Small Business Owner Tips - Should You Be On Social Media?

This article from Imogen Reed, writing on behalf of money.co.uk, which is a site that compares household expense items like insurance, utilities etc, list consumers deals and provide personal finance tips and advice. I was initially not going to let Imogen post an article on my blog but once I saw the website he was writing for I changed my mind as it is website that is very helpful and similar to a business idea I had prior to starting Profitworks. The website is very well designed and is very easy to use. I am actually a little jealous of the site. It also have very good social media integration. For a small business it has also been decently successful on social media gaining 632 Facebook Likes, 1,852 Twitter followers and 43 +1 recommendations on Google+ at this time of writing. What better a person to review if being on social media is beneficial for small businesses then someone who is associated with a small business that has implemented social media.

 

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Should You Have A Social Media Presence?

In a recent survey on how businesses have tapped into social media it was revealed that as much as 94% of companies have no social media presence at all. Given that that the majority of customers the world over are constantly accessing social media to share and update information it seems astounding that this resource has not been more openly accessed by the commercial sector. Conversely the 6% of businesses, who have accessed this method of customer communication, point to substantial revenues they have achieved through cleverly deploying their products on social media websites. One study incates that businesses with a social media presence on average grow revenues 216% faster than companies that are not on social media. To read more check out the Aite Group Advisory Survey. If you want to grow revenues, being on social media is a good idea.

 

Are Social Networks Really That Important?

If a customer is looking to find information on anything, whether it be a bicycle insurance comparison in the case of money.co.uk, or details of an offer or a promotion for any business, a high likely hood one place people will look is on the pages of their preferred social network. This may be just to ask their friends where they would look or an actual search within the social media networks for the product. Many people have a social network set as their default homepage. Employees in almost all workplaces will access a social network at least once during their working day. The person who walked past you in the street staring at their smartphone was probably catching up on something someone had posted via a social network or a blog of one kind or another.

Given the vast magnitude of the social network phenomenon, and the relatively short time for this development, it is not a surprise that businesses have not properly tapped into this resource. In addition there is a tremendous amount of customer information to be gained from a social network that you can use to further improve your marketing efforts. Social Networks offer the ability to deliver information instantly. If you want to be first to connect with your prospective customers then using a social network is a sure fire way to win that race.

 

Should I Be On Facebook Or Is That Only For Personal Use?

When we talk about social networks obviously the first one that you must consider in terms of finding customers is Facebook. For some time Facebook was resistant to being used for advertising. They have now embraced the corporate aspect of the network and recognised that in addition to chatting and sharing videos Facebook users are interested in products and were quite receptive to advertising.

As a result they have enabled Facebook business accounts. If a customer asks “are you on Facebook?” you don’t have to worry about revealing your intimate family photographs, just point them to your Facebook business page. Via the Facebook help centre you can get clear and detailed instructions on how to set up the pages and have a Facebook presence for your business in under 20 minutes. Once you have a Facebook business page you can work to start getting people to "Like" your page and then communicate to those people through creating posts on your page.

Once you have one customer and they like your business or product this information is revealed to all of those in that person’s friends and family lists on Facebook. These people are therefore all potential new customers. Getting someone to like you is the key idea here. As soon as anyone has clicked on the big thumbs up symbol, your product has got a stamp of approval that carries social proof with everyone that person knows. With the like feature there is the potential that the floodgates will open to a lot of new people finding out about your business and to potentially attract a lot of new customers.

Facebook contains many neat features. One important feature is Edge Rank. This is an invisible feature which is unique to each user. It is basically a set of algorithms which checks on who is commenting, posting and liking on whose pages. The results of this information are closely guarded within Facebook but it does give Facebook key information on performances. The idea behind Edge Rank is that the higher your Edge Rank, the more people that will see that particular person's activity. There is also Edge Rank for businesses pages so you want to work to get the highest Edge Rank possible for your page. In order to beef you Edge Rank there are a number of techniques and the most important of which is to encourage people to add comments to your page.

 

Is Facebook The Only Social Network That I Should Use To Access New Customers?

Statistically Facebook is way ahead of its competitors in the social network stakes and it has done a considerable amount to ensure that it remains the number one internet venue for people to meet, mingle, share ideas and chat, but it is by no means the only one. Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbeldUpon, Youtube, flickr and Pinterest are just a few of the names that crop up when you look for a variety of social networks online. The best policy in capturing new customers is to get onto as many social networks as you have the capacity for. It is important in this process though to not overstretch yourself. Using social media requires constant attention. Your customers are always on the sites so it is really important that you are updating regularly and always look busy and efficient. If you can't keep on with all of them focus on the top 2 or 3 that you feel would be most relevant for your target market and do a really good job on those social media networks, instead of trying to be on all of them and doing a poor job on each one.

 

What Is Google+ And Is It Going To Replace Facebook?

In terms of close rivals, Facebook may be facing some stiff opposition from Google through the launch of the social network arm of Google products; Google+. Facebook has a considerable lead on Google+ in terms of the number of users. Google+ offers very similar features in terms of the ability to chat and upload content, but it has as yet not shown significant inroads into Facebook membership. The Google team have continually put forward new innovations and ideas in this respect but their major problem is the hold that Facebook has over the universal market. Once people have their content uploaded and shared, extricating it and sharing it in a different environment is problematic so there would need to be a major incentive to move anything across. Google+ does have the advantage of being integrated into other Google products so Google+ may become as prominent as Facebook or even more so in the future but only time will tell. Google+ is another free social media network though that you can use to attract new customers at no cost. Similar to Facebook it only makes sense to have a presence for your business on this network.

 

Should Your Business Be On Social Media

I think it is clear, all businesses should be on social media because they make more people find out about your company. If you have a good product or service being on social media will only lead to more new customers and increased revenues. Given most social medias sites only take a few minutes to set up and not very much time to maintain, they are a great free way to promote your business.

 

Thank-you Imogen for writing this article. I think it does a great job of answering some of the common questions many small businesses owners have about social media.

 

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My name is . I work at Profitworks Small Business Services helping various B2B small businesses in Waterloo and Kitchener Ontario generate new customers. Feel free to connect with me on or if you are just interested in getting new customers for your B2B small businesses enter your email in the box provided below and click the "Send Me Free Updates" button.

 

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Other Articles You Might Be Interested In

 

1. Use Google+ To Bring Traffic To Your Website By The Boat Load

2. Using Social Media Contests Boosts Customer Referrals

3. How To Use Facebook To Advertise Your Business

4. Top Ten Marketing Books For Small Business Owners

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