You’ve hired your staff, picked a grand opening date and flipped the closed sign to open. You finally have your own business! But you are far from finished establishing your company. In today’s digital landscape, social media experts argue you are just beginning your journey. Your business needs a strong social media presence. Social media allows you to strategically advertise, create a unique voice, and communicate with your customers. Read on to discover how to establish your business online.
If you are a brand-new business, it is possible your customers do not know you exist yet. Even worse, you could be an established business and your ideal customers have no idea who you are! Social media is the perfect tool for garnering awareness of your business. Create business accounts with Facebook, Yelp and Instagram to start. Upload a photo of your logo as your profile picture and post your business address. From there, consider your industry. You may need additional accounts. Does your business interact with teenagers? Use platforms teenagers use like Twitter and Snapchat. If you are a small marketing business, create a LinkedIn account to network with other professionals.
Be aware that it takes time for your social media profiles to cultivate awareness. For example, Google is intuitive. But if you type in the name of your business, it may not show up. New companies will struggle with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is creating enough web traffic to get users to see your business at the top of the results through a search engine. Even if you hired a professional to create a great website for your business, social media profiles increase your SEO. It is up to you to create SEO-friendly social media profiles that will generate buzz with your targeted customers.
Building Your Brand
Once you’ve got your social media profiles created, it’s time to create your content. Your brand is important! Consider your industry and ask yourself what your company’s values are. A local restaurant with a whimsical vegan menu will have a different brand than a small construction company. Once you’ve nailed down what you wish to convey, you need to strategize your content based on the essence of your company. Use colors related to your logo, cultivate your brand’s tone and create relevant content for your targeted audience. Most importantly, be consistent in your posts.
Every post online should have a targeted audience in mind. Customers will engage with a brand that feels human to them. So think of a fun anecdote and tell your brand’s story. Interact with users using your brand’s tone. If your brand allows it, maybe you will be sassy on Twitter and make a viral joke. Perhaps your brand is more serious and helpful to a user reaching out. Whatever your brand’s story, consider your audience and deliver. Give customers space to react and interact with your brand. Providing customers with a link to a review platform will allow you to receive more feedback. Always consider your customers’ perception of your brand; they are your greatest asset.
Connect With Customers
Perhaps the most important step in your social media presence is creating a communication channel with your customers. While a customer may laugh at your funny Twitter joke, they won’t be laughing if you ignore their question. Trusted customers who connect with your brand will reach out to you. On the flip side, you may have angry customers posting negative comments about your business.
To best connect with these customers, you need a listening strategy. A listening strategy is your personalized engagement plan with customers talking about your company, whether it is positive or negative. Pay attention to local posts in your area and read what customers are saying about your company. These negative comments can actually help your business grow. But listening is not enough. Engaging with a customer will make all the difference. That negative comment from your customer may have hurt your ego, but thanking them and offering a discount in the future may make an impact on him or her. Reaching out on social media also shows other customers that you are willing to communicate through difficult issues.
On a more positive note, you can promote positive reviews. Customers take a good word-of-mouth review to heart, so tell the world about your awesome compliment on social media! Finally, thank your happy customer for their positive review. They will remember the positive interaction with you and your business.
Effectively utilizing social media for a small business is no simple task. Creating a reciprocal relationship with your customers online takes time and effort. The rewards are bountiful for those who are willing to engage. Better sales and happier customers await you on your social media journey.
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