Last Saturday was Small Business Saturday, an opportunity to support entrepreneurs, many of whom are local, by patronizing their businesses. If you’re a small business owner, the SBA, or Small Business Administration, has some great suggestions for making the most out of this auspicious day.
As a new small business owner, I have even greater appreciation for the contributions of these shops. In the spirit of entrepreneurship, I offer these suggestions to my fellow small business owners who are looking to make an impact on their business via social media.
–Have a social media presence: Be it Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ or a combination of platforms. As a consumer, NOT having some type of presence makes me wonder why you don’t have one – and not in a good way.
–Communicate with your followers regularly. Social media is about a two-way dialog: not a monologue just a few times a year.
–Find your voice: Your voice is your brand and is like likely one of the many reasons your customers return to you time and time again. Speak authentically and continue to be genuine.
–Get help: A variety of resources from white papers to blogs to consultants are available to help you navigate the often-choppy social media waters.
–Post for the sake of posting: Quality, not quantity, is what counts here.
–Be afraid to try new tactics: Follower exclusives engender loyalty. The old adage of, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” really does apply here.
–Try to be too many things to too many people: one of my first clients had to have a presence on all platforms simultaneously. When I asked if all of her customers were there, she replied that they weren’t. If they aren’t there, you don’t need to be there either.
–Forget to share: while it’s true that much of social media is about “shameless self-promotion,” it’s also about doing it covertly: not overtly. Share tips, tricks and insider information that will engage your followers and build loyalty. If you provide information that people find interesting and helpful, they’ll come back for more.