Social Media: Why it isn’t a question of if you need, but which ones you need

No matter what type of business you have, the key to maintaining and growing your business starts with the customer knowing you exist. With mobile phones firmly gripped in everyone’s hands we are a growing mobile community with the Internet a click away. As a customer, how can I be your customer if I do not know who you are, what you offer, and if you are any good?

Customer Journey: The base of any business is its customers. Before you move forward with social media you need to really think about your business and its market. Envision the perfect customer for you. How old are they? Where do they live? What do they like to do? Why would they be interested in your product? What would your customer think about when considering you versus a competitor?

Once you see your “customer” let’s discuss how can reach them socially.

Website: The first step in establishing yourself in the business realm. It is important that if you have a website, it needs to be clean (not muddled) and needs to answer the main questions asked above. The user experience (UX) is crucial to the success of a website. For the best test of this, go to a competitor’s website and make a list of what you like and do not like about it. Does it answer the questions above? Do you have to search longer than you would like to find what you are looking for? Does it have strong visual that make you want to learn more? Is it modern and contemporary or does it look outdated? Now look back at your site. Ask the same questions. Is there room for improvement? If so, what?

Facebook: If you do not want a website, I will not necessarily fight you on it, but if you want any customers under the age of 50 you need a Facebook page for multiple reasons.

·       Easier to manage than a website: can update events, posts, and other content

·       Cater to your audience: you can create a group just for your customers, essentially creating a VIP section for your loyal customers

·       Reviews: Facebook is a great place to showcase reviews from customers

·       Visuals: Easy to showcase pictures and live videos displaying how great your business is, even to those who have never been in.

·       Advertising: Facebook boosting is some of the cheapest advertising in the market today and you can specifically target your key demographics based on age, gender, location, and keywords

·       Customer Service: Quick and easy way to converse with positive and negative comments. It creates a direct connection with your customers and can encourage engagement with your customers as well as the ability to be shared with their Facebook friends as well

Twitter: Twitter is fantastic for a little burst of interaction with customers and the community. I prefer to use it as a community connector, sharing ideas and shout outs to create a more engaged community.

Pinterest/Instagram/Snapchat: This is a great platform, especially if you have a visually striking product or service.

Periscope/Facebook Live: These are great free tools to showcase what you offer. You can do a live feed on a performance or workshop, a product demonstration or a behind the scenes look at your business. It is your way to get potential customers into your business without actually stepping foot in the door. Think of this as a great ice breaker to remove any hesitancy from your viewers.

Automation: For those of you who don’t want to be online all day, there are ways to automate the majority of your content. Sites like Hootsuite and Buffer offer the ability to schedule all of your future content so you can create a content schedule that matches your business’ needs. There are key times that are the most productive for different platforms and you can use this information to schedule your posts when they are most likely to be seen by your audience.

REMEMBER! Do not post to post. You need to post with a purpose, with content that is appealing and informative. But most importantly, have fun!

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