Disclosure: Post sponsored by Comcast Small Business, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.
Social media has changed the way business is conducted all over the world. From customer service and reviews to direct communication with your customers, this new medium has created immense opportunities for small businesses. At first, social media looks like one big headache. I’ll admit it. Even for seasoned pros, it’s hard to keep up with all the latest changes from the established players like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram and that doesn’t even take into account sites such as Snapchat, Periscope, Vine and a many others. Where to begin?
If you have a few minutes, head over to the Comcast Business community page and watch this webinar that provides tips and advice on how to use social media to increase sales.
Go where your prospects and customers are
You don’t need to be everywhere, for Chris Austin @chrisaustinart, that’s Instagram. The Toronto painter published a picture of his creations to the site and sells them almost immediately. He has very cool paintings and sculptures that move almost as soon as they are posted to his account. He’s built a following of over fourteen thousand fans and this has helped.
What’s the medium for your business to attract customers? For some businesses that’s YouTube, where they can provide detailed explanations of the features and functions for their product and for some others a simple Facebook post will do. It helps to understand the demographics of the users on the different social networks.
Promote and Target
Use the promotional advertising capabilities of the different social networks to get in front of your audience. Don’t rely on simply posting your product or content, set aside some budget for promoting those posts and putting them in front of your audience. Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram have very good targeting capabilities that can isolate a demographic group, target based on actions, age group and even interests. This can be very useful if you are selling a product that’s catered to a specific interest group or to people that live in a region. Explore the options and combinations, they can be very comprehensive.
Listen for feedback
Use a site such as Social Mention. Customers may be already talking about your products and services positively or negatively. Find out and join the conversation, it’s in your best interest.
Don’t forget your analytics
At the end, as small business owners, we want the cash register to ring and analytics packages such a Google Analytics can help educate us about our audience, where they are coming from, the parts of the site they are visiting, the devices they are using and be able to deduct why they are making a purchasing decision or not. You can get an enormous amount of information from analytics and I’ve talked to many small business owners that go in, think it’s too complicated and don’t come back.
For small business owners, social media is worth putting the effort into. As Comcast Business’ webinar explains, social media has the potential to catapult your business, get you new clients and prospects and increase your sales. Ignore at your own peril.