We have covered several topics in great detail in 2012. As the year comes to a close, we wanted to provide you with an index of sorts to use as a resource for catching up. Below you find a list of links to articles pertaining to social media for small and medium businesses, with short summaries of each.
Social media participation from small businesses is increasing.
- Nine out of ten small businesses have at least a page on Facebook, with seven out of ten on Twitter. Knowing this statistics, it is likely that your competitors are already using social media.
- More than half of small businesses also have some sort of blog. Bogs can be a great tool for sharing company news and also help out with Search Engine Optimization.
Business-to-Business companies also benefit from Social Media.
- Social media networks provide an additional outlet to provide information to your potential customers. Research is a big factor in the purchasing decisions of other companies, and with social media you can be proactive in informing your customer base of new products.
- Beyond the mainstream social media sites like Facebook, B2B companies should look into smaller, niche networks on the Web. These will have a much smaller audience, but they will be a highly targeted group.
Research your audience.
- Find out what your customers are talking about on social media. You can use this information for your marketing and online strategy.
- Find out what questions your audience has about your industry, and proactively answer those questions on your website.
Improve your Facebook engagement.
- Host promotions to keep your fans interested in your brand.
- Post content that is actually worth sharing. Users will be more responsive to things that they can benefit from.
- Establish a community. By responding to questions and comments, it shows your audience that you are listening to them.
Use social media to handle customer service.
- Many customers use social media as a way to contact a business with questions and comments. By devoting a portion of your time to answering those questions on social media, it can vastly improve your online reputation.
Don’t stretch yourself too thin with Social Media for your business.
- Your audience on each social network will be slightly different. If you only have time to cater to one audience, don’t try to appeal to all of them at once. Focus on one network and build up a following before expanding your reach.
- “Casting a wide net” is not a good solution. In other words, because of these different audiences, it doesn’t make sense to recycle the exact same content across each social network. Don’t let your presence on social media go stale.
- Learn the advantages of each network and decide where it makes the most sense to invest your time. Some businesses might thrive better on Twitter, where they can send out shorter text updates. Other businesses might find more success on Facebook, sharing more photos and video updates.
Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/pearleye