Many people think a small business has no business being on the Internet to promote itself and build its brand. After all, they’re not playing in a global or national level, so they can’t actually use the kind of reach social media offers. It is wasted potential, some say. What those people are forgetting is that even a small local printer ink and cartridges shop has customers that are on the Internet. These customers will talk, and part of that talking will be on the Internet. If a business doesn’t decide to take the risk and dip into the pool with their customers, there is the very real risk of losing their business.
Of course, the first step to rectifying the situation is figuring out what is there to promote. What are the company’s assets? What type of customer is it trying to appeal to? This part should be obvious, but it can sometimes be surprisingly not. For example, a small airport might be getting by just marketing itself to pilots who are racking up flight hours, only to discover that the services and facilities it offers could allow it to tap the much wider tourist market.
Obviously, social media is useless to a business if they don’t sign up. The major ones to cover are Facebook and Twitter, with LinkedIn and Google+ catching up very quickly. Obviously, make sure to read the terms of service and the rules first before doing anything. Use the new account to connect with employees and known regular customers to start with, but it doesn’t end there. There’s also the option of dipping fingers into a social network that caters to the company’s niche.
Some might consider hiring someone to handle all the social networks. This is a good idea, since not everyone has time to manage or update all of them. Automated updating just doesn’t seem to have the same “value” for customers that a more personal approach does. It also helps that a human can interact with them, while a machine can’t.
The account will need to be updated, of course. Keep posting little things. Many might argue this should come before connecting and making friends, since it gives those outside the company a reason to actually follow an account. YouTube videos of the business or photos of the facilities work, along with little links to news that’s related to the industry. They don’t necessarily have to be major news or be directly related to the company’s line of work.