As any small business owner can attest to, outreach is the most important goal. You want to
reach new customers, grow your business and extend your brand! Though this can be a daunting task,
the evolution of the internet has made it easier than ever; welcome to social networking, your soon to
be best friend! Once you realize the power of being able to send a message to 50, 100 or 10000 people in a matter of minutes your going to wonder why you didn’t get on board sooner. Even a small business with a small, local following can use these tools to drive sales.
With the dawn of Facebook and Twitter social media has become an integral part of nearly everybody’s lives. It has provided a new medium to keep in contact, and share what is important. As a result, it also has very clear benefits for businesses, particularly small businesses. Your customers are all online, tweeting and posting statuses: if there is any place where all of your customers and potential customers are located together, you need to be there! Word of mouth has always been a very strong, reliable way to spread your business, social networking is an extension of this; people are far more likely to click “like” or “share” when the button is right in front of them, than to find a way to bring you up in conversation.
People often search for the “best” way to go about social networking, but there is no specific, cookie-cutter method which works for everyone. Lucky for you we can help get the most out of the opportunity, and with good planning and execution we can help shift the odds in your favor. The most important step is to get on social media! Above anything else, before you concern yourself with obtaining hundreds or thousands of followers, before you worry about reaching loads of new customers, you have to be on the sites which enable you to do so. Register as a business for all of the major sites, Facebook, Twitter maybe even Google+. If you feel so inclined, you can help your branding by joining sites which fit a more specific niche such as YouTube or Tumblr.
Once you are on the sites, the largest battle has been won! It is time to build some confidence and spread the word. In order to do so, it is paramount to understand the rationale of these websites: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and so on exist as community-driven sites. The people on the sites are there to visit others; large networks are formed, which mingle and come together – social networking is reliant on communities. As a result, the easiest way to gain any sort of recognition is to be involved within said community. Be active with people who have similar interests, find businesses which compliment yours. Reach out to those who have established a following, and the dedicated members of their community will take note of you! The long-term goal of any social networking experience is to construct a community of your own!
Many businesses have a webpage of their own; if this is the case, make sure to link to your social media pages from your website in order to drive any traffic you have towards your community. Likewise, it is important that your social networks drive traffic to your website (or to you directly), seeing as that is the purpose of forming these networks to begin with! The internet has grown in purpose and size since its humble beginnings; a smart business owner will capitalize on the opportunities presented and begin their reach today!