5 Ways to Make Social Media Work For Your Small Business

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5 Ways to Make Social Media Work For Your Small Business

Social media is an excellent way to get people to find out about, talk about and become engaged with your small business.

1. Establish yourself

As soon as you get your business off the ground, or even in the early stages, be sure to set up social media accounts and tease your audience with things that are happening. For example, if you are opening your own café, share sneak peeks into the décor, before and after photos and even random things you might have found during the clear out. Be sure to start as you mean to go on and engage lots with your potential clients. Furthermore, be clear about what your business does, who your target audience is and where you are based. If those things are unclear, you will likely engage with timewasters, whether intentionally or not.

2. Promote competitions

Competitions and giveaways are fantastic ways of getting people involved with your social media accounts and a very quick way to spread the word. Be sure to read up on the platform’s terms and conditions regarding competitions. For some, expecting your followers to share or tag their friends in posts will be against the rules. Doing something that contravenes their guidelines can land you in a sticky situation. It is always best to add a disclaimer at the bottom of the competition and be clear about what the prize is, the fact it cannot be exchanged for a monetary value and how the winner will be chosen.

3. Share promotions

When you are offering something, for example, 50% off a certain range or a free gift when you spend a certain amount, shout about it from the rooftops! Make your posts eye-catching and use visuals wherever possible. GIFS can attract people too. Consider adding a short video demonstrating a product and explaining the promotion. Using different types of posts within your social media keeps people engaged with your account.

4. Feedback and opinions

If you are confident that the products or services you provide are top quality and your clientele is happy, be sure to allow reviews on your Facebook page. Share comments that have been left and take screenshots for use on other social media platforms where you have accounts.

What’s more, ask for feedback on ideas you have. Polls are a great way of getting a quick answer to a question. If you are a cake baker, why not ask whether people would prefer chocolate brownies or white chocolate blondies at the farmers’ market?

5. Engagement

Post on a regular basis, not sporadically. Whether you are visiting a new venue, attending the launch of a new product or even undertaking study at somewhere like the University of Law, tell your followers about it. Of course, you are looking for potential clients to engage with your posts. However, it is also vital that you, in turn, engage back. For example, you might have scheduled an early morning post on Jeans for Genes day asking people to post a photo of themselves ready for work wearing their denim. If you do not respond to comments or photographs on this post, the engagement is lost. People will assume that you post for the sake of posting, yet cannot be bothered to reply even when they have gone out of their way to comment.

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John is a serial entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping small businesses launch and grow. His work has been featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.