There are so many social media uses that you almost can’t count them. If you google the phrase “small business social media” you get 3,910,000,000 results.
Some of the titles are “7 Ways to Boost Your Small Business on Facebook”, “61 Best Social Media Tools for Small Business” and “19 Social Media Marketing Solutions for Small Businesses”.
That’s all fine and dandy. So you set up your Twitter, your Facebook, your LinkedIn, your Pinterest and Instagram. Maybe you even set up a FourSquare account or Hi5.
So now what do you do? You posted a couple of status updates, got a few likes or follows or connections but how is this supposed to help your business?
Today I am going to walk you through some (ok 4) social media uses that can help grow your small business.
1. Increase Brand Awareness
Social media is a great avenue to let people know that you exist and that you are there to serve them.
The major social media platforms have more than 3.5 billion users and there are many ways to leverage tools so that you can find the people who are interested in what you have to offer.
I have a quick example to help illustrate this. Mrs. Geek and I were at Social Media Day Phoenix on Friday.
During the panel discussion, one of the attendees Brian Fanzo of iSocialFanz.com shared a story about a brand increasing his awareness.
He had tweeted that he needed a coffee. Moments later he received a tweet from Dunkin Donuts with a coupon for 25% off a coffee at any of their locations.
He said that he would always get coffee at Dunkin Donuts now because they took the time to help him out.
This is creating brand awareness at its best. It’s not as if Brian didn’t know that Dunkin Donuts served coffee but they took the time to show him their services in a unique way (not just a sponsored post or ad) and gained a customer for life.
2. Customer Service
Social Media has become the place where people post when they are happy (or unhappy) with a service or product.
Many times they won’t even post directly to the company but by the use of hashtags (# before a word) they will make their feelings known. One of the most powerful social media uses is customer service.
For example, if you run a quick search on twitter for #StarbucksSucks you will see this:
You can use your imagination as to hashtags that you could use to search out information on your company. On top of that many will come directly to you by one of your social media outlets to let you know what you did right or wrong.
You can use social media to remedy these issues quickly and let the world see that you are focused on service.
You can leverage social media to find out new services or products that your fans/followers would like you to offer.
Skype does this beautifully through Facebook. They ask their fans for ideas for features they’d like to see on Skype in the future. Then they let their users know if any of the ideas they have suggested are under consideration.
How awesome is that? Who knows better what your followers want than your followers themselves. You can go right to the source and see what people want.
Maybe they would like a Jalapeno flavour of ice cream but the only way you will know is if you ask…this is one of the best social media uses.
4. Brand Personality
One of the best social media uses is showing your brand personality. This is where Small Businesses can really shine. People work with small businesses for a variety of reasons but one is because small businesses don’t have that corporate feel.
Play this up through your social media channels. Show people who you (and your company) are a living, breathing thing that has feelings, likes and dislikes. This can really help your business come alive in the minds of your fans.
A great example of this is Intel. Can there be a more boring company? Probably but Intel is not in the most thrilling industry yet their Twitter feed is always putting out funny posts like this:
If a computer processor manufacturer can poke a bit of fun at themselves and make things entertaining then you should be able to also.
The Pay Off
So here we have looked at a few of the social media uses that can help your business grow without purchasing ads or even talking about what you do (which are both ok and we will be covering in later posts). Big businesses are doing this every day and you can too.
The beauty of Social Media is that it completely levels the playing field. It doesn’t matter that a company like Nike has a $1 gazillion (this may or may not be the actual amount) to spend on marketing because on social media you can play on the same field as the Yankees and beat them at their own game.
Until next time!