Even the most stubborn, ‘old school’ local business owner today is realizing that it is costly to ignore the power of social media when it comes to marketing. However, not knowing how to leverage social media is raising a barrier to entry for many people who fall into this group. If you are a local business owner that is just now deciding to jump on the social media bandwagon, here are some tips to use which will help you succeed with your efforts.
For example’s sake, we’ll assume that you are the owner of a pool table retail store in Phoenix. Ready? Ok, let’s get going!
The first thing you need to know is that social media is nothing more than a communication channel. Alone, it can’t build your brand or drive new customers through your doors. Think of social media as a messenger that can instantly reach out to a whole lot of people who are potential customers by engaging them in conversations and providing them with something of value.
Find Relevant Social Media Groups
Use Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to find groups of people who are interested in your niche. In addition to looking on the major social networks for potential customers, also seek out online communities and forums where people who are interested in what you sell congregate as these also count as social media. Once you locate groups, join them and start establishing your reputation by providing input into conversations while mentioning your business and what you have to offer. Try to establish yourself as an expert so that others will turn to you for advice and ask thought-provoking questions related to your industry that can get conversations started.
Know Your Social Media Platforms
From Twitter to Facebook to Pinterest, different social media platforms attract different people and have different rules for engagement. It is therefore imperative to know how each platform works. Once you do some basic research and become familiar with your chosen platforms you’ll be able to run your social media campaigns with different goals.
Learn How to Monitor your Progress
Just as important as learning how to use the various social media platforms, you must learn how to monitor your progress using metrics. There are all types of tools out there which can help you do this. Many newbies to social media make use of paid services which track conversion metrics such as the number of readers that make a purchase or whom sign up for your newsletters.
There is no way around it. If you want to keep a step ahead of your local competitors in today’s very technologically connected world, you have to take part in social media marketing. Getting started on the right foot will go far in helping you promote your business. Regardless if you’re selling used pool tables in Phoenix or coffee in Seattle, social media, when done right, can become a very powerful and integral part of your overall business success.
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Karen Johson has over 10 year pexperience working with small business to help them promote their services online.