U.S. businesses are increasingly turning to social media to strengthen their relationships with existing customers and grow their customer bases. Some companies even dedicate personnel to maintaining their online presence via Twitter, Facebook, and other sites.
If you don’t have the capital to hire a social media manager, don’t fret. Here are seven basic ways to use social networks to reach consumers.
1. Start a Facebook page for your business. Use this to inform your fans about upcoming sales and promotions. You can also talk about the specific goods and services you sell. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get feedback from your customers and friends.
2. Set up a Twitter account. More and more consumers are following businesses on Twitter. Send out “today only” discounts or other time-sensitive promotions. This will get to your customers wherever they are. Or use Twitter’s search features to see who’s talking about your business.
3. Join LinkedIn. This is especially beneficial for business owners who contract with clients as opposed to selling goods to consumers. You can use your clients’ connections on LinkedIn as an opportunity to drum up more business and expand your client base.
4. Write a blog. This will give you a medium to provide more detailed information about your business, industry, and/or goods and services than you can on a third-party service. If you provide engaging content on a regular basis, your blog’s followers will feel a stronger bond with you and your business. Remember to Tweet and post links to your blog on social media and include buttons/links to your social media accounts on your blog to build a following.
5. Use different platforms to target different customers. If you simply put the same material and content on all of your social media platforms, customers may figure this out and opt to follow only one of them. Make sure each platform offers different content. For instance, use Twitter to reach a younger demographic, Facebook to run promotions, and Pinterest to show off photos of high-end products.
6. Share images. They say a picture is worth a thousand words … and on Facebook posts with images generate twice as much engagement as text-based missives. Provide a plethora of photographs for all of your social media platforms.
7. Take surveys and hold competitions. Few things engage people more than asking for their opinions or giving them a chance to win a prize. Facebook contests, Twitter surveys, and similar social media initiatives can boost interest in your business.