Posted on January 27, 2014 by Donna Price, Marketing Strategist & Business Consultant
In today’s web-based market, social media is the most popular communication tool. However, just because social media sites are located online it doesn’t mean they can’t be a tool to help drive local customers to your offline business.
In fact, you can use social media to showcase your expertise about your industry, which helps build trust and credibility with your followers. You can establish your expert status using social media as part of your strategy.
By becoming a trusted resource for existing and potential customers, they are more likely to bond with your company and keep you in mind when they need your type of product or service. Sharing your expertise online gives your current customers and your prospects a way of staying in touch. You are staying on their “radar” so to speak.
Sites such has Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn are all fairly common social media platforms that customers across the spectrum tend to use. However, its best for you to do some research first to see which social media platforms your target audience is more likely to use.
Once you determine that, use these platforms to build your audience then, give your followers and fans helpful tips and information on a consistent basis. This is a good way to avoid being all about promotions, which can turn people in your network off.
Also stay active on your social media sites so you do not lose your audiences attention. Focus on posting content that they want to see. Re-post and share content that you think will be relevant and helpful to your customers. Sharing content that is not yours but is valuable to your target market is appreciated by people that “follow” you.
Be sure to encourage social media followers to answer questions and start conversations on your social media page this will help your company name show up on feeds around the network. By engaging with your contacts you are able to continue to demonstrate that you know your stuff and that people value your opinion.
For example, if you own a fitness center, consider posting weight loss tips on your social media accounts. Also in your posts, prompt your audience to ask you any questions about things they are struggling with. Answering questions is a great way to engage with your customers and prospects, again, building your expert status along the way. You can include resources that you like but it shouldn’t all be about sales.
The first step in any social media campaign is to set up your pages, with your businesses name and exact location this way, its easy for consumers to find you. Even if you aren’t sure if you’re ready to launch a social media campaign, go ahead and claim your company name on every social networking site you may use in the future. I have many people that think that Twitter and Pinterest aren’t right for their business. BUT, what I am saying here is go and set up the account, claim your name and hold it in the event that you decide that they are and protect them from others taking them.
You can individually sign up for your company name on different individual sites, or use services such as Check Usernames or NameCheck to see if the company username you are interested in is available. If the company username you are looking for is still around, make sure you grab it right away.
Social media provides your company with an opportunity to show the public that you know your stuff this is powerful for getting more foot traffic into your establishment.
Which social media sites are you using now and which ones are you unsure of?
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