July 28th, 2009

short url: http://beeseen.com/s/m

Social Media Tips for Small Business

The landscape for a small business online presence has changed over the years, from a simple informational website to search engine optimization. Now, it’s about social media and this change is a good thing because social media has the potential to drive more customers to a business at less cost. Harnessing this potential is a bit more difficult, so here are some tips to get started:

1. Listen and Observe

First and foremost, in order to succeed in a social media environment, you need to learn how that community operates. Observe how people interact and how you can take part. Learning this initial step can go a long way towards helping your future endeavors.

2. Start a Profile

If you observed correctly, starting a profile in Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or any other social media platform isn’t just about typing in some company information and expecting the customers to start flowing. In creating a profile, you need to have a face behind it. Social media is about interacting with a human and not some corporate entity. The more directly engaged you can be as a person representing a company, the more successful the interaction.

3. Post Rich Content

Having a social media presence isn’t just about selling your products. No one likes a corporate shill. To garner acceptance within the community, you need to be able to provide helpful/fun information for that community. It’s about starting conversations and making connections. Rich content could be anything from photos, helpful tips, tricks of the trade, videos, an interesting website, a blog post, or anything of interest to those of your community. This article itself could be a representation of such an interest piece.

4. Dedicate Time

Social media requires dedication. An online presence in this area isn’t going to maintain itself. You need to be consistent about creating content. If you don’t have the time to post often, which means about a few times a day for microblogging (such as Twitter or Facebook status) or on a daily basis for blogging, try to keep it consistent, at the least. You could set a schedule to do your microblogging or blogging.

5. Quality Over Quantity

Along the lines of when to post content, you have to also maintain a sense of restraint when it comes to social media. You don’t want to burn out your community by posting too often on things that are of low quality. The community doesn’t need to know about what you had for breakfast that morning (unless it’s relevant to your business, of course). Keep the content of high quality and it will more than make up for any lack of quantity as long as it’s consistently posted.

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