Four Social Media Musts For Small Businesses

Facebook is much more than making an occasional wall post update trying to get new leads.  While that is a function of a fan page, it should never be the primary function.  Instead, your fan page should be considered a direct line of communication to your most loyal customers and clients.

A successful Facebook fan page should enhance your brand’s image and the entire consumer experience.

Facebook offers businesses a unique opportunity to reach out to customers even after they’ve left your showroom, store, or office.

Rather than viewing Facebook as just an external advertising source, consider Facebook another aspect of consumer management.  Treat Facebook as an arm of your customer service, and never let customer complaints go unanswered.  Ask fans how their buying experience could be improved.

In a way, Facebook fan pages are free “membership program” (think Sam’s Club!), and you should treat those in your membership club to exclusive deals.  After all, the people who opt-in to your Facebook page are your most loyal consumers.

Twitter for Small BusinessesTwitter is similar to Facebook in terms of what your goals should be — enhancing the consumer experience to build brand equity.  Twitter offers businesses a chance to get involved in conversations that simply don’t happen anywhere else.

The one catch with Twitter is that you need to sit back for a while until you really understand the “culture.”

Attempting to engage other users (presumably your target market) when you’re unfamiliar with the norms of communication on Twitter is a lot like trying to catch a ghost with a net made of chocolate pudding…you’re probably not going to hit your target and you’ll be left with a big mess.  Yes, that’s a good example.  Trust me!

YouTube For Small BusinessThere’s nothing in social media quite as powerful as an intriguing, short YouTube video with a strong call to action.  Video is especially important if your target market involves the Generation-Y group, those aged 18-34.

MarketingProfs estimates “82% of Gen-Y adults contribute content” to video sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.  If they’re taking time to create and upload content, you can bet they’re also viewing tons of content on these social media sites.  Tap into that huge market — all you need is a video camera and unique content.

Note: Make sure you provide a transcript or good summary of what is said in the video, as some people may still prefer to read rather than listen.

LinkedIn For Small Businesses

LinkedIn, the Facebook of the business world.  Touting some 100+ million professionals worldwide, LinkedIn is the place you want to be if your target market involves business-to-business (B2B) selling.

The great strength of LinkedIn is effective use of Groups.

For example, if you’re a real estate agent, there are tons of LinkedIn groups you can join to discuss the subject of real estate with other agents.  If you’re in marketing, the same applies.  Just about every major industry you can imagine has active groups.  And if your industry does not, you can be the first to start a group!

If you decide to jump on LinkedIn, I suggest you read “Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile” from SEOmoz.  It will get you going in the right direction really quickly!

My Social Game Plan, Social Media for Small Business Owners
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About Jonathan Payne

I'm the Founder and Author of My Social Game Plan, where I've spent the last six years writing about social media marketing in an effort to help business owners and marketers stay on top of the rapidly-evolving marketing landscape.

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