Setting up your profile on a social network or not? The answer to that question can be found in many examples from other, similar businesses who have strategically set up their company’s profile on a social network. However, the best answer lies in trying by yourselves.
Small businesses often work locally and can create a close relationship with their customers or buyers. What buyers want from companies nowadays is an individual approach and communication tailored to each of them individually. The advantage of social networks is providing precisely this kind of approach as well as the opportunity for an everyday interaction with the consumers. How can a small company start promoting itself on social networks and make valuable communication with its clients?
#1 Set your goals and pick the right platforms for communication
At the very beginning, you need to know which is your target group and what goals do you aspire to achieve. Taking into account your target group, you choose the platform on which you’re going to communicate with them. For example, if your field of expertise in tourism, catering, new technologies or telecommunication, we recommend using Instagram and, of course, Facebook which we would recommend to everyone. If your target group is, let’s say, women, Pinterest is the right place to find them. LinkedIn will be useful if your target audience is business people or if you believe your company can find employees on this platform.
The goals you are setting must be concrete, realistic and time-bound.
#2 Create your profiles and edit them
After defining which platforms you’re going to use, the next step is creating and editing the profiles. While creating your Facebook page, be careful to choose the category related to your business. When talking about small businesses, it’s usually “Local Business or Place”. Be sure to take enough time for editing the page and write all of the necessary information (description, contacts, address, web page, links on other social networks, activities, create a quality cover and profile photo…). Adding more information, optimize your pages for search engines. Create Google Places as well.
97% of customers are searching local businesses online, so it is crucial that they can find you easily. You need to fulfill your Google Places profile as carefully as the pages on your social networks because that way you will ease the search process for your potential customers and get a better chance for them to visit you.
#3 Communicate on regular basis and do it well
80% of the communication needs to be connected directly to your target group: the things they usually love, what they want to talk about, things they can relate to, and make 20% of the communication about promoting your products or services. By placing quality and interesting content, you will make your users want to participate in the discussion, share your content, and of course, the more they share your content, the more the search engines love you.
#4 Use Facebook advertising
In order to attract your fans and promote your products or services, you need to use Facebook advertising. Besides the constant communication with your fans, sometimes you need to engage them more to raise the amount of interaction on the page. When you have some special offers, deals or news you want to point out, you use Facebook advertising. When managing the ads the right way, you can accomplish excellent results. For creating and managing the ads, our free eBook on Facebook advertising can be of great help.
#5 Organize contests
To additionally motivate your consumers to engage, and to show them that you appreciate their loyalty, reward them! With a simple contest in which, as a prize, you can give your own products and services, you can achieve results such as an increase in sales up to 46% or increase in the number of fans on your Facebook page. When organizing a contest, make sure you are following the contest and giveaway rules which you can read in another one of our blog posts.
#6 Monitor if your goals are being achieved
Depending on the goals that you have set, you can monitor if your posts are of high quality and stimulating interaction, or if they are making conversions (for instance, if people leave their contact on your website, subscribe for your newsletter, check in on your webshop…). The return of the investment in social networks is possible, but it’s essential that you know what you want to measure and how you want to measure it.
Be sure to educate yourself before making a profile on any social network so that you won’t be wasting your time on a wrong network or communicate the wrong way. We gave you a lot of tips and educational material to start with. However, if you have any questions or need further advice or help from an expert, feel free to contact us.
Do you, as a small business, use social networks for promotion?