Whether you are starting a business or trying to refresh your brand by increasing your business’ presence on social media, the chances are you aren’t really sure where to begin. Well, as usual, NOLA Virtual Solutions is here to help! Social media and digital marketing may seem like buzzwords but these forms of reaching your audience will not go away anytime soon. For small business, a lot of decisions are based on financial cost and with digital media’s cost-effectiveness and the potential reach to customers and clients, its past time for your business to get on board! Here are social media platforms that your business should be on and why you should integrate them into your business plan. There is a lot of information to consider but, as we say, knowledge is power.
Tips for starting your social media campaign:
- Keep consistent profiles. No matter what platforms you choose to use for your business, continuity is important for your brand.
- Know your audience and what you want to convey to them; determining your target will help you know what platform you should be using and the platform drives the content.
- Create natural and organic content. Your business’ content needs to be original to get attention and links back to the business’ website. This creates leads that can lead to ROIs and that is the point, am I right?
- Having goals and creating a schedule is the only way to stay consistent on social media.
- 80/20 rule: only spend 20% of your time on social media promoting your business and 80% of your time networking, connecting and conversing. Make your business’ presence known without overbearing your audience.
Social Platforms for Email Marketing
AWeber – Email marketing, unlike social media, is a great way to make sure what you are advertising is getting to specific individuals. Get more bang for your buck by using your email list to work for you.
Constant Contact – While it may be a little pricey, Constant Contact is the premiere email marketing platform. It is great to learn because most businesses do use it, but the price is cause for concern especially for small businesses!
iContact – iContact boasts 70+ emails sent every month from the service and that is a feat! Although most email marketing clients keep all of your contacts in one spot, sending bulk emails from iContact is easy with a very professional interface.
Mail Chimp – Only second to Constant Contact, I am sure you have heard of Mail Chimp. As the cheapest platform for email marketing in our list, check out the features and interface to see if it works for your business.
Social Platforms for Image & Video Sharing
Instagram – Not just for your teenager, Instagram is there for your business to share images and get people talking on a different kind of platform. Yes, businesses use Instagram and for good reason.
Pinterest – One of the upcoming social platforms, Pinterest is widely used by teenagers and mothers but also for business. Sharing new ideas, products, services and how-to videos can increase your pins and links back to your website on a platform that is based on visualizations.
YouTube – Every company has a YouTube channel. That’s right and if yours doesn’t you are being left behind. All facets of business from home improvement to realtors and even bookkeepers can use YouTube to communicate with potential clients and the community in general. Creating how-to videos as well as sharing new aspects of your business will get subscribers and create leads that turn into revenue!
Social Platforms for Location Sharing & Reviews
FourSquare – Using social platforms for reviews may sound new to you but it has been around for a while. When a customer “checks in” and then reviews your business, whether it be a restaurant or tanning salon, others get a strong sense of that person’s experience. To not have your brick-and-mortar business on a review site is keeping you out of the conversation.
Yelp – Another location sharing and review application, Yelp is known for lifting businesses up and also causing them to crash. Being aware of what is being said about your business gives you a huge advantage without the cost of a focus group.
Using social platforms for your business has become the norm, perhaps without you even knowing it. The trick to utilizing these platforms is to stay aware of your accounts, keep consistent profiles and responding to the community when someone does take the time to ask a question or give a review. Responses should be considerate, immediate and concise as you are speaking with past and (hopefully) future clients and customers. Not all feedback will be positive but as a business owner, you know the name of the game. Keeping your business in the conversation can be enough, but being a part of a community and having the analytics to back it up shows what your business is doing, but it needs to do and the way to get to success.