How Small Businesses Can Get Started on Social Media

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Golda Criddle
Golda Criddle
July 27, 2012
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If your small business isn’t on social media yet, you are truly missing out on an excellent opportunity to generate exposure and build a community around your products and services. As a small business owner, you may feel overwhelmed by the many social networks out there and not know where exactly to start. Here are some tips to help you out regarding two networks, Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook

Any small business that depends on consumers needs to be on Facebook to maximize its potential. The Facebook layout is especially useful for retail companies that sell products because of its strong reliance on visuals. Facebook can be an excellent tool for customer service, whether through posts or the new “Message” feature that allows consumers to express their concerns privately.

  • When starting your business’ Facebook page, be sure to claim your vanity URL on Facebook as your business name. This is so your page is simple for customers to find.
  • Create a visually pleasing Timeline cover image that attracts people to your page and invites them to keep reading.
  • Consider using Facebook Advertising to gain a following at first, and when you have built a community, offer coupons, or hold a contest or giveaway to foster even more growth!
  • Limit your updates to 1-2 posts a day. Relevant pictures, articles, videos, or blog posts are great to share with your community. Try to ask questions related to the content to incite conversation.

Twitter

Twitter is a great tool to expose your small business. It is not just a place for large brands, coupon hoarders, and news junkies. Small companies that are primarily serving local customers, such as food trucks or restaurants, can especially benefit from the “real-time” communication aspect of Twitter. They can use it to generate buzz for new locations or dishes. Further down the road, Twitter is also an excellent tool for creative content-based contests through hashtags or exclusive promotion coupons.

  • When creating a Twitter account, keep in mind that your company name may already be taken so you might have to be creative. As with Facebook page vanity URLs, as long as your username connects to your business, it will be recognizable.
  • Be sure to include a photo on your profile, as well as an interesting bio that describes your company. You may even find it useful to add a picture of an employee, as people like to connect with other people, not necessarily brands.
  • You can tweet pictures, articles, and videos just like on Facebook. You may want to use a scheduling tool like Hootsuite to shorten links and spread your tweets out so as not to spam users.
  • Be sure to observe experts in your industry and anyone who may be interested in your business. If you want someone to follow you back, consider “retweeting” some of their content or starting a conversation by mentioning them on your feed.

Hopefully, these tips will help you get the conversations started for your small business. If you are like many other owners and don’t have the time to keep track of all this, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

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