More than ever, small businesses are turning to social media as a tool to connect with their customers and generate new sales leads. Over 80% of small businesses are reportedly using one or more social media platforms. However, many of these businesses have yet to see any real return from their online engagements. No doubt, social media can be highly beneficial when used properly, so why are many of these smaller sized businesses not taking full advantage of its potential? And what’s the most effective way for SMB to operate their online accounts?
1. Be proactive
It’s the mistake of many business owners to think once they create a Facebook or Twitter account they will immediately start getting followers and seeing significant results. This is not the case. Business owners, especially small business owners, need to be more proactive with their social media presence. By using relevant keywords to locate conversations and users, businesses can find quality leads online and turn them into potential new customers. Instead of just sitting back and waiting for people to start “Liking” pages and following blogs, it’s important to constantly be updating social media sites and providing potential customers with quality content. Give them something they want, instead of expecting them to give you their online time.
2. Nurture online relationships
One of the most beneficial aspects of social media for both business owners and customers is the two-way channel of communication. Customers are more loyal and appreciative of businesses that take the time to not only read comments and mentions, but to also respond to them in a thoughtful and timely manner. It’s important to respond to both positive AND negative interaction so that customers know your business is active on its social media sites.
3. Give customers what they want
What is it that they want? Money! Well, you don’t have to actually give away money, but one of the top reasons people are willing to follow and “Like” businesses on sites that are usually reserved for interacting with friends is that they get insider information to savings and promotions. Take advantage of social media as just another platform for driving sales by offering coupons, promotions, and special deals on your Facebook and Twitter pages.
SocialCentiv is an intent-based marketing solution for small to medium-sized businesses that allows these businesses to “listen” to online conversations and then respond to them with an incentive. This innovative marketing tool puts the power of social media marketing right in the hands of SMB owners.
This post was written by SocialCentiv Contributor Kristina Kopplin.