13 Ways for Small Businesses to Build a Powerful Social Media Presence

Social media is leveling the playing field for small businesses. With an effective social media presence, a small business can build their online visibility and ultimately remain competitive with the big boys. In short, social media marketing has completely shifted the way businesses are marketing themselves.

But to get the most out of your social media campaign, you have to make sure you’re going about things the right way. If you just blindly rush into social media marketing, you could end up doing more harm to your brand than good.

Follow these tips for building an effective social media presence for your small business.

  1. Do Your Research- The first step to any marketing campaign is to do your research. With social media marketing, this means analyzing all of the different social media sites to determine which best suits your needs. When studying these sites, take note of what types of stories go hot and what kind of audience uses the site.

  2. Get to Know the Community- To build an effective social media presence, you need to spend the time getting to know the community. This means not signing up and promoting your content right off the bat. Instead, spend a few weeks interacting with other users by jumping in the comments section and voting on stories of interest. It’s social media—Be Social!

  3. Help Other Users- Your end goal in social media marketing is to increase your online visibility, but you have to help others if you ever want that to happen. You can’t be successful all by yourself. So, submit other users’ content, vote and comment on other users’ stories. By lending a helping hand to others, you’ll be more likely to get help when you need it.

  4. Focus on the Headline- The headline is the key to your content’s success. Without a compelling headline, your stories will never get the attention they deserve. Each social media site has its own style of headline that performs well. For the most part, list headlines (like “10 steps for …”) tend to make people interested in reading the article.

  5. Create Great Content- Once you have a strong headline, you have to follow it up with great content. Your content needs to be useful, engaging, and easy to scan. It should be something that people want to share with their friends. A compelling headline with engaging content can spread like wildfire on a social media site.

  6. Use the Buttons- This should be a fairly obvious step, but many bloggers tend to ignore it. Include the social media buttons at the top or bottom of each article. This will make it easier for your users to vote for your content on social media sites. The easier you make things for your audience, the more success you’ll have with online marketing.

  7. Stick with It- Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your social media campaign. The top social media users have spent years learning what it takes to be successful on these sites. You have to be committed to your social media marketing campaign for the long-term. Stick with it and it will pay off eventually.

  8. Revise Your Plan- While you need to be committed to a long-term social media campaign, you also need to tweak your strategies occasionally. It’s like Einstein said “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” So, be willing to revise your social media strategies to produce more successful results.

  9. Be Ready for Hot Content- After you stick with it for a while, you’re bound to have some content go hot. If you aren’t ready for it, you could miss out on valuable linking opportunities and spikes in traffic. First, you need to ensure you have a hosting plan that’s ready for sudden surges in traffic. You don’t want to hit the front page of Digg only to have your server crash. Additionally, you need to be ready to publish another blog to give new readers something fresh to look at.

  10. Update Blog Regularly- One of the keys to being successful with your blogging efforts is to update your content regularly. How can you expect to build a following if you only update a couple of times a month when you find time. To gain any attention with your blog, you need to post quality content on a regular basis. This keeps readers coming back to your site regularly.

  11. Always Be Relevant- Relevance is a must for social media success. Look at the front page of any major social media site, and you’ll see nearly every hot topic is related to a current topic. You can’t be successful by rehashing old ideas that have been done 1000 times before. Stay on the cutting edge of hot industry topics, and you’ll experience significant social media success.

  12. Don’t Be a Salesman- Even though the ultimate purpose of social media marketing is to increase your visibility and bottom line, you don’t want to be a salesman. Don’t go to these sites trying to push your services down everyone’s throat. That will just make you look like a spammer. Instead, focus on providing the community with useful information, and everything else will fall into place.

  13. Respond to Comments- One of the best ways you can improve your reader retention is to interact with your commentators. Whenever someone posts a comment on your blog, take the time to respond thoughtfully to them. Don’t just say “thanks for commenting!” Instead, engage the commentator with your unique insight, and they’ll be likelier to become a regular reader of your blog.

Is your small business thinking about building a social media presence? What steps have you taken to boost your online visibility? Tell me about them in the replies!

This is a guest post provided by Digital Labz a Social Media Agency