Article by Ben Johnson.
Social Media provides small businesses with new and fruitful opportunities. They can use the power of social media to market new products and services, build brand identity, create awareness about their business, remain in constant contact with their existing clients and establish connections with potential buyers. Even though such powerful opportunities exist, but the question is how a small business can make their voice heard on social media without getting labeled as a ‘spammer’?
First Thing First – Let’s Clear A Misconception:
You need to first understand what social networking is. It’s important to discuss this because most people have this wrong perception that online social networking is all about adding friends. You can spend hours and add thousands of new friends to your network and even bring them to your fan page, but they won’t take interest in you. Why? Because, they don’t know who you are and why you should be trusted.
Let’s divert our attention to offline marketing for a second and imagine how you would feel if someone or a business bothered you consistently with unwanted offers and irritating messages? You will simply hate them. This is exactly what happens to you when you consistently post offers and links to your products.
Social Networking Simplified:
Social Networking, or to say Ethical Social Networking refers to getting to know people, making new friends, understanding each other, appreciating each other’s efforts and helping each other whenever needed with sincere advice and favors!
After all, this is what friends do, Right?
Social Media gives a great opportunity to small businesses as they can easily communicate with their existing and potential clients from around the world, without worrying about bearing any expenses. Small businesses can in fact do better than large organizations as they can give one-to-one attention to their clients due to their small customer-base.
Social Media helps you develop a friendly relationship with your clients and enables you to communicate with them in a casual way.
Social Media Best Practices for Making Your Voice Heard:
After you add friends and expand your network, utilize the power of social media in a nice and decent way. Here are a few things you can do to make your voice heard effectively:
1. Take Interest in Your Friends’ Activities:
Let’s say you upload a picture of your dog or something and someone leaves a nice comment, you will feel good, right? The same way, when you take interest in your friends’ activities and share your comments with them, they will feel good as well. If you take notice of what they do, they will take notice of your activities as well and eventually show interest in your offers.
2. Get Involved – Play Games and Giveaway Low-Cost and Good Quality Prizes:
Instead of just posting your banners and discount offers, try and get involved. Start a contest and offer prizes (from your marketing budget) that won’t really cost much, but will be of good quality, like T-Shirts, Caps, etc. This will show that you are not hungry for their money as you giveaway valuable prizes yourself.
3. Be Helpful – Answer Questions and Offer Sincere Advice:
A lot of people now post questions to get help from their network, instead of searching for the answer on Google. It’s always good to help your network whenever possible for you. If you know the answer, go ahead and help them out. If you have an advice for them, share it with them. Once you help them, they will remember you and help you too.
4. Always Be Nice and Polite:
No one likes to be treated rudely. To win the heart of your friends, you must be polite and nice to them. Treat your network with kindness and respect and they will respect you too.
Your Voice Will Now Be Heard:
All the tips mentioned above will allow you to establish a close relationship with your network. This way, when you will offer something, they will actually hear you and see what you have for them. Always avoid getting yourself labeled as a spammer. Start interacting, start communicating… This is the way to succeed in Social Media.
Ben Johnson is the Alliance Manager at Logoinn, a custom logo design company. He writes about the effect of design on marketing and brand identity and helps small businesses find design solutions for effective marketing.