The Role of Social Media for Small and Mid-Size Businesses
For small businesses with limited budgets, the role of social media in growing and advertising your small and mid-size business is enormous. Having a social media presence is a must for most small businesses, especially if you don’t have an established website. Your presence on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can be your primary advertising opportunity and helps potential customers find out more about your business and services. With all of the responsibility of running your own small or mid-size business (SMB) it can be difficult to find time to set aside to properly manage your social media accounts but poorly managed social media accounts can spell the end of your emerging business. Read on to learn more about the role that social media plays in helping you build and establish your business and your company’s reputation with customers.
Lack of social media presence
With our increasing reliance on the internet for information, a potential customer’s first resource for finding a new business or service is often a quick web search. Developing a website takes significant time and effort, but establishing your business on social media is a quick solution to helping customers find you online.
Your social media accounts can also be used to consolidate your customer referrals and reviews. Your Facebook or Twitter page provides customers looking for your services with access to reviews of your business. If you don’t have a presence, it will be more difficult for potential customers to find you and they’ll be more likely to turn to another business that is easier for them to find.
Your social media persona
When you build your business from the ground up, you often become synonymous with your business. If your business and personal pages are intertwined, it’s more difficult for potential customers to distinguish between your SMB and you personally. Establishing a persona for your business that is separate from you as the owner is important for many reasons.
If your business’ social media page contains profanity or inappropriate or irrelevant content, you are probably doing great harm to your business and its professional image. You should also be careful to moderate your social media pages. Business pages can typically be set to require the page admin’s approval for comments to be visible to other viewers. If you receive a post comment that is inappropriate, simply block the comment from appearing on your page.
Handling negative reviews
It’s a fact of life for business owners – negative reviews will happen. Addressing these critiques with professionalism and ensuring that issues are dealt with appropriately can be an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive for your SMB.
Don’t engage in arguments with customers, competitors, or random commenters on your social media pages. Whenever possible, contact customers offline, either via email to get a better understanding of their concern and to correct any valid issues. After you’ve corrected the situation, ask your customer to post a new review or a revision to their existing review.
Always show your best face when dealing with customers. By truly listening to your customers’ complaints and taking the time to make it right, you are demonstrating to other existing and potential customers that you are dedicated to delivering quality customer service.
Show off a little
In an increasingly socially conscious world, customers want to learn more about the company’s they are doing business with. Your social media accounts can help your customers get to know more about your business, your social commitments, and your expertise in your industry.
Use your social media accounts to help customers become more familiar with your products, your manufacturing processes, where you source materials from, who your employees are, and all about your community efforts. Post associate spotlights singing the praises of a highly dedicated employee. Share photos of your volunteer day your larger customer community. Show off the awards and certifications that your business earns from community and industry groups. Are you hosting a company event? A great way to show off your business and get your audience engaged in your social media page is to have a live feed of your social media account during trade shows or corporate events using HDTVs, video walls, or tablet rentals!
Your social media should also be used to establish your business’ expertise in your niche. Posts should be relevant to your customers and encourage them to learn more about you and visit your location. Share relevant information and posts from other sources so that customers get used to coming to your page for information they need on your industry. The more information you provide, the more clients will see you as a trusted source they can turn to when they need services in your field.
Learn to use social media like successful businesses do
Just because your business is small or mid-size doesn’t mean that you can’t play the social game like the big boys in your industry. By setting aside time to carefully curate your content and create thoughtful posts you can help potential customers discover your services while setting yourself up as the go-to business to meet their needs.
Running an SMB can be a challenge. SMB Now provides tips, expert advice, and information about the services that you need to help make running your business easier. Visit us often to stay up-to-date with SMB Now and follow us on social media. Join in the discussion by commenting below.