Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses

Social media marketing for small businesses is often something that comes way down the list of priorities for owners who haven’t the time or inclination to delve into this new mysterious concept.

Many are not exactly sure what it is. Some are confused by the jargon and hype. And there are those that assume it’s the preserve of spotty teenagers in locked bedrooms. Yet for most small business owners a lingering doubt remains, a concern, that this is something important that should be on their radar.

I recognise this anxiety because I used to run a small business and I know for sure that you can’t do both successfully.

The truth is, if you’re in business, you absolutely have to been in the social media mix, as that’s where your customers are.

I missed a lot of opportunities by not keeping on top of my Facebook page. But after a long day working on the core business, who has the time or energy to be a dynamic and witty Facebook rock star?

I know all about SEO, PCC and web marketing and used these traditional methods to drive sales, but I now realise I left out one very important piece of the jigsaw – social media – as I mistakenly thought it wouldn’t lead to direct sales.

But social media marketing is not just about sales, it’s there to create awareness, gain brand recognition, build credibility and complement other strands of the marketing mix.

Somebody once likened social media to a giant world cocktail party. You don’t want to be a wall flower, but at the same time you don’t want to be leading the conga when everyone else is quietly talking. Conversely, when it is time to conga, you’ve got to be ready to join in! The skill is knowing what to do and when to do it.

Large corporations are well aware of the benefits and have teams of people keeping their online brand alive, social media marketing for small businesses is more challenging but the rewards, if done correctly, can be substantial.

Well written and keyword rich blog posts can deliver excellent search rankings. Backlinks from Facebook and Twitter can be valuable to your main site, in addition to the positive vibe that you are creating about your company.

It’s worth noting that many large companies, which use tv or press adverts, now send customers directly to their Facebook page, rather than their own website. It cannot be emphasised more than this, how important the social media phenomena has become.

Social media completes your marketing and pr mix, and has become an essential part of it. The downside is that the company name needs to be protected at all times, and every post or comment has to be written with the utmost care and forethought. Social media may seem informal and almost throw away, but one bad post or derogatory remark can damage a company’s image overnight.

That’s why a social media campaign should be initiated by a professional, who can take care and patience building your online presence, and who can protect your brand when needed.

Social media marketing for small businesses is growing, and is something that no company can now afford to be without. So If you haven’t got a campaign, or if your present one is lacklustre, it’s time to jump in, as you’re leaving potential profits dangling in cyber space.

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