Small Business Saturday – Part VIII

Tip #8 focuses on getting social.

More than 9 million small businesses have Facebook accounts. Are you one of them?

Most small businesses often rely on word-of-mouth marketing to grow their businesses. The explosion of social media has made word of mouth available at an unprecedented scale. If you haven’t set up your Facebook account, now is a great time to do so. Don’t forget about other popular social sites like Twitter and LinkedIn. These tools can help you build a relationship with your customers.

Of course, it’s not enough just to create your sites; you have to make them work for your business. Include your social media links or addresses throughout your store, on any correspondence with customers, in all marketing materials, even on invoices and account statements.

Optimize your site for “likes,” too. Facebook has boosted the visibility of users’ “likes” by adding thumbnails and meta data from its Open Graph Protocol, meaning that getting a page “liked” on your Website will improve your visibility in newsfeeds. Make sure you have a like button incorporated throughout your Website — Facebook has a button tool that will let you create and customize the button for your site.

If you have never tweeted before, now is a great time to start. Tweeting can be easy and fun when you talk about what you know best: your business, your industry and your expertise. As you build a list of followers, use hashtags (#) with industry terms so that you extend your reach to terms people are following on Twitter. You also can extend your reach by having your tweets posted to your LinkedIn account, thereby adding visibility to your LinkedIn network and offering multiple ways for your customers to engage with you.

Customers really do want to hear from you. The most important thing to consider when using social media is to be authentic. Engage with your customers and followers in a way that feels genuine. You’ll build profitable relationships that will last.

Be sure to download our e-booklet, How To Maximize Small Business Saturday.  Don’t miss out on preparing your business for this lucrative time of year.