You might have already guessed that here at BizSugar.com we’re HUGE fans of social media for small business.
But while plenty of people are talking these days about how useful social media can be for your small business, it’s been our experience that many entrepreneurs have only scratched the surface of what social media can do.
So without further delay, here are our favorite 10 bright ideas for using social media to see greater success with your small business.
1. Marketing. Participating in social media is a fast and easy way to market your small business to others in a place online where you’re guaranteed loads of traffic and it’s free. Just participating in your favorite social media platform (commenting, voting, sharing information) will make you stand out as a helpful member of the community and make sure others remember you. Plus, by joining and participating in groups within larger networks or smaller niche communities like BizSugar.com lets you focus on the audience you want to market to.
2. Branding. Through the information you share in social media, you can show your expertise, building brand and authority within the community of your choice. While a business blog can certainly help you do the same, social media allows you to do so before a ready made niche audience and to build authority much faster within a larger established community while you build your own following on your own site.
3. Traffic. Nowadays, social media should be used first and foremost to get a hold of some of the elusive traffic that can be difficult to capture at first simply by blogging. Sharing content or even just a link to your blog via social media can make all the difference in the world in terms of the traffic you can begin attracting almost immediately.
4. SEO.Whether the social media platform you use passes search value directly to your Website or not as a result of participation, it is certain that the visitors you attract including those who may use social media to search for their own content (see below) certainly will. Sharing your content or simply links to your site will encourage first visits and then inbound links from the very niche you are targeting and will surely eventually have a positive effect on your Search Engine Optimization.
5. Crowdsourcing. We’ve done this ourselves by posting questions in order to gather responses from our community and you can do the same. Use social media to find out what your audience thinks or to ask them to participate. You will build better products and services with this input and build community interaction and interest in your business online.
6. Content. Social media is a two way street, In addition to letting you create and share content, social media enables you to find content in your industry as well. Search for topics to blog about or news to share with your own social media following giving credit to the originators of the material, of course.
7. Research. We mean both market research and data research here. Simply, social media allows you not only to address but to listen to your communities hearing what others are saying about your industry and perhaps even about your business or brand. At the same time, social media channels can be a great place to monitor the latest news in your industry often from a variety of perspectives.
8. Networking. Of course, social media allows you to be much more than a passive observer. One of the greatest aspects of social media is its social aspect. You can not only share content and give and receive feedback on that content and the content of others but also make connections, decide who to follow and who to make a part of your network…and who you should ask to network with you. Social media allows you to make connections not just with those in your industry but with potential customers and those who might refer customers to you.
9. Community. Building community goes beyond traffic and visitors to your Website. It has to do with how engaged those visiting your Website are, whether they share your content with others, refer people in their network to your content, products and services and so on. Using social media can help you do much more than simply build traffic on your businesses main Website. Social media attracts engaged users interested in giving feedback, sharing comments and votes and, in general, participating. That engagement should transfer to your home site as well and build your community in the process.
10. Authority. Social media helps you gain authority for your content Website and brand by letting you share it more widely and more quickly than you might ordinarily be able to simply by updating your blog regularly. Plus, social media makes it easy for others to share your content with their networks gradually building your authority in your niche.
Got some other bright ideas about how social media can help your small business? Share them below.