Social networking and social media outlets should not be ignored by small business. Sure, it is time consuming and often one can get side tracked, but if the small business owner wants to be proactive in the hunt for new clients, maintaining current clients and rebuilding relationships with past clients, social media is a great, free, easy way to network with people already engaged with your product or service.
Twitter offers an audience of forward thinking consumers. Commonly, Tweeple (Twitter people) are the ones talking up a new brand or shredding it to pieces. Need proof? See Bruno a One Day Wonder. Search can be performed on Twitter to see who in your region is talking about you. If they are happy with you, take the opportunity to build your brand more with them by engaging in a discussion about them, their needs, and desires. If they’re not so happy with you, build unbreakable loyalty by taking this opportunity to hear them out and make it right.
LinkedIn offers a level of credibility and integrity. As of this writing, 80% of users are college educated/white collar workers and 8% are C level executives. People searching for you can see who your contacts are and immediately judge whether or not it’s worth their time to connect with you. The ability to receive (and give) recommendations let’s people who have found you get a taste of what clients, co-workers, employers, etc. think of you professionally. Your peers can confirm you as an expert in your field by rating your answers to their questions. The ability to join groups of like minded people gives you exposure to people you probably wouldn’t have an opportunity to meet. Recently “Companies” has become an area where you may create a profile for your business. In companies your profile may include a summary, who your current, past and new employees are as well as company news, stock information and your blog posts, plus much more.
Facebook is exponentially growing. Now with 250 million users it’s becoming a top place for advertisers to market their products and services. Facebook maintains an incredible amount of personal data, voluntarily submitted by it’s users. Advertisers tap the data and filter the users to get an extermely relevant audience for their ads. Often the CPC fees are below and estimated clicks are higher that those on Google. Another benefit to utilizing Facebook is the ability to build a page for your business. Pages offer Events, Discussions, Reviews, Photos, and almost anything else you can conceive. The planning committee for my high school reunion created a page for our class and communicated primarily through wall posts to our classmates. It’s a wonderful tool!
In summary, there are many uses to utilizing the top three social media outlets. It takes time to evaluate which is right for your business, but you’ll find they all offer the ability to get closer to your consumers and build your relationships. Check them out and give them a shot.