Social Media and Small Business – Part 1of 3

Over the course of the next two weeks I want to dig deep into the world of social media and how small businesses should be approaching it. I also want to take a step further in developing concrete ideas on how social media, email marketing and automated marketing can work together in the best interest of small businesses.

Social Media and Small Business - Part 1of 3Let’s start with Twitter.

Twitter is a fast paced mode of communication. With only 140 characters to use, content is quickly picked up by followers and then quickly transitioned to the next fragment of information. According to Ed Henrich of Clickz, businesses use twitter for community, brand and business.

Community
Education through content is a powerful way to create a community. The people that are going to follow you want to know about your products and services, but don’t want to necessarily be the other end of a sales pitch. Teach your community about who you are through education rather than promotion. You want to provide content that people will want to explore and retweet. Webinars, cases studies, live demos, articles, press release, events, giveaways, blog posts and white papers are all valuable content to be shared. Actively engage your community by lending this content their way.

Brand
Your brand is what sets you apart from your competitors. What is unique to your company that you can relay to your community and the greater public? Small businesses especially have their own personalities in how they go about building their business. The challenge of using Twitter is how you can share your personality in 140 characters or less. Embrace the personality you know true to your company. Choose the most passionate people in your company to be the spokespersons of your social media efforts.

Business
Through applications such as TweetDeck, twitter.search.com, twellow and much more, you have the ability of listening and reacting to your industry at large. You can find people looking for products/services similar to yours. Since twitter is a public space you can reach out to them and start a friendly conversation about your business. You can also pay attention to your followers’ excitements, concerns and questions about your business and products/services and react to them appropriately. And remember, when someone shares negative feedback about your company the best way to deal with it is to react to it with professional grace as soon as possible.

Final thought: Community, brand and business are established when you can effectively and creatively drive people back to your content hub, whether that is your website, blog or something else. By this, you are able to ultimately control the content and messaging of your company that is relayed to your community and the public which in turn provides people with the opportunity to seek out your products and services.

We also want to hear from you! Do you have any questions to ask about the use of Twitter? What is your experience with social media thus far?

 

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