online presence

Small Business: Social Media Tips

As the business world jumps further and further into the virtual world of the internet, it is often forgotten that the purpose of going "on-line" is to grow and develop our businesses. Take a step back and re-evaluate your "on-line" goals and ensure you are utilizing your online presence to accomplish them.

Keep it Small It may be counter intuitive to say keep it small when talking about social media, but the reality is that if you are a small business, and you only have so much time and resources to put into social media, the key is to pick one or two things, and do it well, really well.

Being on 5-10 social media platforms and only giving them a sliver of effort is going to come through to your audience. Think about your social media channels, where you get the best responses, the best interaction, the most reach, and focus your efforts there. It is better to have a more limited reach and have that reach be impactful, then have an extended reach and have it mean nothing.

Give Something Away This does not need to mean a physical thing, a gift, a coupon, or a free service, but I can simply mean giving away knowledge. Have your contacts look to you for industry leading advice. Sometimes giving away some knowledge that your competitors would not dare give away can be a great tool for attracting prospects to you.

Engage, Take the Conversation Off-Line It is very easy to hide behind our social media avatars and accounts.

Do you often ask yourself:

  • How can I engage my prospective clients?
  • How can I take this conversation off-line?

The key to turning prospective clients into paying clients is by engaging their interests and needs and taking the online conversation off-line.

Add Pictures and Video Don't forget to include pictures and videos where applicable to social media postings, websites and blogs. The power of sight can help "speak" to your message and draw a reader’s attention.

We all have heard "a picture is worth a thousand words".

It is time to put that knowledge to the test. Integrate pictures and videos to stimulate your readers!

Check out Flickr, Picasa, and YouTube to start. Include images in your website or blog. Or even try adding photos to Facebook. There are hundreds of ways to incorporate visuals to power up your messages.

In Summary… Effectively using social media for your small business may be as simple as asking a few targeted questions of yourself, but the re-evaluation may be the difference between a social media presence that flops and one that thrives!

How do you use your online presence to meet your business goals?

How To Blog for Your Business

Using a blog for your business is certainly not a new thing, but it is one that has seen tremendous growth in the recent years. Businesses that provide a service can stand to benefit the most by keeping a blog. It is a tool to expand the social media footprint, highlight your brand, or establish and build your credibility and position yourself in your area of expertise. Social media can be an invaluable tool to drive traffic to your site but a blog will be most useful in building a platform for your business. Here are some tips to get you started and keep you going.

Introduce Yourself Potential customers want to know about you and your business. Take some time to share a few things about yourself and talk about how you started and built your business. This accomplishes two very important things – it gives the reader a glimpse into who you are and what your business is about and it provides credibility and paves the road to start building a level of trust.

Share Some, Not All, of Your Knowledge and Expertise Create a section, or a weekly post that shares some of your knowledge or expertise in your field. Yes, this will be free information, but it provides clients and prospective clients a chance to gauge your command of your specialty. This is also a key component in trust and relationship building. Be mindful not to give away tips, tricks, or secrets you would normally charge for.

Respond to Questions You’re the expert in your field, so show it! Allow for clients and guests of your website and blog to ask questions and make sure you respond to them in a timely fashion. This will boost your credibility and generate more content for your blog.

Tutorials Similar to answering questions, providing tutorials can only add value to you and your business. If you’re an electrician offer a quick demo on how to change a fuse or what tool someone might need to use in order to change a recessed light bulb. These would seem small and insignificant to you, but to the average homeowner these could be huge timesavers. Again, be mindful you aren’t demonstrating anything you would normally charge for.

Blogging can be a huge help in expanding your online presence, but it is often quite time consuming. Before you create and launch your blog make sure you have the time to nurture and develop it. Pay attention to your spelling and grammar, or hire a copywriter to browse your content if you’re worried about it. Finally, you’ll have to be willing to give away your best content for free and engage with your audience for it to pay off for your business. Keep at it long enough and it most certainly will.