Times have changed and so have the way we communicate with those around us. Our lives as individuals as well as in our businesses have adapted to the dominant presence of online communication tools such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. These platforms can no longer be defined as simply a trend within society but are now considered a necessity for success.
As of 2012, 94% of all business with a marketing department use social media as an integral part of their marketing efforts. Even more astounding… 85% of businesses that have dedicated time and effort into their social media marketing strategy have had an increase in their marketing exposure.
But how can small businesses use social media to grow its brand? Some things must first be considered in developing your company’s online presence.
Devote some time to look into the different social media platforms being used. But even more importantly, figure out HOW to use them. Do not ignore newer sites such as Pinterest or Tumblr! They could be relevant to your company.
Look into what your competitors are doing on social media platforms. Knowing what tools they are using and looking into the amount of engagement they have with their customers can help you gage what works and what doesn’t!
After looking into the different social media platforms, decide which you believe would be most beneficial to your company to reach your goals, objectives, and target market. For example, if you own a restaurant, you are going to want to show off your food…. Instagram is a great resource for your company. However, a LinkedIn account may not be as useful!
Now that you have chosen which social media platforms you want to use, develop them. Take the time to work on your social media platforms and link them to all online communication sites your company is using. The information provided and images used to communicate your brand must be CONSISTENT across all platforms. You do not want to confuse your customers into thinking they have reached the wrong page!
Now that you are online, make sure to check the pages regularly. Do not let weeks go by without checking and posting to your new Twitter account or Facebook account. You will miss many opportunities to reach your customers or promote upcoming events.
As with every business, your customers are key to your success. Use these new online communication tools to reach and engage your customers. Use unique and relevant content to distinguish yourself from your competitors. Get the conversation going and keep it going! Everyone likes to be acknowledged and heard. Do your best to reach out to your followers.
Now is your chance to start your online communication efforts! Take the next step and look into a few new online platforms today and… don’t be afraid to ask questions.