How do you establish a good social media strategy for a locally owned independent small business?

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Many small businesses don’t realize the potential of social media. Worse, they don’t understand the significance or even the relevance of social media. It is presumed by many that social media is for large businesses or those companies that require a statewide, nationwide or global audience. Social media is not for local shops, so stands the perception of millions of small business owners. This kind of thinking needs to be debunked. Social media is relevant, helpful and very significant for independent small businesses.

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  • Social media will help a small business to get the desired exposure. State one medium that will give you an immediate exposure to millions of people, that too across the country and around the world!
  • Even if you have such a medium, compare it with social media and assess the costs as well as the impact. Social media will win the comparison hands down. There is no easier way to connect with your target audience. Small businesses don’t need to reach out to a million people. But the target audience which is confined to a neighborhood or perhaps a city will also be on the various social media sites. The local small businesses don’t have to reach out to a million people. They can just cater to those who are in the area and using social media.
  • Social media has the power to form and shape opinion. It can allow a startup to become a sensation and one wrong step for a major conglomerate can cost it millions in dwindling sales. The influence is the biggest reason why small businesses should use social media. Local shops can have people writing great reviews of its products, the service and perhaps the entire experience. From cafes, retail boutiques, barber shops, restaurants and craft breweries; positive reviews benefit every small business. Social media also has a tendency to make things go viral. A great offer put forth by a local small business can go viral. There can be overwhelming response. The entire stock can get sold out in no time. It could be online sales, offline sales or a bit of both. Social media will amplify any initiative that a small business takes.
  • Social media helps with marketing, advertising, search engine optimization, promotions and sales. Social media is also useful for branding. In fact, it is the only avenue that a small business can use for branding without spending a fortune, often without spending anything.
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Small business growth requires efficient and effective social media marketing. It is very possible to revitalize your social media marketing strategies without hiring an extremely expensive marketing department. Small business marketing means reaching out to the customers who will really invest in your product or service and keeping them posted regularly about what's happening with your business.

What are some good tips for scaling a business?

1. Get the most out of Facebook marketing.

  • Change your banner often.
  • Update your photo gallery.
  • Make friends with other small businesses- they too are potential customers!
  • Respond to any comments, questions or messages as soon as possible.

2. Tweet like a pro.

  • Create hashtags about your products and services.
  • Include trending hashtags in your tweet.
  • Tell a joke.
  • Use the free online tools to craft the best possible tweet easily.
  • Send as many holiday greetings as possible.
  • Always tweet about new blog posts, Instagram, Facebook posts, or any changes to your website.

3. Search Engine Optimize your website and blog posts.

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) means effective repetition of key search terms within your text to boost your ranking in search engines so that your site is near the top of the first page.
  • Free online SEO tools allow you to check the percentage of keywords in your blog or webtext. Your goal is to have keywords repeated at a frequency between 6-10%.
  • Review your website content and consider rewriting with search engine optimization in mind.
  • Check all new blog posts for search engine optimization using one of the free online tools available.

4. Use your online platforms to offer a gift at least once a week.

  • Hold weekly contests offering a discount on a product or service.
  • Offer free shipping for viewers that comment and like your posts.
  • Create a how-to article related to your small business.
  • Offer a recipe for a simple dessert, always include a photograph.
  • Consider investing in branded items for this purpose- fridge magnets, calenders, pens, etc.

5. Craft and publish an attention grabbing weekly press release.

  • There is always news about your business!
  • Introduce new employees, celebrate accomplishments, announce the purchase of new equipment, announce new services.
  • Use proper press release format.
  • Press releases keep your small business website vibrant and active.
  • Link your press release to your facebook, twitter and other social media accounts
  • When you have some great business news, send your press release directly to local tv, newspaper, and radio stations- it might become a news item that they mention.
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Implementing changes to your small business social media marketing strategies by focusing on the 5 savvy social media tips mentioned above will bring you immediate and measurable business improvement!

Hope this helps! Check us out for more small business tips.