Social Media Platforms for Small Businesses

By: Courtney Klepsch

Are you a small business owner who wants to get started on social media but not sure where to start? With so many social outlets available, it can be overwhelming but the fact of the matter is your business should be represented online. The following information will help you decide what social media outlets are best suited for your company.

Define Your Needs for Social Media

Before you decide what social media outlets to use, think about the goals you want to accomplish with social media. Do you want to promote a product? Organize an event? Launch a business? Keeping your business goals and customers’ needs in mind will help you find the perfect social media platforms for your business.

Social Media Platforms for Businesses

Once you’ve defined your business needs for social media, consider your audience. Some social media outlets are better suited for certain audiences, while other outlets service all kinds of customers:

Facebook: Chances are most of your customers are on Facebook as it boasts more than 1.1 billion users. To get your business started on Facebook, simply create a page just for your business (keep your personal Facebook page separate). Once you have your Facebook page set up, work to get your customers to ‘like’ it. Cross promote your Facebook page on your business’s website, eblasts and marketing materials. You may want to consider purchasing a Facebook ad to get even more eyes on your page.

LinkedIn: Some think LinkedIn is just a place to find a job, keep an updated resume or network. However, LinkedIn is an excellent place to position your business as an expert in your field. Create a company page on LinkedIn and include your company’s contact information, facts about your products and services and other insight pertinent to your business. Include images and videos to really showcase your business and its expertise.

Twitter: I like to think of Twitter as the ultimate newsroom — it’s fast-paced, loud and filled with information. Create a Twitter account for your business and connect with your customers, other related businesses and even media outlets. Use Twitter to respond quickly to customer requests and complaints. Personally thank customers for their service. Create a network within your business circle and share ideas. Contact media outlets to promote your company and its products or services. Finally, use Twitter for research. See what your customers need real-time. You may find that your company can provide them with what they need.

Instagram: Instagram is another fast-paced social media outlet. Users on Instagram use images to express themselves. Help your customers visualize your products and services by posting images and video to help your business come to life. Get started with Instagram for businesses.

Pinterest: An online pin-board, Pinterest is an excellent way to share your businesses products. Create a Pinterest page for your business and promote your products and services by pinning them on boards. Get creative, have fun! Pinterest is a great way to showcase your company’s personality by using images that your customers want to see.

Yelp: If you own a restaurant or bar, your business is probably already represented on Yelp and you should be monitoring your reviews. If a negative review appears, respond in a respectful, yet helpful way. If someone gives you a rave review at your storefront, as them if they’ll share their experience on Yelp.

These social media platforms are just some of the many outlets available for your business. By considering your company’s goals and audience, your online marketing efforts

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