5 Things Every Small Business Owner Should Know About Social Media

StephanieFrasco
Stephanie Frasco VP, Social Media, Convert With Content

Posted on December 3rd 2013

5 Things Every Small Business Owner Should Know About Social Media

SocialMediaSmallBusinessThings have changed online. Gone are the days when having a website was "chic" and enough. Oh, the good ol' days. While it now takes a bigger investment to succeed online, the benefits outweigh any excuses you can come up with. The fact of the matter is you have to be active on social networks and you have to have a strategy to stay in front of your customers.

There are tons of things a business owner should know about social media, but if I went through them all, we'd be here all day. Heck, we might even be here all week. But since you have some social to do, I don't want to keep you here too long. So here are 5 critical things to get you started:

5 Things Every Small Business Owner Should Know About Social Media

1. You Have To Be Active Online (somewhere)
Being active online means constantly updating, changing and refreshing the content on your site, your blog, and your social channels. Not only does this give your customer the impression that you care, it also communicates to your customer that you are definitely a real business.

2. Your Customers Are Active Online (somewhere)
Your customers are consuming more content than ever. And they are consuming it everywhere! This means if you want to be found you need to go where they are. The more targeted you can get, the better off you will be.

3. You Must Be Accessible
Beyond updating and keeping your messaging fresh, you also need to be open to criticism and praise. We live in a world where online users want to be heard and expect an immediate response. By giving your customers and fans a forum to interact with you, they're going to be more loyal. Plus, they will know that they aren't going to be screwed by a company who can't be found (or a company that "hides" online).

4. You Need To Blog
Blogging is the number one way to bring customers in your door. Every blog you post is a new opportunity for a sale, a new entry point into your website. Your customers have an insatiable desire for more and more content. You need to keep feeding them. According to some studies, online buyers consult 10 pieces of content before making a purchase. Don't you want some of those articles to come from you and not your competitor? Start blogging or talk to us about our blogging packages.

5. Social Media Should Be Social
The number one thing you should take away from this is that social media is about being social. That means starting conversations, replying, and engaging with your customers online. Just imagine you're at a party. If you just walked away in the middle of a conversation, people would think you were pretty rude. The same principle applies to your online presence. Make the most out of your time you spend online and build real relationships. That's what being an online company is all about!

What would you add to this list?

StephanieFrasco

Stephanie Frasco

VP, Social Media, Convert With Content

Stephanie Frasco is a leading social media consultant and author. Over the past 7 years, she's worked closely with clients from all over the world to help them get more results from social media and blogging. Through experience, Stephanie has mastered some of the most powerful social media websites. Download her engagement report.

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Comments

Marketwithmario
Posted on December 3rd 2013 at 11:20AM

Great info as always, particularly about blogging.

azkelly
Posted on December 4th 2013 at 7:55PM

Perfect basic tips taht any business owner should start with. I work with small business owners and so many of them do not get this yet!!! Thanks for the article.

cguertin
Posted on December 4th 2013 at 9:10PM

Since you mentioned it in the last sentence...what if you are not an "online company?" I work in a small business that sells some pretty pricey high tech instruments. They are typically considered capital equipment by our customers and the sales process can take years, although typically it is months. Would you add to or change any of the five mentioned in the article for us? What about a car mechanic or others that would not be considered an "online company?"

Skaledcom
Posted on December 5th 2013 at 9:34PM

Blogging is such a great way to establish yourself as a trusted figure in your field. It's the perfect outlet for not just telling people you're an expert at something, but showing it as well, through useful and engaging content. 

Richard Masters
Posted on December 6th 2013 at 5:44AM

Hi Christian

i think you make some very shrewd abservations.I agree it is very dangerous to overgeneralise about the applicability of social media to small businesses. In response to your detailed points:

B2B businesses: tarditional social media approachs based around big brands have limited applicabilty. However, platforms such as LinkedIn and Slidesahre can be really effective at much lesser resource cost than say blogging.

Car mechanics.: Tricky one umless you know there specific target market and value propostion and the local competitive environment. In my experience, however, in businesses such as these the "Local" is addage if local is present then it's " one ring that rules them all". often therefore, approaches such as directories ( e.g.Yelp) and Google+ places can be most effective. Although i have seen some specific garages use Facebook very successsfully! I cannot seee the average mechanic blogging!

In general i do not think i would be brave enough to listify five things that apply to all small businesses!

 

Vince Attardo
Posted on December 7th 2013 at 9:37AM

I was referred to this site from a friend and I look forward to learning all I can.