How to Run an Effective Small Business Social Media Program

Local Lighthouse sets up our clients with major social media sites so they have an advantage over the companies that do not have a social media presence. Communication is a critical component in small business, with today’s consumers preferring to interact via social networks. The University at Buffalo School of Management released the results of a study in 2013 which showed that customers who interacted via a company’s social media program visited five percent more often.

Most business’ goal on social media is to get the consumer to go to their website, so they just post often with links to their website or blog. This is ineffective because many people view this as spam and will not engage companies that use this practice. Consumers want to engage companies on the social network itself. The 2013 study results showed that companies should craft custom messages that encourage interaction. That interaction strengthens the bond between the consumer and the company.

When crafting a post it is important is to ask other users to reply. For example, on Facebook, there is plenty of space in a post to ask for the consumer what their opinion was on the topic or at least say “leave a comment below.” Twitter, on the other hand requires a little more work, since you are limited to 140 characters, you must interact by responding often so they know that they can engage you.

When posting, a good policy is to include a mix of images, text and links, and then see which tactic works better for your particular business. Once you have a feel for what your audience wants, do not stop the other tactics but simply do them a little less. On Facebook they have recently changed to a pay-to- play model, which means you will need to advertise just to reach your own audience, those who have liked the page. For example, only a certain number of the people that have liked your page will see your posts without advertising. They do reward you for having posts that engage by showing more of your posts to your audience. Those are just a few additional considerations when using Facebook.

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