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Image by: Tanja Cappell
By Judy Willard
Social media is a multi-billion-dollar business, and you can actually use it for your own business! It is the closest thing to free advertising that you can get.
If time is money, then the time you spend on social media advertising is where you are going to get the biggest bang for your buck! However, it can be difficult to understand where to begin! You might not know how to gain a following or what to do once you have that following, but in the end, it is all about how you market yourself and your business.
If you don’t know the difference between a “Like” and a “Retweet,” it is time you gain the knowledge to help you build an empire for yourself as you begin your small business! Check out these explanations to help get you started.
There are two levels of “Likes” on Facebook. First and foremost, you want to create a business page for your Facebook. This will help you gain a following. Find different Facebook groups that work along the same lines as your business (from massage therapy groups to crafting groups in your area). Share your images, promotions, and products or services on these groups. Add a link to your business page.
Don’t forget to ask people to “Like” your business page. This is your following. Once someone likes your page, everything you post on that page will show up on their timeline.
When this happens, they will be able to like your posts. Once a follower has liked your post, everyone on their “Friends” list will be able to see it. This can lead to exponential growth in the people who “Like” your business page.
Along the same lines of people “Liking” your posts, you will notice that they begin sharing what you are putting up. If you think of a “Like” as an acknowledgment, you should think of a “Share” as an endorsement.
For example, if someone “Likes” your post, they are telling you that they see what you have posted, and it has caught their interest. When they “Share” the same post, they can write a message about how interested they are. Additionally, when they share your post, they are basically telling their friends that it might interest them as well.
This is a great way to gain even more customers for your business. For this reason, it is essential to encourage your current followers to share your posts with their friends, on their Facebook timelines.
Twitter is a great way to spread the word about your business. Not only does it help your current customers see everything that you are doing, if they retweet your posts, everyone who follows them will see it.
Twitter, unlike Facebook, allows a greater audiences to at least notice your business. You may find that you have orders coming in from across the globe once you really start a Twitter presence.
Reviews can be bad or good, but they are always essential. Therefore, strong customer service is essential when it comes to social media. Many potential customers are apprehensive about buying from a company that doesn’t have any reviews, because it implies that no one is interested, or the business is “too new” (which doesn’t mean it’s bad, but it has no credibility yet).
For this reason, it is important for you to encourage your customers to write reviews. Ask them to tell you what you can do better, and what you are doing better than anyone else. This will attract attention of potential customers.
When it comes to getting poor reviews online, make sure you respond to the concerns of your customers. If your personality didn’t mesh well with a customer’s personality, go ahead and respond to his or her review in a professional manner.
If you get a poor review based on the performance of an employee, respond to that customer by inviting him or her back to your place of business, and offer some form of incentive. For example, you might say, “Dave, I’m sorry your experience with [business name] was less than satisfactory. I would like to invite you back for a discounted massage with another one of our massage therapists.”
Even if this particular customer is combative after you reach out to him, your other potential customers will see that you are making an effort. Additionally, they will see that you act as a professional without defensive posturing (because nothing turns a customer off more than a business owner who is rude to customers who already had a rude experience).
Take the comments seriously, because your potential customers will take the comments seriously. If a customer received a damaged product, work with them to create a strong return policy.
If your customers had a wonderful experience, make sure you continue doing things right.
Comments can work the same as reviews, but they can also work the same as “Shares.” Comments are important to help you gain and maintain a customer following. For this reason, it is essential for you to encourage your customers to make comments on your business page, your photos, or your individual postings.
When a customer comments on one of your posts, everyone who “Likes” your page will be able to see it, and all of their “Friends” can see it as well. It is almost like a review, but no one has to go looking for it.
Getting your business out there on social media is a great way to gain customers through inexpensive advertising. Make sure you are attracting your customers with well-formatted posts, and that you respond to customer questions and complaints. This is a great way to show potential customers how well you run your business and how much you appreciate their support. Are you going to use social media to help you advertise your business? Share with us in the comments below!