7 Key Social Media Tips for Your Small Business
By Katy Treadwell
As we know, there are an incredible number of social media players in the world and finding the right platform for your business might seem tricky, but regardless of platform, if you keep the following seven Key Tips for social media in mind, results will likely follow.
I know what you’re thinking, “But what if I am a small, local business that doesn’t have the budget to compete with the Wal-Marts’ or Taco Bells’ of the world?” How do you do it? How do you make social media work for you?
Just keep these 7 Key Social Media Tips in mind…
LISTEN, THEN TALK/ACT.
Keep an ear out for what people are saying about you or your competition. If someone comments about a long wait or poor service at a competing location, seize the opportunity to make an impactful introduction. For example, let’s say I am out for dinner with friends and we’ve waited for our food for over an hour. I might take to Twitter and post, “Waited over an hour for food at ABC Restaurant. Not worth it! #fail” Now, if you owned a nearby burger joint, this is the perfect opportunity for you to slide into the conversation with a simple message like, “That’s the worst! We’re sorry your dinner was a bust. Next time you’re out we’d love to quickly serve you one of our delicious burgers!”
AND… Don’t forget to keep an ear out for people talking about YOUR business too. Which brings me to the next tip…
RESPOND – TO EVERYONE!
Research shows that over 60% of big brands do NOT respond or answer customers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. This means YOU have a HUGE competitive advantage if you respond to your customers and theirs!
Don’t delete “bad” comments or posts, instead use them as an opportunity to show your customers and followers that you are involved and that you do care. Respond publicly to let people know that you are aware of and are addressing the issue(s), then respond privately to the individual to remedy the situation.
Everyone knows that businesses make mistakes. The issues arise when businesses don’t acknowledge or apologize for their shortcomings.
TELL, DON’T SELL.
Use social media to tell your story, not sell your products or services.
Social media is its most powerful when you use it to tell your story.
Tell users about your humble beginnings, consider customers or employees who have overcome adversity or have interesting stories to tell, or look at your products and services and develop a story people will want to talk about and share.
Dave Kerpen, Chairman of Likeable Media, says, “The only thing better than telling your story on social media is to inspire your customers to tell your story on social media.”
YOU DO YOU.
Oprah Winfrey once said, “I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.”
Just be yourself.
Your customers can tell genuine interactions from BS, and they are more likely to engage with you and your brand if they feel a “real” connection. Be honest, be vulnerable, keep a good sense of humor, and have fun!
Aside from doing all the stuff that makes your customers feel warm and fuzzy, social media can also drive leads and sales.
Platforms like Facebook allow you so many ways to target and narrow in on your audience that the possibilities are almost endless. And every bit of that data is first party, meaning it comes directly from the user!
Dave Kerpen says, “What’s cooler than reaching a billion people on Facebook? Reaching the RIGHT 1000, or the RIGHT 100, or even the RIGHT one.”
But not just any giveaways. You have to provide something of use or value to your customer.
Giveaways are easy for retail locations and restaurants. When someone is giving away free food or merchandise, people tend to follow more closely and engage more often. But what if you’re not a retail shop or restaurant?
No problem! You can give away good content in the form of webinars, articles, or white papers. Provide helpful hints or tips to your audience and they will remember you.
And last, but certainly not least…
A lot of companies, even really successful ones, forget this step. Take the time to thank your customers and show your appreciation. It will make you and your customers feel good!