A new survey by PeoplePerHour.com has revealed that a massive 91% of small businesses are now using social media for business purposes. This is up from a figure of 60% recorded in the previous year’s survey. Businesses have reported using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for recruitment, marketing and finding new business. PeoplePerHour.com founder Xenios Thrasyvoulou says this demonstrates how Facebook has become an ‘increasingly crucial technology’ for business.
Does this mean you cannot succeed as a small or micro business today without a Facebook presence or regular tweets? The answer will of course depend on where your customers are likely to be spending their time. And equally whether you as a small business realistically have the time to devote to doing it properly.
Using Facebook or Twitter will not transform your bottom line overnight, but here are a few simple ways that social media could benefit your small or micro business…
- Keep your existing customers up to date with your products and services, and ask for feedback on new offerings.
- Enhance and improve your business’s reputation – by interacting with your customers in a positive and helpful way.
- Give your business a personal touch by introducing the names and faces behind the logo, remember that customers like to buy from people they know, so send out content which lets customers get to know the philosophy and values behind your business.
- Promote your business to a wider audience. The internet offers an almost infinite number of potential new ‘word of mouth’ customers. Every time a customer chooses to share or like your content, they are promoting your business for you!
- Encourage and invite customers to comment on your content – each positive comment, retweet or ‘like’ is a free piece of advertising.
- Carry out customer polls on your Facebook page, and publish or tweet the results as an interesting news story.
- Build customer loyalty with special offers and discounts.
- Network with other like-minded businesses.
- Try it out for free! It takes time to build up a Facebook or Twitter following, but it doesn’t cost anything to try it out…
Next week… Social media: small business dos and don’ts.