Getting the Most Out of Social Media
Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media, offers tips for small businesses looking to grow through social media.
By Rieva Lesonky
Notice a surge of new customers lately? You probably have some sort of social media to thank for it, whether it’s a customer recommending your business on Facebook or your own social media efforts. With 33 percent-plus of all small businesses using social media and a projected 3.6 billion users by 2014, the trend is too big to ignore…and the marketing benefits are too good to pass up!
But where should you concentrate your social media efforts? Don’t try to overdo it: Social media is a time suck if you don’t have a plan. There are a lot of social media options out there, so don’t try to conquer them all at once. Start with one or two, learn them well and then move on to the next.
To get the most out of social media, the first step is to set your goals. What do you want to accomplish? Goals might include:
- Increase sales
- Drive traffic to your website, store or office
- Learn about competitors
- Find potential partners
Next, find out which social networks your customers are using. Here are some facts about the biggest ones.
- Biggest social network with 834+ million users
- Wide age range of users (majority of women)
- Good for consumer businesses, products that inspire “fans,” building community, establishing relationships
- 250 million users
- Young, affluent, urban influencers
- Good for B2B and B2C, timely news/deals, mobile users and brand building
- 150 million users
- Focused more on individuals and less on companies, but recently added company pages.
- Good for B2B marketing, getting known as an expert and prospecting for customers or employees
- Over 12 million users and growing fast
- Mostly women users
- Good for retail stores—online and physical location, restaurants, hair/beauty salons
If you don’t know what social media your customers prefer, do a survey and ask them. Also, I recommend you get an account with all the major social networks, even the ones you don’t plan on using right now. Use the same name—preferably the name of your business—on all of them. It helps build brand awareness and establish credibility.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.