Get Social: How To Best Use Social Media For Your Small Business

This is a guest post by the guys over at Zepo, a Mumbai based startup which  helps people and businesses to set up their own e-commerce store fronts in a simple and easy way. 

There is a great hype about using social media for your business. And it’s not vain. Social media can help you interact with your audience like never before.

Doing business just got personal. Your customers don’t just want to buy from you, they also want to talk to you. They want to know what you do and why you do it. And there is no better platform than social media, to talk to them about it.

And don’t let your apprehensions get the better of you. Handling social media is fairly easy and once you get into it, it’ll just be like second skin to you. You already are active on Facebook and maybe Twitter too. Just lend the same voice to your brand’s pages and you’re done.

But if you’re still wondering on where to start and what to do, read on. By the end of this post, we promise to:

  1. Have quashed all your reservations about using social media.
  2. Given you ideas to start with.
  3. And made you ready to take social media head on for your business.

1. How to make Facebook work for you?

a. Say it with a picture

What grabs your attention? The poster with the quote or the status update with the quote?

The poster, but obviously. People love images and they love sharing them; there is no denying that. So whatever you post on FB, make sure you say the same with a relevant photo.

b. Ask a question

When in doubt, ask your fans. Questions are a great way to have a conversation with your fans. Use polls on Facebook as a great tool to get customer feedback and recommendations and to learn from your fans. But before you ask them a question, ask yourself this: “Will I take time to answer this question?”. If your answer is Yes, hit Post!

c. Give away discount coupons

Why should a customer come back to your page? Apart from giving him good content, you also need to engage him. Incentivize his visits to your page. And nothing catches a customer’s interest more when they get free stuff!!! ;-)

Use Facebook Offers to create and share your discount coupons. And ask your fans too, to spread the love and share the same.

How to do create offers on Facebook

PS. Pages with 400 or more likes can create discount coupons. 

d. Give them a sneak peek into your products

Create regular photo albums, say for every new collection that comes in. And share product photos with your fans. And tell them where they can pick up the stuff by giving them a link to your online store. It will increase your customer interaction (when they comment and share) and drive more sales to your store.

e. Be relevant

You shouldn’t always sell your brand. Share content that you would’ve shared, had you been in their shoes. Keep it relevant to your brand, but make it interesting. Share a store, a funny picture, an inspiration, something that caught your attention or a quote.

f. “Share this, like that”

Give your fans a definite call to action, about what you want them to do. Like when you post a quote, instead of simply asking them to share the post, try this “Please share this message with someone who needs to hear it.”

g. Have fun

Very very important. You don’t need to sound all business like and professional. People are on social media to have fun. And if you can be playful while promoting your brand, you’re sorted. Keep it simple and light.

2. What to post on Facebook?

Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

A. Offer a tip a day

B. Share an anecdote

C. Tell them a story

D. Make a video about an upcoming event

E. Share a funny picture

F. Tell them about an interesting article

G. Share with them about what’s happening in your industry

3. When to post on Facebook?

There are lot of posts that will tell you when you should put up posts on FB to maximize returns and the frequency of your posts. But does the same apply for you? You have to decide what works best for you. Go and explore your page’s Facebook Insights. It will give you a lot of feedback regarding when do you get the most visits, how many people viewed your posts, the virality of your posts, etc. So then you can decide when do you want to upload your photos, videos and other updates, what content is giving you best interaction.

4. How soon to respond to customer queries?

Respond to customer queries and criticisms with equal interest. And add humor if you can. Don’t keep your fans waiting for a response. Make sure you respond to Facebook messages and wall posts within 12 hours. But if its Twitter, respond within the next hour or two at the most.

5. Why should you consider using Pinterest?

Pinterest is not one social media you’d want to ignore. Trust us on this. Although relatively new, Pinterest has already become the third highest traffic driver.

Pinterest is all about creating a visual content. And it may become a better engaging tool than Facebook for you, if you are a brand that has a lot to showcase in terms of photos and portfolios.

6. How to make Pinterest work for you?

A. ‘Pin’ the products you sell

B. Follow similar users

C. Create different boards around different topics

D. Promote your boards

E. Repin reviews and testimonials from your customers

F. Share funny quotes

G. Tips and tricks about your industry

H. Do-it-Yourself projects your followers can try

I. Get your customers to pin products from your online store

J. Keep it updated

K. Add Pinterest as a tab on your FB Page (How to do that?)

Go pin away! It’s time to interact with your fans!

For Further reading:

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33222/How-to-Breathe-New-Life-Into-Your-Marketing-With-Visual-Content.aspx

http://www.bitrebels.com/lifestyle/ceo-guide-to-understanding-pinterest/

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223701

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/224420

http://www.forbes.com/sites/capitalonespark/2012/12/20/9-things-businesses-shouldnt-do-on-social-media/

http://www.prnewsonline.com/watercooler/Infographic-How-Small-Businesses-Can-Use-Pinterest_17747.html

Which social media is treating you better? How did you go about garnering all those likes on your page? Tell us. 

This article was first published on Zepo’s blog

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