The Perfect Social Media Strategy for Small Businesses?

So you have a small business, and you started a Facebook fan page for your business and you also created a Twitter account.  Now what?  Although you might be sitting in front of your computer, overwhelmed and utterly confused, the next steps are actually easier than you think.  If you are anything like me, than you are afraid of doing the wrong thing and looking like a social media idiot.

Are your customers or clients hearing you?

I am a very visual person and it always helps me to see something done the right way first before I really understand how to do it myself.  With this in mind, login to your Facebook account and friend all of your competitors, and then friend all of the companies you see as industry leaders in your field.  Now login to your Twitter account and do the same thing.  Give yourself some time over the next few days to do some research.  Try to read as many posts and tweets as possible.  Pay attention to what kind of content is being posted, how often, and how your competition interacts with comments and questions.  What you will probably see is that there really is no rhyme or reason to this “social media” stuff and that each company has their own voice and style.  What one company does might not be the right thing for you, but between all the companies you friend and follow, you will pick out things you like and admire and hopefully implement them into your social media voice and strategy.

The most important thing to remember is that social media strategy for small businesses is all about being social, interactive and establishing yourself as a valuable resource.  It’s not just sell, advertise, promote; if you just post and tweet about your company products and deals every chance you get, chances are you will not get any new fans and you will just annoy the fans you already have.  Doing good business is about building relationships and trust and the same goes for social media.  By listening more, and understanding your customers you will have a better idea of how to interact with them via social media channels and you will begin to learn what type of posts and content it takes to connect with them.

No one expects you to be a social media guru overnight (that’s OUR job!!!).  In fact, the perfect social media strategy for your business may prove to be a bit elusive at first, but by taking the time to look and listen, build relationships and trust with your customers you will understand why social media is a valuable marketing tool.

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