Our Social Times, in partnership with Constant Contact, have recently been running a series of Social Media Marketing for Small Business seminars, we’ve seen a lot of great advice come out of the events so we’ve compiled a tips post to help everyone out there.
Social Media is great if you are an SME, it is low risk, low cost and doesn’t take up as much time as you think. This doesn’t mean you don’t need a strategy though! Here are some pointers for making it work properly – whether you are just starting to use it or you need to better your efforts.
1. Be Real
One of the reasons social media has been so successful for both large and small enterprises is that the consumer has the rare opportunity to see the human face of the business. Interacting via Twitter and Facebook is far less formal which gives you an opportunity to talk to your customers in a more genuine way, and also share interesting information and give advice about what you do.
2. Pick the right channels
There are a lot of social media channels out there and you don’t need to be on all of them. Pick the right channels that fit what you need to get out of social media. Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are arguably the most popular and you’ll find most companies will use these. You should also consider if blogging or posting videos on YouTube might work for you.
3. Be Useful
By all means tell people about your new products, new services or special offers – but you social media strategy shouldn’t all be about this. You need to give something back to your followers and fans. For example, if you run a café, post recipes on your blog or cooking tips on your Facebook page.
4. Measure and Monitor
You need to find out if it is working. The general rule is that it takes 3 months to see if your social media strategies are worth spending time on. There are a number of tools out there to help you measure the success of your presence (Social Bro, Tweetreach, Klout), in terms of fans, followers, clicks, retweets. Having said this, don’t get too hung up on the numbers long term, make sure you also think about the content you put out there alongside the numbers.
5. Don’t Disappear
Regularity is important, people will forget you if you disappear for days or weeks without updating your profiles. This doesn’t mean you need to be on social media 24/7 – you wouldn’t have a business if you were! Scheduling future updates to your Twitter, Facebook or Blog are easy to do with various tools (including MarketMeSuite, Tweetdeck). Scheduling will also help you catch a more international crowd if you need to.
There are still tickets available for the rest of the series of seminars, in London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham – click here to register.