Understanding Social Media
Nothing in small business marketing is changing as fast as social media. Far from just a way for teenagers to share pictures and you to catch up with your college classmates, social media is one of the most dynamic and powerful forces in marketing today. You can’t afford to be without a small business social media presence. You’ve heard of Facebook and Twitter, possibly LinkedIn and Instagram too, but there are dozens. Some more focused in one area or type of content than another. For example, LinkedIn concentrates on linking together businesspeople and professionals. Pinterest concentrates on pictures, while Twitter uses small amounts of text and basic graphics.
What Is It Really?
It’s a collective term for a number of ways to share information with others. Text, pictures, links to interesting information, pretty much anything. But the power of social media is in the sharing aspect of it. And in the sharing, there is the implicit “recommendation” of the content to others in the network. It is from that sharing and recommending that the power of small business social media comes.
Click to read: What Social Media Users Do And How It Benefits Your Business
What Social Media Users Do And How It Benefits Your Business
When social media users find content they are interested in, a story, a picture, a link to a website, they take action. For Facebook users, they “like” a page (a page is like a mini-website) and those on the Facebook network with them, their “friends”, are notified.
There’s that recommendation: one of your friends liked this, and they let all their friends know.
That sharing, and the recommendation that it implies, are what makes small business social media so powerful and makes it such an important part of any small business marketing plan.
For people on Twitter, they find something they like and they “retweet” it to all their “followers”. These are pretty much different words for the same thing.
Each social network has a different term for allowing members of the network to effectively “endorse” or “recommend” content posted by others, as well as to offer an even higher level of endorsement by “sharing” it with their friends.
Click to read: Going Viral...Is That Contagious?
Going Viral…Is That Contagious?
Again, a sharing and a recommendation, in a sense. And you’ve heard the term “viral”, and probably figured out what it meant. But how does it happen?
You probably remember the old story of the “penny every day, doubled every day” as being very good pay indeed. A tweet going viral is just that, as more and more people retweet (or share on Facebook, etc.) the content, activity grows exponentially—like a virus.
Summing Up What It Can Do For Your Business
In total, what can small business social media do for your small business marketing?
Simply put, there are three ways, all important, that social media can help your business:
- It helps you engage more customers. It’s a different place for prospects to find your business. And some younger demographic groups like to become exposed to new products & services through social media.
- It’s a very flexible vehicle for small business marketing. The dynamic nature of content in social media lends itself to things limited time promotions, A/B testing of new products/services, customer surveys, and the creation of customer ‘communities’.
- It grows your website’s search ranking. For a number of years Google has considered social media activity in website rankings.
When it comes to small business social media, any of these benefits is important enough by itself, but taken together make it a critical part of any small business marketing strategy.