Social media marketing doesn't have to be complicated. It just needs to be effective. Determining the right platform for your business is the key.
There are many social media platforms and more being introduced every day. The decision about which one or ones to use is often a matter of how much time you have to devote to social media marketing as a small business. Also an important factor is the type of business you have and your target market (B2B or B2C).
Ignoring social media is a sure way to get left behind. Even if you just pick one platform and do it very well, you're making progress.
Facebook offers wonderful low cost marketing opportunities for small business. Facebook had 526 million daily active users on average in March 2012. Facebook is powerful platform on which to build your company's online presence.
You can register a Business Account or you can consider a Business Fan Page. A Fan Page lets you create a page where customers or fans of your business can register as a “fan”. Fan Pages are FREE!
Advertising on Facebook is another way to engage with Facebook users. People have a better experience when ads are relevant and useful.
You can engage your target audience by incorporating social context into your ads - such as displaying when someone’s friend has liked your Facebook Page. This seems to work extremely well with the platform, giving your ads a more social feel.
You can ask Facebook to show ads to an audience based on demographic factors such as location, age, gender, education, work history and the interests people have chosen to share on Facebook. Facebook does this in an anonymous way so advertisers don’t know the individuals who see their ads.
Twitter connects businesses to customers in real time and businesses use Twitter to quickly share information with people interested in their products and services, gather real-time market intelligence and feedback, and build relationships with customers, partners and influencers. From brand lift to CRM to direct sales, Twitter offers businesses an easy way to reach an engaged audience and it's FREE!
Twitter is based on small bursts of information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters long. You can post photos, videos and conversations directly in Tweets to tell the whole story at a glance.
If you haven’t signed up on Twitter, you should sign up today and reserve an account in the name of your business. While you might tweet in your own name, you’ll want to have the option to tweet from a business account. You don’t want your competitors to register your business name.
Blogging is another social platform for small business promotion. Blogging is a great way to grow your audience, but its biggest drawback is that it takes time to develop content and post blogs on a consistent basis.
You should consider reserving a domain name for your blog. You can set up a blog directly at Wordpress.com. They make it very easy.
One of the newest platforms is Pinterest. It is one of the fastest growing social media platforms for businesses. Many companies are using Pinterest to reach more people and increase their website traffic.
Hubspot offers a great EBook about this new platform. To learn how to increase traffic, leads and sales by reaching more than 11 million people on Pinterest download their FREE guide "How to Use Pinterest for Business"
These are just a few examples of how social media marketing can grow your small business. If you would like to learn more visit our Resource Center for more great tips and information.