Social Media Tips for Small Businesses

by Guest Author on January 12, 2012

in Guest Posts, Marketing, Social Media

If you haven’t heard of social media, odds are you don’t own a business. Still, some small business owners are hesitant to adapt to the new medium. Some feel that it isn’t relevant to their business, others are afraid of screwing things up, and still others don’t think that they can compete with the big brands.

Today, a large number of people in every demographic is using social media. People who like spreading the word about something are using it even more. You don’t need to compete with big brands to succeed. And if you do screw things up, social networks are very forgiving once you “get it.”

To help you get past your hesitation, or improve your social media skills, here are some tips to get some momentum going.

It’s Not About You

The biggest mistake that businesses make when they try to use social media is thinking that it is all about them. They confuse social media with traditional advertising. Remember, people only see traditional ads because they are there to see something else. You have to think of yourself more like a media outlet than a marketer. It’s about your audience, not yourself.

It’s Not One Way Communication

The difference between a traditional media outlet and social media is the ability of the customer to talk back. Since you can “hear” what they have to say, they expect you to react rather than just promote. Listening can be just as important as talking, not just because of the image it provides. It can also be a valuable source of feedback and new ideas.

It’s Not Fast

Social media takes time. You need to build a following before you can sell anything. Don’t expect instant gratification.

Don’t Spread Yourself Thin

You achieve the best results from social media if you dive all the way into a single community rather than mass publishing to a large number of communities. If you aren’t spending enough time on a social network to understand what appeals to the users, how to start a conversation in it, or how to build a following, you won’t achieve the success you are looking for. This is why you should spend some time deciding which networks are the best fit for you, so that you can focus your efforts where they will be most helpful.

It’s Not a Numbers Game

Instead of going after quantity, sift for quality. Instead of looking for a big audience, build connections with real people who have influence in your niche. Go out of your way to help these people and be genuine. It’s best to go into it without thinking about any particular reward you might receive. Just keep giving. They will give back. Earning the acceptance of experts in your niche is the best way to earn the reputation of an expert yourself.

Don’t assume that you should only help influential people, either. While this is where you should be putting about half of your effort, the other half should be put toward everyday people that are looking for help. This helps build your reputation as a reliable source, something that money can’t buy.

Be An Expert

To be an expert in your niche you simply need to be more willing to find information than most people are. You don’t need to know everything about your niche, you just need to know where to look or who to call. Spend some time talking to people in your niche and find out what they want to know. Give them the answers and they will be grateful.

Emulate Success

No need to start from scratch. Look for people who have achieved success because of social media and study what they did right. Don’t copy them; originality is an extremely important part of social media success. Learn from them. Study the experts and look for patterns.

Conclusion

Success in social media is about connecting with your audience, finding out what they want, and giving it to them. The more you go out of your way, the more success you will find. Involve yourself in the online community and distance yourself from the idea of making money right off the bat. Instead, focus on building a solid reputation and build a business from there.

Guest article written by: Jeff has been blogging since 2007 & contributing on many websites since that time. He is a professional internet marketing and blogging consultant. Jeff is also a consultant and content contributor for Queens homes NY community.

Comments & Leave a Comment

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark Ford January 12, 2012 at 14:09

Great article, Social media is a very powerful tool, some people these days think that it is the answer to everything though, which of course it is not.

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Misha Krasnotsvetov January 12, 2012 at 15:47

The most important thing about social media is, like you already mentioned, the fact that it is 2way. You can promote your service/product, and at the same time grab the important feedback from your (potential) customers.

I also enjoy the idea of going viral. It only takes a brilliant idea, interesting blog post, funny video and the like to reach 100.000’s just in a few days. Expanding your network on different social platforms is a must!

Even SME’s can do it. You do not need a big budget for social media marketing, only creativity and new ideas.

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vishvast January 12, 2012 at 16:43

hello
nice tips very useful for me …..i m going to share it with my frnds also very helpful information
vishvast recently posted… Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance

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Planitec January 12, 2012 at 17:55

Indeed the very social networks cooperate with the disclosure of companies and many people try to do alone and without any acopanhamento and ends not with much success, for putting the wrong information. But if a good administration, good success. this great post. Congratulations

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Marty January 12, 2012 at 22:01

I guess these are helpful tips for those who just use social media to spam people with theri products or services without ever engaging in a real conversation.

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Albert Rox January 13, 2012 at 15:29

Nowadays small companies must have social media accounts.
There are more competition compared to some years ago and if a small business owner wants his piece of cake he should act now!

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Iva Stecker January 14, 2012 at 10:11

Paying attention to your astounding post, I locate it is of the extraordinary experience and appropriate suggestions.

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Laura January 14, 2012 at 13:17

The quality over quantity is a great tip. I once ran an extensive Facebook ads campaign to increase my Likes to my business page. However, after a couple months I noticed that the interaction level was still just about the same; and it primarily from my customers who liked me after visiting my gym, not new people interested in checking the facility out. I definitely learned a valuable lesson- having a responsive list is much more important than having a big list. Thanks for the great tips!

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tanyahuch January 14, 2012 at 22:24

Hi there,
it is not surprise that the big or small businesses are desperate to galvanize their presence in the social media. But the truth is that it is really difficult for them to stay alive there as it is necessary to make a clever approach to the social media.
Regards. Tanya
tanyahuch recently posted… Red Flush Mobile Casino Games

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Dan Keller January 15, 2012 at 20:03

Good advice. Like you said social media takes a lot of work and takes a lot of time (kind of like blogging). The best advice you gave is to focus on quality versus Quantity. This is something I lot of people do not understand. They think it about having tens of thousands of followers. I would rather have hundreds but have them be engaged and truly interested in what I am putting out there.
Dan Keller recently posted… 8 iPad 2 Tricks you should really know

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technoguy January 17, 2012 at 06:57

Social networking is in. You will find potential customers at social networking sites like twittre, linkedIn, facebook, google+ etc. Making your online presence strong on these sites will surely boost your business.

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Ana January 17, 2012 at 08:43

Such a great advice which you give us threw to your post. In present days the maximum are involved in the business route and from the begging you can not start with a huge step. You have to start in a small step, so for this your article is appropriate one. You share one thing in your article which i like most and that is always need to see the quality and the quantity in a same way.

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Troy January 17, 2012 at 21:42

“It’s not about you” – is the best point in the entire post. Too often social media is taken on by the marketing department. There is a mindset shift that needs to occur for social media to fit — marketing can be successful being about you; social media can not. That can be a difficult mind-shift to embrace.

Great post.
Troy recently posted… Add 16 Pounds of Muscle with Tony DiLorenzo

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Ferraz January 19, 2012 at 21:18

I think it is one of the biggest mistakes people make is a page in a social network about your company, and end up posting personal things. Have to know how to separate things. Great points made. Congratulations

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jo vargas January 20, 2012 at 18:05

When you add value and combine with social media can have a big success. I’m agree with all tips you mentioned.
jo vargas recently posted… New TLD Applications and the Future of the Internet

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Alan Smith January 24, 2012 at 07:01

In the social media, build your relevant network and get trust from the people are the most important things and as per you say, yes it takes some time.

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Shane Ryans February 2, 2012 at 19:32

Social media is becoming a valuable resource. And it isn’t as easy as it looks great tips.

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