Four Things You Need to Know About Social Media

social media for small businessWhether you already participate on social media networks in your personal life or haven’t yet created your first social media account, there are easy ways to start promoting your small business on the most popular platforms. Whatever methods you choose to take part in social networks, there are a few things to know to make the most of them:

1. Social networks are a two-way street.

The marketing methods of the past were a one-way conversation. Advertisers broadcast their messages to the world and, other than by making purchases, consumers had few ways to respond. Social media is the opposite. It provides endless opportunities to engage with your customers on a one-to-one basis. Use your social networks to listen to your customers, both current and potential. You’ll learn about their needs and find great insights that can help you deliver what customers want. Take part in conversations, ask and answer questions and request feedback on what you can do better.

2. Put your business’s best face forward.

Make sure your presence online is in sync with all of your other marketing efforts. Keep your logo, company contact information, links and messages up to date and the same across all of your networks. This helps solidify your brand personality in consumers’ minds and over time, they’ll quickly recognize your company when they encounter it, online and off.

3. Choose the right platforms.

Depending on the type of business you have, not every one of your prospective customers may be on every social media network. Take the time to do some research to find out where your audiences are online. If you run a restaurant, for instance, you’ll probably not want to miss the opportunities that having a claimed and up-to-date profile on Yelp will deliver. Since some services, such as Google Places, are likely to display information about your business even if you haven’t created a profile, it makes good business sense to set up a profile wherever your business is mentioned so you can control the messages.

4. Know your “netiquette.”

As more and more people have connected online, a social code has evolved that equates to proper “digital manners.” Knowing the rules can help your business engage more easily with social media users. Most of the rules are just common sense, and you can find more online, but you can start by making sure your business profiles are professional and honest. If you’re asked a question, answer it. If you have a Twitter business account, don’t use it for personal messages. And when it comes to how frequently you post, always go for quality over quantity by posting only when you have something of value to your customers to say.

BizYellow makes it easy to use social media.

All Yellow Pages United subscribers have access to BizYellow, a site that lets you have your own business web page. In addition to being optimized for search engines and mobile-friendly, your BizYellow page lets you post to Facebook and Tweet with a single entry, right from your BizYellow dashboard. Let your customers get to know your business with social media and other marketing tools that Yellow Pages United delivers.

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