by Paula on October 27, 2010

Social Media can seem daunting to small businesses. Given the time and commitment it requires it will often be necessary to get support to get it up and running and manage it properly and to make this step, you need to feel comfortable in understanding what it can offer.

Here I list 14 of the opportunities Social Media can offer your business to provide you with some idea of the huge potential of this new marketing media.

  1. You can offer people a sneak preview of new products or services – tempt them and get them talking in advance!
  2. You can do online market research, putting your ideas to current and prospective clients and getting feedback and opinion
  3. Be an expert – seek opportunities to help and advise and build respect for yourself and your brand.
  4. You will sometimes find people criticising your product or service, use this constructively and provide feedback or reassurance so negativity has no chance to escalate.
  5. Do it well – you either have the time and skills to give to doing a great job yourself, or find someone who you can outsource that to. Ensure that the person doing it for you has taken time and effort to really understand your business and your goals.
  6. Run a company blog to let clients feel that they are getting an insight into your daily activity and getting to know the people behind the brand.
  7. Research your current clients and those you’d like to have as clients – who are they and where are they? Ensure that your presence on the Social Media network is targeting the right audience.
  8. If you are clear about what your company does then make sure your clients are. Do you have a mission statement? What is your reason for being? Broadcast this via Social Media and provide clarity on your company and your brand.
  9. Get your current clients to talk about you on Social Media. Recommend them and speak well of them and they will return the favour.
  10. Look for new staff on Social Media. See how potential recruits portray themselves and use your networks on Linkedin to gain recommendations or people referrals.
  11. Twitter is a great way for broadcasting special offers and discounted prices. Use other forums and your website to promote your Twitter special deals and as people become aware that you will be doing this, your followers will grow.
  12. Remember that Social Media is about building following, engaging with people, not about the hard-sell. Build trust and relationships and save the hard-sell for other advertising media.
  13. Don’t just connect with clients. Use the networks as a way to form better relations with your suppliers and subcontractors too. Recommend them and support them and it will strengthen your business relationships.
  14. Remember that you don’t need big budgets to be a great success in Social Media. Using these networks is open to all and you can have a presence that holds your own or outshines larger competitors.

I hope this provides some insight and reassurance on how Social Media can offer your small business great oppportunities. If you want to talk through any of this or share some ideas for your business, do get in touch!

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