5 Steps to Establishing a Social Media Presence for Small Business

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Pepsi and Old Spice have something small businesses don’t: a lot of money and people. But the competitive landscape has changed. Numerous small companies have capitalized on using social media to increase sales, brand awareness and followers. Will it Blend to date has 117,105,290 YouTube hits. Ramon Deleon of Domino’s Pizza Chicago received great press and has a great niche with college students in the local area and there are countless more success stories.

The truth is though, that most campaigns don’t go “viral”. Not to say they can’t, it’s just rare – so don’t bet on them. Instead, depend on a strategy. Here are a few tips to develop a social media strategy for your small business:

Listen, Engage, provide Value to a Niche and find the Influencers. Social media is built on a foundation of trust and interactivity. If well strategized and executed effectively it can have great outcomes.

Listen to your target audience

You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. This is an integral part of a social media strategy because you need to address raving fans, competitors and unhappy customers alike. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t walk into a group of people having a conversation and blurb “Hi my name is John Doe and this is my company!!!” An alternative approach would be to approach the group, listen to the conversation and if you have value to provide, politely add it.

Engage in conversation

This is the fun part. Don’t be afraid to communicate with people. Start commenting on blogs, re-tweeting quality information and participating in a community related to your company. Use the 80:20 ratio. 80% of the time you’re commenting, re-tweeting, listening and giving praise, genuinely of course. The last 20% you can give a shout out about your company. “Check us out on Facebook!”

Value your customers opinion

Your customers have literally millions of options when surfing the web, why is it that they would spend their precious time on your blog, Facebook page or Twitter profile? Are you creating funny, engaging, incentivized content? You need frequent, high quality and niche focused content.

Find your niche and own it

You can’t be something to everyone and you’re facing a lot of competition for a customer’s time. What will make them come to your site, Twitter account or Facebook page? Set specific goals and objectives to provide content to a specific niche.

Influencers and thought-leaders will help you build credibility

At the end of the day, behind every social network are people interacting. There are certain people who have large networks and are trusted individuals. Your job is to find these people in your niche start a conversation and develop a relationship. Because, if they like you and you’re product, they’ll pass it onto a network that already trusts their opinion.

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