Facebook has over 180 million users in the United States. That adds up to a lot of ‘likes’ for companies who know how to work the social media system. Putting on your customer hat is one way that small businesses can see the chinks in their marketing strategies and get the most from social networking.
1. Communication Works Both Ways
Twitter is effective for getting the word out but before you do, listen to what your potential customers are saying and let it guide you. Twitter offers a keyword search. Enter phrases relative to your industry and see what is going on in the world. Localize the searches to your town to find leads. If someone is asking about a lawn service in Seattle, you might have a new customer.
2. Tell Them Why You are Awesome
Too many times, you open a business site or blog and an annoying popup asks you to ‘like’ them. It is hard to like anything without a little information. Convince website travelers and customers to ‘like’ you on Facebook or tweet a promotion on Twitter by explaining why your company deserves the honor.
3. Be Social
Friendship is a two-way street as they say. Don’t use social media sites strictly for boring sales talk. Ask questions to keep the conversation flowing. An ice cream shop owner might ask, “Hey what is your favorite flavor?” Showing interest gives you valuable data about your target customers plus it makes the promotion interactive for a personal touch.
4. It is a Visual World
Post videos and images on social websites. People love to look at pictures especially when it shows them the personal side of a business. If Carol answers the phone, stick a picture of her up on Facebook with a caption that reads, “Hey, meet Carol.” It is nice to put a face to a name.
5. Work It or It Gets Flabby
It takes time to see the payoff from using social networking sites as a marketing channel. Don’t get discouraged. Spend time every day on the mainstream sites. Keep up with the current lingo and trends. The more you know, the better the results.
6. Make It Distinctive
Being eclectic pays off, but regurgitation, not so much. Videos don’t go viral because five different people filmed their baby making the exact same face. Create blog posts, tweets and social media promotions that are unique. Take the time to find out what the other guy is doing, and do something different.
7. Space It Out
Stagger the posts on different sites. Stay away from those applications that dispatch the exact same thing to five sites at once. Treat each website separately to expand your hits. Post on Facebook and in an hour or so, tweet a message.
With a vast number of consumers turning the Internet into their playground, it is no wonder that businesses are trying to make the trend work for them. Social networking is an influential tool, but only if you use it right.
Yellow Pages United is an independent online national directory publisher. Yellow Pages United is not affiliated with any other Yellow Pages company that might be mentioned in this article and is not affiliated with AT&T or your local directory publisher.