Few marketing terms light up local business owners’ eyes like the words “social media”. Most business owners are already using social media in their personal lives, and it’s only natural to want to use this channel to grow your business. However, many business owners dive headfirst into social media without an understanding of what kinds of content to post, how to attract followers and fans, or the nuances of each social platform—let alone a concrete strategy to make the most of their time spent.
The essence of social media is really a public conversation with your customers and prospective customers—sort of like one big dinner party. Just as partygoers aren’t really attending with the intent of being sold to, neither are social media followers looking for a constant sales pitch. And no partygoer likes to be cornered by someone who only talks about themselves, so don’t be “that guy” on social media either! Engage your followers, ask their opinions, and give them a sense of investment in your business.
In terms of making the most of your time, spend it on the sites where your customers are. Just because you think you should be on Facebook doesn’t necessarily mean that it will pan out for you. Survey your customers to find out which sites they’re on, whether in-store, via email, or when they call for an appointment. You’re likely to get a running start on your social media campaign if you “fish where the fish are.”
Check out the “keep learning” section below. There, you’ll find specific guides to help you build and engage a following on the major social networking sites for local businesses.