How social media can grow a small business

When Tracy Sullivan decided to promote her new baking business on Facebook a few months ago, little did she expect the kind of attention her page would get.500 likes and counting, there has been a surge in the number of orders. From creamy cupcakes to heavenly cheesecakes, Tracy bakes as and when orders come in- all from her page on Facebook. Tracy uses social media for more than just updating her status or posting pictures of a night out with friends- websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and many more can give small businesses more leverage than ever before as described on the blog, MarketMeSuite.

There are many small business owners like Tracy, especially businesswomen, who use social media to build their business on the online platform. This is not surprising given that in the 2013 Small Business Study by The Hartford, 28 per cent of women said social media is a major contributor to the success of their business compared to 14 per cent of men. Social networking sites are a great way to connect with a diverse market and be in touch with your customers.

Why Small Business Owners Should ‘Like’ Social Media

Facebook, Twitter and other online networking sites are easily accessible and marketing costs are almost nil- just a few minutes a day can help you be in touch with your customer base. But business networking is not as simple as one might think, experts warn. Keeping your readers engaged with exciting content and offers and developing innovative strategies are some of the tricks you should have up your sleeve to make it big on these sites, says the Wall Street Journal,

How can social media be instrumental towards the growth of your business? Read on to find out.

Plan your social media debut

Incompetency never did help anyone and the same is true when it comes to social networks. Having a page on Facebook talking about your business may mean you have arrived, but it doesn’t stop there. A few random posts and boring content later and interest in your page may just fizzle out. Meticulous planning before setting out to build a page dedicated to your business is necessary to make it a success.

Post interesting content

As a small business owner, you know the key to generate more business is all about networking. What better place to network than Facebook and Twitter! However, the building blocks of networking are sharing interesting and catchy posts and cool product photos on your profile. Building tiers of quality content is what will attract people to your business, according to tips by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Regularly connect with customers

Just posting content and forgetting about it will not do. Accepting feedback you’re your customers and keeping your ears open to what they’re saying will go a long way in making your business a success. Social networks have made instant connection with customers a reality. This connection can instantly vanish as well, if not developed well. Social media can help small businesses build a relationship of trust with customers. It gives consumers a place to talk back,” says Jenny Stephenson, a social networking specialist in Nashville. A great way to keep in touch with your customers could be using one of the biggest inventions of the digital age- online applications. Apps like Foursquare are launching advertising services for small businesses to help them reach millions of users. Read more about this on Forbes.

While there are a million social networks all vying for attention on the online stage, it is better to stick to one site and master it, says Steve Strauss, small business expert and author of Small Business Bible. Research well to see which one fits your business needs before promoting your business online. In his words- the biggest mistake small businesses are making on social media is not using social media. Has your business gone social yet? Maybe it’s time to do so!

Author Bio: Elvis Donnelly is a father of two who works from home and lives with his wife. He is a voracious reader and likes to keep abreast of current affairs on personal finance, technology and innovation, and takes a keen interest in environmental issues. In his spare time, he loves taking on home improvement projects and considers himself a closet chef.

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