Social Marketing: Enhancing Social Networks for Small- Business Marketing

The world is engaging more and more in social media, and that includes your customers and, more importantly, your potential customers. You may be active on social media personally, but how can you engage in social media marketing to support your business goals and raise awareness about your brand and products or services?

Tip #1: Start with Social, but Plan Bigger

NetworkingSocial media can be the simplest way to establish an online presence, for the following reasons:

  • Cost-effectiveness: a social media page can be developed for little or no cost 
  • Simplicity and speed: easy-to-use interfaces mean your presence can be up and running in minutes 
  • Interactivity: these networks are inherently social in nature and usually have a built-in base of members, great for engaging prospective customers

Ideally, your business would have a website and use your social media channels as marketing tools to emphasize, amplify and reinforce your company brand, message and content, all of which would be designed to drive visitors to your main website. But even if a website isn’t in your strategy or budget (despite the fact that you can actually create a great website today for free), your business can still benefit from registering a unique, descriptive domain name. Two primary ways to use a domain (or multiple domains) in support of a social media presence are:

  • Redirecting it to your social presence for a branded Web address that can be used in marketing
  • Using a branded email address to reinforce your social presence in email marketing and communications

Tip #2: Content is the Key

The best way to get your customers’ attention and drive user interaction is to deliver frequent, high-quality and compelling content that targets your audience. These are a few tips on creating solid and interesting content:

  • Consider your audience: know more than just who they are, know what they know, and more importantly, what they don’t. This can help you proactively fill those gaps.
  • Have a plan: know what you want your content to do for your business. Are you looking for leads or brand awareness? Your plan will help you see the path ahead, and more importantly, allow you to measure success or failure.
  • Play to your passions: your content is bound to be more compelling and attractive if you have a deep and clear interest in the subject matter. Your readers can tell if you don’t.

Tip #3: Consider Spending a Little to Get in Front of New Customers

Try paid advertising on social networks where your customers and prospects spend time. Many social platforms have budget-friendly options that small business owners can use to advertise their products and services. Here are some options available to you:

  • Twitter 1 ads can work with any budget, and can easily be set up with just a credit card.
  • Facebook 2 and LinkedIn 3 allow you to segment advertising targets by age, gender, location and interests, among others.
  • YouTube 4 offers free services, charging fees only pay if users actually watch your videos.

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