and exclusive special offers. Remember, social media is most valuable when viewed as interactive and not a one-way street, so step off your soapbox and listen to what users are saying too. That information can be invaluable.

And how about Twitter?

Think it’s a waste of time? Well companies that use Twitter average two times more leads than those that don’t. And your efforts to grow your Twitter followers are important as well, because companies that have more than 1,000 followers get six times more traffic, according to HubSpot, meaning more opportunities for revenue.

Be sure to send out tweets regularly. This should be an activity that happens at least several times a week. And don’t be afraid to say “please retweet;” your audience will be more likely to share your message, giving you increased visibility and potential followers. Interact and be respectful. If someone comments, respond in a timely manner. If someone retweets, tweet back saying thanks.

Remember the focus of social media is the word “social.” It can be the face of your business and the perfect place to put your best foot forward. Educated customers, qualified traffic and continued growth will surely follow.

February 29, 2012

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