How To Make Social Media Marketing For Small Businesses Pay Off
I own an advertising agency and can’t figure out why people want to spend so much money on advertising yet they will invest so little in social media marketing. For a relatively small investment (time) the returns are potentially huge. Sure we love our TV advertising clients and we love designing great looking magazine ads but when you want to buy something, anything where do you look? If you are like most people the answer is that you search the internet to find just about everything.
This is where I feel that so many small business owners miss the boat. Some business owners get started with social media marketing and fail to give it the time required to make it pay off. They generally will setup something using these four:
Then once they have all of those accounts setup they will put something out there on each of them and forget all about it after that. There are so many more social media marketing for small businesses opportunities available than just those four and many only require some time. Before we consider other options let’s consider how to properly use these four first.
With Facebook it is not enough to keep posting info about your company. In fact posting your own promotional information is likely to get people to leave your Facebook page by clicking the Unlike button. Posting several times a day or even once a day may be too much for many people because your advertising floods their Facebook news feed. Instead of using Facebook to spam people begin to view Facebook and all forms of social media marketing as if they were face to face networking opportunities. If you and I just met today, in person, for the first time would you say, “HI WERE HAVING A HUGE BLOWOUT SALE ON…” or would you just talk to me. Let’s have a conversation! Look at how the internet has changed over the past few years.
- Web 1.0 – We could search for something and read about it online.
- Web 2.0 – We could publish by blogging or uploading videos.
- Web 3.0 – We take the internet with us on our phones and everything is about ME!
Since the web is all about the user and their interaction with our websites let’s talk, let’s have a two-way conversation with people who just might like us and interact with our brand. On your Facebook page for your business ask a question. Get people to give an opinion. Think of some excuse to have a contest so you can give away something your company sells. Use these tips and see your Facebook marketing efforts pay off. One thing that also helped us was when we built our own customized Facebook page. We force people to click “Like” on our page. OK we can’t really force people but we offer something of value. We tell them that we’ll give them a free report and this causes them to click “Like”. Once we set our designers and programmers to work on creating our own customized Facebook page the number of “Likes” quickly went up. This brings up an important point. When we post something on our Facebook page it appears in the news feed of anyone who clicked “Like” so we do want people to “Like” our page.
Social media marketing for small businesses can also use LinkedIN. If you have set up your personal profile then look at the top right side of the LinkedIN and click “Add a Company”. Once you do that then it is easy to add info about your company. Then after you have added info about your company start finding questions people have posted about topics related to your industry and provide answers. The person who asked the question will then be asked to pick the best answer. If you provided the best answer then everyone will see this and you appear to be the most well-informed person in your specific type of business. This doesn’t ONLY appear to people interested in the question being asked; it also appears in the news feed of all of your LinkedIN contacts.
On YouTube the good news is that you can publish a video that you make yourself. Maybe you have a camera and microphone built into your computer. If you do then you only have to think of a topic in your industry and make a video that lasts about 2 minutes. For example in every business there are questions that almost everyone will ask. These are the FAQ’s we often put on our websites so why not make a video where you have someone ask you each question and you provide the answer. Millions of people use YouTube to search for information and you can help them when they are looking for info where you are an expert!
When Twitter first came out were you impressed? Maybe you were like millions of others who wondered what you would tweet in 140 characters and who would care. Twitter users often have software set to “Follow” tweets on topics of interest to them. You might write a blog and then use Twitter to send it out to your followers. Some people get creative and offer a deal using Twitter. For example “First 50 in the store tonight say “Tweet” get 20% off” will get your followers to notice.
There are many other ways that small business owners can save a fortune on advertising by investing some time in social media marketing. There are also many great books and ebooks that have been written about social media marketing for small businesses.