Still wonder, how to use Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social media to market your small business? Is social media worth the time? Well, social media is a cost effective marketing strategy that can boost small businesses like no else. In fact, businesses of all sizes can gain huge returns by marketing on these networks. Sites like, Google+, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are the leading the pack these days. Choosing a right set of platforms and understanding your audience can be a daunting task if you aren't already familiar with "game rules". So, before you craft a new social media marketing plan, here are certain guidelines you should consider.
• Study different platforms extensively - what they offer and how to use them
• Select the platform that suits your business the best
• Build your social media step by step on a regular basis
• Connect all pages with each other
• Engage your audience
Social Media, What Is In It For Your Business
Twitter tools beneficial for the small business holders are:
Exploit the opportunity: Most of the users on Twitter are there only to gain information than to post. The people who follow a particular brand just want to benefit from discounts, contests or offers. Small businesses can exploit this opportunity.
Engaging: The customers can be engaged with the help of Twitter. People who follow a certain product/service pertaining to some business like to voice their likes, dislikes, their suggestions and their opinions. By communicating with them, you can build a reputation for your small business.
Convenience: Twitter is convenient for every kind of business, be it anything. Also, adding pictures add to more audience.
Hashtags: Hashtags are becoming very popular these days. It is though everywhere but most popular on Facebook. You cannot undermine their impact. All you need is to learn the method that makes the usage of hashtags effective to target your market, widen the content reach and strengthen your brand and so much more.
Instagram tools beneficial for the small business holders are
Showcase: The site allows posting pictures of your work place — that include you, your employees and any company event. You can show how you built your company or how your employees relax in free time or how you make your product to engage the buyers. Making interesting descriptions about the pictures add to its appeal. Anything interesting will hold the audience. Once they stop by, they will like to know and perhaps buy it a well.
Share complete information: in the caption such as location, sales etc. to attract the potential buyers.
Invite people for competitions and reward them: This is an interesting way of engaging people. Instagram does not allow sales. Therefore, discounts codes can be put up with the images.
Share on other social media: It allows you to take photos with your smartphone, apply filters and share them on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and other networks.
You can even apply hashtags to connect with people.
Features that small businesses can benefit from Pinterest are
Make boards that appeal the potent customers: Be creative. Make boards that appeal to the customers. Make it fun and educational for them so that they visit it again and again.
Video sharing: Online videos have a very powerful impact. Videos can be directly embedded into Pinterest.
Draw attention to your blog posts: If you blog on regular basis then you can use Pinterest to draw attention towards your blog posts and create visual directories of the published content. For this, they can make use of images or online graphics.
Allow pinning: Add a "Pin it" button to your website and let people share the stuff they like. People who pin your things will follow you as well. This is an easy way to get people engaged.
Pinterest is an interesting way to make your small business accessible to the masses.
Google+With over 540 million active users and more than 1.5 billion photos shared weekly, Google+ makes the perfect marketing platform.
Google+ tools that can be used to market your small business are:
Google Apps: Google apps are available for Google+ users. Google Apps offer e-mail, drive, document sharing, group functionality and some other excellent services as well. Your employees should also use Google+ through Google Apps.
Hangouts: Nothing can substitute the importance of a direct contact. Hangouts option in Google+ gives you an opportunity to talk to the customers directly through a live video (ten people can chat at one time). Joining hangouts that focus on a related topic may also help.
Plus One: Business is all about building a relationship. Craft different ways in which you can engage your audience. It can be through an interesting content or an image that compels them to comment and click to +1 your content and comments (+1 is equivalent to a like as on Facebook).
Things Business Marketers Should Do And Souldn't Do When Using 11 Major Social NetworkIn order to achieve your goals in a competitive digital era, it's important to properly use social media for your business exposure. And this handy infographic from MagicLogix shows some dos and don'ts of 11 big social networks including, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Googleplus, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr and SlideShare.
Click on image to enlarge
These new age marketing channels and techniques are extremely successful. Use them accurately and reap the benefits.
Article contributed by Ella Rich. She is an advertising expert for Australian business listing directory - MyBusinessCentral. That works actively to promote your business and get results that are more profitable. Join MBC on Google+.
photo credit: Flickr/Guian Bolisay.