Beginners Guide: Social Media for Small Businesses

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Social networking or social media Sites have great marketing opportunities for small businesses and professionals. Social media Sites are Internet services that allow the interaction of people and sharing content. A businessman Now a days cannot ignore the social networks. Social networks are interactive communication platforms that allow people to have contacts and send messages. Social media sites are one way easier and more practical to get in touch with your target audience. But first of all we must know how they work and how to use these networks correctly to avoid waste of time and investment.

Why use social media sites?

Why should you have your blog, create valuable content and build social media networks? Social media are just something superficial or is much deeper than that? Social media have touched something in human consciousness that goes beyond just chatting.

It provides a global connection which changed to cultures of nations. The democratization of media with social networks, allows everyone to express themselves in a world in color and multimedia. You no longer need to ask a publisher of books to gain access to the general public. Now you can ‘self-publish up’ and put your book on Amazon or at the Apple store.

Here are some reasons why you should explore the power of social media to boost personal or corporate brand. This can motivate you to take control of your life and business with the new world of publishing and online marketing via blogs and social media networks.

Transform your standard in extraordinary Discover skills you never knew you had
Take control of your publication Take control of your marketing
Increase your network of influence Building an online business
Be paid to speak Open new business opportunities
Make the difference Become known or even famous
Building trust Finding a purpose for your life
Become an opinion leader Become an author
Being part of the global markets Change your own life
Overcoming the fear of public speaking Gain energy
Turn your passion into a business Develop self-respect
Change people lives Take control of your life
Grow Gain respect
Make your friends jealous Be valued
Boost Your Career Travel
Accelerate the pace of growth, both personal and business No longer have to worry about the fear of rejection

You can use social media sites to:

  • promote the name of brand and business
  • inform customers about products and services
  • find out what customers think of your company
  • attract new customers
  • build stronger relationships with existing customers

Advantages of using social media sites for businesses:

Wide range: Social media can reach millions of people around the world
Ability to target specific groups: Many forms of social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google+) allow companies to target specific groups, often in specific locations
Free or low-cost: Many forms of social media are either free for business or paid with low-cost generally
Personal: Social media sites allows you to communicate personally with individual clients and groups
Fast & Easy: You can quickly distribute the information to many people, you also do not need high-level skills or computer equipment to participate in social media sites. The average person with a standard computer can do it easily.

What are the main Social Media Sites/Social Networks?
Each social media site is different and suitable for different marketing objectives and types of businesses.
Some main social networks are:
Facebook allows you to have conversations with users, and you can post photos and videos, post offers, events etc.
Google Plus: Similar to Facebook you can directly interact with users.
Twitter allows you to send and receive text messages to customers and potential customers.
YouTube is online video hosting service that allows people to share their videos.
LinkedIn: Social network for professionals and businesses, Perfect for finding professionals and jobs.
Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr social media sites that allow users to store organize and share your photo collections.

How to use social media sites to promote small business:

For a brand, it is essential to know what your customers are talking, thinking and wishing. And they express their wishes and opinions through social media sites. Position your business in online social networks strategically to keep fans engaged, thus encourage new customers and achieve results.

If you have a small business and looks for ways to gain visibility for your company, the social media sites offer several benefits and paths to your goal.

Assess your resources: before planning your online marketing work, try to analyze what you are trying to promote. Meet the backgrounds of your business, what their capabilities are, what your target audience is. This may seem obvious, but the most important factor before setting the strategy is to understand the size, goals and people surrounding your business.

Starting point: the online social media sites allow you to create pages for companies, the most correct way to promote the company. Check that understood all the rules, before starting to move to networks.

Publish content: it is important to have updated content on your page before people begin to have access to it, the quality of publications that will encourage the public to follow you or not. Post valuable information about their universe of performance, relevant content, images that encourage people to better understand the company.

Find followers and fans: start getting familiar people, real friends, family, and acquaintances. In Google+ and twitter, search the profiles by keywords referring to the company. Look first in your city and areas around by influential names or other business pages that are interested in your content type.

Build relationships: to promote your brand, it is necessary that your audience is engaged and interested enough to share your content and spread the company name. So, your first concern should be to establish closer ties with those who follow you, before you just do promote your products and services. Narrow your ties, propose debates, ask the opinion of consumers and try to be attentive to what they have to say. Good relationships generate effective results for your business.

Risks using social networks:

To promote your company, product or service on the social media sites you must have planning and caution. And yet some situations may be unavoidable as:
Do not get the expected return without a strategic marketing plan you can lose a lot of time and money.
Speed of information provided. Close attention to what you publish. Read and re-read before posting, incorrect information accidentally posted may end up with the reputation of your company.
Legal problems if you do not follow the rules of privacy and the laws on spam, copyright and other issues online.
It is important to be aware of these risks and have strategies to avoid them. If you are not familiar with social networks, the variety and different uses can be an obstacle in the beginning.  But it is worth learning more. Most social networks are affordable and easy to use, and they can put your company in touch with customers like never before.

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