The Basics of Social Media – Pt. 1
Social Media for Small Business
For small businesses owners and managers, social media presents an opportunity for community, customers, prospects and industry group engagement. But that opportunity can remain un(leveraged) when there are many competing demands for that most valuable of resources: time.
A Multi-post Series Covering Practical Set-up and Use of Social Media
It’s easy to talk about the benefits of effective social media engagement in aspirational terms but, if you’re like me, you want to know the nuts and bolts without jargon. You want to know what to do, when do it and the how to get it all done in most efficient way possible. That’s why I’m writing a blog series discussing social media where I’ll discuss:
- The broad concept of social media and how it works for business.
- Major social media networks and how they apply to specific business categories.
- Set-up process for each network we cover including pitfalls for small businesses.
- Posting and content strategies and tools to make updates as quick and painless as possible.
We will cover social media for local business, hospitality and travel business, international B2B business, and personal brands that are, in essence, platforms for advertising, sponsorships or book sales.
Starting with my next post where I cover Facebook, we’ll take a look at several significant social network that businesses should consider. In addition to Facebook, this social media series will cover Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ (Google Plus), Instagram, Pinterest, Quora, and YouTube. For hospitality businesses, we’ll cover several specific to that space including Tripadvisor and how best use the Facebook and Google’s suite of social and localization tools.
Social Media Defined
Before we close this post, let’s cover what social media is and why it matters. Social networks are groups of people organized around smaller communities of shared interest who use a common platform to create and exchange user-generated or repurposed content.
Communities can be quite large like Star Wars fans, employees of a multi-national corporation, or residents of Hong Kong. Other communities can be quite small: a family, patrons of a particular food truck, or a high-school graduating class. For a business perspective, another way of looking at communities is to think of audiences or, more simply, people you want to see your content. For a local business, this means people who are geographically close and likely require the product or service you provide. For a travel-related business, you want to talk to who are close or far geographically and who have an interest in your location or the activities you offer.
Why Should Small Business Use Social Media?
Social networks are insanely popular simvastatin 40 mg tablet. If marketing and advertising are about getting your message out there, then the scale of people using social media mean it’s an indispensable arrow in any business’ marketing quiver. I’m sure you’ve seen a group of people at dining together all peering at their smartphones with Asberger-like focus. Simply put, social media is where your prospects and customers are.
Besides social networks’ ubiquity, they give you the ability to access very precise segments and communicate with those segments in a very relevant way. For example, if you own a gym you may want to search for posts in your immediate area discussing related concepts like diet supplements, workout class attendance, participation in events like triathlons and then link to these prospects using the appropriate content.
Social networking is a relatively inexpensive, high-trust way to promote yourself and your business. Of course, you can spend a great deal on social media — particularly when you factor in quality content into the mix — or you can make chronicling interesting, relevant, or useful information about the life of your business (or yourself) a part of your daily or weekly routine.
In the next post, I’ll cover Facebook including a broad overview, the differences between the various page types, which to select based on your goals, and posting strategies.