There’s no question that social media has exploded over the last few years. It has exploded through the use of networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. It’s not only individuals using these networks for personal use, but more and more, businesses are joining the social media explosion on a daily basis. Big businesses aren’t the only ones jumping in, small businesses have also discovered how social media can grow their business too.
Amazing Fairytale Parties, the Princess Party Entertainment company, is just one example of a small business using social media and growing rapidly, as a result. In January 2013, Amazing Fairytale Parties started with just one location in Santa Rosa, California. Since then, they have grown to over 15 locations across 4 states. Their dedicated team of Princess Party & Character Visit Planners work around the clock to help customers make their event, AMAZING. They have used social media as their secret Glass Slipper, according to USA Today. They monitor very closely their 33,000 followers on Facebook and incentivize them by using contests and coupons. They take the time to reply to any questions and complaints on both their Facebook page and through twitter. They also reached out to bloggers who might want to review new Amazing Fairytale Parties locations opening in their region. Social media allowed Amazing Fairytale Parties to connect with their customers in a way that other outlets couldn’t.
This is the same for your small business. You can use social media to stay in contact with your current customers and connect with new ones. Let’s take a look at a few different social media sites popular with businesses.
Every Small Business should have a Facebook Business Page. The Facebook Network has 1.4 billion active members per month so it is highly likely that your customer is already a Facebook user. Use images to market on Facebook Their images get the most likes, shares and comments The demographics are good for just about any business type. Be creative with your posts, ask questions, tell your prospects what is new with the company, answer questions or respond to complaints. You will also be able to post pictures of any new products that you are selling.
Twitter is the next place your company should have a presence. You can post images, videos, links and text to Twitter but, remember you are limited to just 140 characters per post. Twitter is by far and away the best way to get Google to notice your new content! Tweet a link to a new blog post and it will be picked up by Google very quickly! It’s easy to set up an account and start “tweeting”. It may take a little bit to build up your follower list, but as you tweet more, and your tweets get retweeted, your follower base will grow exponentially. Your followers start following you because they want to connect with you and see what’s going on. They want to see something consistency – a few tweets a day is fine. Also, make sure you respond to the people who tweeted you. You can also monitor the stream of tweets containing certain keywords or hashtags. This allows you to listen and get a feel for what your current or prospective market or your competition is saying.
Google+ is one of the third member of the social media party. They allow you to connect with individuals and put them in your defined circles. These circles can contain “customers”, “retailers”, “business partners”, etc. When you post a new, updated status, you can choose the circle to place it in. Google continues to change the way it ranks websites and social media signals are now included in the factors Google looks at. On Google, you connect with people who have common interests with you and they don’t have to be friends or family as they do on Facebook.
Social media is a must for any small business owner. It’s easy to get started, so pick one of these networks to start to connect with your customers in a new way. Remember to keep your content relevant and engaging. This will let you stay connected with your audience regardless of the social network you use.