Posts Tagged ‘small business’
Okay, this is a pretty generalized topic to be blogging about. But Blue Helm is in the middle of its first annual Social Media Library Series, and I know an all-purpose post like this will be helpful to some of our class members. So let’s jump right into this—the following are a few basic, general tips on how to grow your business using social media:
1. Educate yourself: Before jumping onto the social media bandwagon, search around online and find out how other professional leaders in your industries have used social media to enhance their business opportunities. You’ll find stories of shopkeepers using Twitter to advertise specials and driving customers to their stores, financial advisors using LinkedIn to network with prospective clients and construction firms sharing home improvement tips on blogs and Facebook pages. Take the time to learn more about social media and how it works, even if it’s just a few minutes each day. Like we tell our class participants, you don’t have to use all the social networks at once. Learn about the tools, start small, develop a simple marketing plan and go from there.
2. Use Twitter: Go here to learn more about the basics of how to set up and understand your first Twitter account. I think what I want to stress most to our readers is that Twitter can be a powerful listening tool for your business. You can easily search for what tweeters are saying about your business, product or industry in the site’s search box. Then you can respond and engage. For example, let’s pretend you manufacture juice makers. You get to work each morning and type “juice maker” into Twitter’s search box to see what people are saying that day. You happen to see a lot of complaints about complicated or expensive juice makers. You can respond personally to these people on Twitter, explaining to them that your company’s juice makers are neither complicated nor expensive, and that you’d love to send them a generous e-coupon for your product if they’d like. Maybe one or two will respond and purchase your product that day. And the whole ordeal took ten minutes.
3. Blog: Read that as a verb—BLOG! Your business must have a specialty or area of expertise and it doesn’t matter if it’s plumbing, accounting, rock climbing, electrical engineering or chimpanzee grooming. You should blog about it. You should share valuable, genuine, consistent content with readers about your area of expertise. You should communicate and enhance relationships with your readers and other bloggers. This will generate buzz and excitement about your product and augment your status as an opinion leader in your field. Find out how to start blogging here.
This should get you started. Remember: educate yourself, try Twitter and blogging, and don’t give up! Social media can be overwhelming at first but the more you use it, the more you’ll come to understand it and discover your special niche.