Small business marketing should include consulting that utilizes social networking as a way to promote products or services. A business page on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter is free for now, but the labor, time and expertise it takes to regularly promote a company on social media are not.
An effective social media company needs to provide specific services in order to run an online marketing campaign. What services should a small business owner expect when hiring a consultant? This article will outline key activities in social media that will lead to more prospects and sales. By increasing the bottom line for a business and increasing friends and members for an organization, it will become apparent why all small businesses need to set-up social networking accounts.
Set-up of Social Media Business Accounts: Having a personal page on Facebook is not enough to promote a company. Opening up a business page is just the first step in embracing social networking as a source of leads and sales. A consultant should offer to set-up a Facebook page in the company name and assign a person to administer this page. A Twitter business account as well as a business page on LinkedIn should also be established.
Regular Posting: There are many ways to communicate with friends and contacts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. On Facebook, members can post a link to a website, a photo or graphic or a video. This communication is instant and it’s public. When posting occurs on a social networking business page, it automatically gives the business more exposure within the social networking community and on search engines. A social media company should offer a business a weekly plan for posting to accounts. If the objective is to drive more traffic through a website, then links back to the website may be posted. If the business is promoting specials or providing Internet coupons, then these offers may be posted to accounts. Content should be reviewed by business owners or stakeholders before posting.
Increase Friends and Contacts: Friend seeding on social networks is actually encouraged by Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These sites supply user friendly software designed to transfer email account contacts and other social networking site contacts to the desired social networking site. Many small business owners are unaware they can increase friends this way or are unfamiliar with how to use the software on Facebook. A consultant will find friends, contacts, and followers for the business page. The consultant should also suggest using Facebook ‘Like’ and Twitter ‘Follow’ icons on the company website so people can easily join the business page. There are other methods of increasing friends, too. A social media company should continue to cultivate new friends and contacts throughout the campaign.
Dialogue with Friends and Contacts:
Once friends and contacts are on the rise and social networking accounts are on the move, dialogue will become increasingly important. The business owners or stakeholders may not have time to stay on top of inquiries, comments, or even complaints. A social media company should provide this type of ongoing account maintenance. In order to perform effective sales, companies need to keep friends and contacts engaged. This comes through meaningful and value-added dialogue. Answering questions and posting comments to other posts are a great way to stimulate conversation. Sometimes public dialogue in a social media environment encourages others to join in and take an interest in a company’s products or services.
With social networking accounts, the most important activities involve posting regularly, staying engaged with friends and contacts, and keeping a conversation lively, informative, and interesting. A social media company can and should provide all of this — and more.