A lot of people see social media as a great way to socialize, hang out with friends, and simply catch up on everything that’s going on in other people’s lives. What you might not know, though, is that it’s an absolutely great way for small business to get new customers almost effortlessly. That’s because it lets you advertise and educate easily, to a very wide audience. Here’s how:
Use social media to direct traffic to your small business website
It’s never a good idea to simply jump into any social media venue (Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are a few well-known examples) and start advertising your business willy-nilly with a lot of spamming. That’ll just irritate people, and it may even get you banned.
However, you can use social media subtly to direct traffic to your website and attract more prospective customers. Once there, prospective customers are much more likely to convert to actual customers if you’ve enticed them with social media commentary and content, and then have followed up with quality content and products or services on your website thereafter.
Use viral content to spread your small business message — fast
Viral content (not to be confused with a virus, which would be a bad thing) is basically something (a message, video, or article) that becomes so popular that it spreads like wildfire throughout the Internet. Come up with a clever video, for example, that advertises your product or service in a commercial or non-commercial format. Make it enjoyable to watch, and you’re suddenly not just selling a product or service. You’re actually entertaining people. The more people that enjoy your video, the more they’ll pass it on, and the more people will see it; in turn, that will bring people to your website to find out more about you. Once they arrive at your website, the more likely they are to be interested in your product or service.
Post as a participant on social networking sites to create organic back links to your own small business website
Search engines these days are very savvy to manufactured “back links.” That is, fake back links that have been bought and created specifically to give you a higher search engine ranking are very easy to spot, and are likely to get you blacklisted so that your site won’t show up on search engines at all.
However, search engines absolutely love organic back links. Organic back links are those links that are created because you have legitimately posted throughout social networking sites and on forums, etc.. Whenever you participate in a conversation on a social networking site and do so honestly (not just to spam, but to give actual advice, honest commentary, and the like), that post will generate at least one good back link. Make it really good, and other people will pick it up and pass it on so that it creates a number of back links.
Use social media for small business targeted marketing
Coupons aren’t just those things you clip out of the paper anymore. With social networking, you can create and distribute “coupons” on the fly, targeted to a specific audience for your product or service. For example, let’s say you sell a product or service on your website (or locally), and you decide that you’re going to give anybody with a specific coupon code 10% off their next purchase. Post this information on your website, distribute it through your profile or sig line on social networking sites, and put it on your Twitter feed. You can even create a text message that you can then send out to a targeted (opt in) audience. When those people visit your website or your establishment, all they have to do is enter the coupon code into the proper space or present it to you at purchase, and they get that discount. And again, this is something that the word will spread on, so that others will come to you to use the same discount. It’s word-of-mouth that has really gone high-tech through social networking, and it only bodes well for your business.