1. Make Your Profiles About More Than Just Your Industry
While you should be demonstrating expertise on your Facebook fan page and your blog, you should also be adding local context to this information. What does the information you are providing mean for your specific region?
If you are selling homes, provide information and links about the local area, as well as the properties you are offering. As a small business, you are competing against large national news sources, so provide something the big guys can’t afford to give—local perspective.
Mathews of Chester (www.matthewsofchester.com) are beginning to offer news articles about the National property markets. I'd love to hear Do you know of any other Estate Agents that are providing local property info on their website or blog?
2. Offer Value
By far the most important tip to getting value from social media for your business is offering value to the customers you want to interact with. First, make sure your social media presences contain all the information a customer needs to find you on and offline, and provide a clear idea of what your business offers.
Second, define what you’ll be offering your potential customers in return for their attention and time. You can offer promotions or discounts specifically for fans of your Facebook page, for instance.
If you do not have the budget for special offers, make sure the content you are offering is valuable to the potential customers you are trying to reach. Envision the need you are filling for the target customer and serve the customer with useful information related to your business or industry.
3. Show Consistency
Nothing is more likely to reduce the effectiveness of small business social media outreach than inconsistency and spotty participation. You can’t expect potential customers to revisit your Facebook profile if it is hasn’t been updated in the two weeks since they first visited, or expect them to make a purchase from your Twitter outreach if you only post 2 updates per month.
The Helsby Arms (twitter.com/HelsbyArms) is a great example of consistently interacting with their customers on a daily basis, and in a personal way
4. Diversify and Connect
It takes some time investment on the front end, but reaching out on multiple social platforms—then connecting the different presences with the same themes and message—is crucial to reaching the most possible customers on social networks. You don’t want to replicate the same message on every platform, either. Though services like ping.fm are great for simplifying content posting, try to add something unique to each social media presence you maintain.
5. Be Competitive
Observe your competition and their social media activity. If your business is the only one in your industry and region interacting on social networks, congrats, you’re ahead of the curve. But more likely than not, your competitors are experimenting on social networks, too. Observe what they are doing to grow their base. Which tactics are working? Which are not? This is exactly what you’d do in a competitive assessment offline, looking for ways to improve your process by evaluating your competitors.
Remember to stay persistent, as it takes time to establish robust presences on social media sites. If you act on these five tips in your social media outreach, you will leverage your time effectively, and see improved results from promoting your small business on social networks.
What techniques have been most successful for you on your business’ social media presences? Which of these tips do you see the most/least potential in?
Let me know by interacting here:
Member since: 25th March 2011
I am the founder of Netdesk.co.uk, a company dedicated to helping customers gain a competitive advantage through the use of optimised websites, Social Media tools and online marketing.