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7 Ways Social Media Supports Small Business

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Are you a small business owner looking to expand your online presence? Would you like to know how to use social media to connect with your target market? While the effective use of social media continues to elude many small business owners, there are proven benefits to establishing a solid online presence.

It’s no secret that social media can create relationships, establish trust and earn a client for life. However, dominating your niche or market requires a strategic approach.

7 Ways Social Media Supports Small Business

So, how can your small business benefit from social media? Below are seven ways social media can help you spread the word and increase your business reach!

1. Build a Credible Reputation

If you want to be seen as an authority in your industry, social media can help you establish a name and reputation.

Sharing relevant content, engaging in conversation and leveraging marketing collateral are all ways to transition an established offline reputation into online currency.

Pay attention to what’s being said about you or your company. Respond with helpful comments or timely information. Solve problems on a daily basis and always put your best foot forward, giving more than you ever expect to get in return.

Social Media is a critical aspect of monitoring your online reputation. As Neal Shaeffer, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business says,

It’s important that businesses at least monitor what is being said about them on public platforms such as blogs/websites, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and review sites such as Yelp. Facebook and LinkedIn become a bit trickier to monitor unless you have a Company Page, in which case you can monitor simply by looking at your notifications. Monitor for mentions, and build a community of fans who will naturally come to your rescue if problems ever happen.

2. Attract Potential Clients

In a fast paced online world, the competition for attention is tremendous.  In order to stand out and attract potential clients, you must combine strategy with creativity.

Social media marketing is a perfect tool to assist with that.

Make use of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Instagram to share your company story in a way that motivates and inspires potential clients to connect and engage.

Ask questions and take a real interest in your followers and fans. Solve their problems and prove yourself a viable resource.

3. Connect With Like-Minded Business Professionals

Connecting with other business professionals might be counter-intuitive to how you’ve done business offline. But in the online world, relationships are everything and that includes your peers.

Join LinkedIn Groups, Google Plus Communities and Blog Tribes to connect with others talking about and sharing similar content to your own. Take the time to comment on their latest post or offer feedback on an interesting tweet.

Networking with professionals within your industry and then sharing their content creates goodwill and reciprocity. It also stretches your reach beyond your network, tapping into their established following.

4. Diversify Your Marketing Efforts

In traditional marketing, would you limit yourself to only one marketing outlet? I can’t imagine the answer is yes. Likewise, don’t box yourself into a corner with social media. Spread your wings, try something new and determine what works best for your business.

By mixing social media with online advertising and PR efforts, you will be able to expand your business further than you ever imagined.

5. Make Your Time and Money Count

Do you find yourself hopping from one social network to the next? Have you found yourself sucked into Facebook, only to realize you’ve lost an hour of your day?

You’re not alone.

Creating a solid social media strategy can streamline your efforts and simplify your daily to-do’s. It gives life to your mission, vision and values and provides a roadmap towards success.

Stop wasting time and money on one-off tactics and get clear on why you’re using social media. Once you know your why, it’s much easier to understand the how.

6. Drive Traffic to Your Website/Blog

As a small business owner, your website and blog are the backbone of your online presence.

Use blog posts, past newsletters and other marketing collateral to repurpose across social media. This will raise awareness and consequently, send interested readers over to your website.

Do your keyword research and understand what terms and phrases your market is researching. Use those keywords to carefully craft content that speaks to their needs. The higher quality your content, the more conversational your business, the greater the chance for capturing potential clients attention.

7. Nurture Relationships

Social media is extremely useful when it comes to keeping in touch with your past and current clients.

By connecting with them on Facebook and other social networks, you can build a bridge that can prove extremely beneficial in the future. Not only will you stay top of mind, but you’re creating relevance.

With consumers attention spans hovering around 8 seconds, the more brain cells you can purchase, the better off you will be once they’re ready to make a purchase.

Final thoughts on small business and social media

There are many benefits to your small business getting active on social media.

How can you better position your business across social media to welcome new customers? And how can you use social media to endear customers to your small business?

Answer those questions and unlocking the benefits and power of social media in your small business.

Photo credit: Big Stock Photos

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