Let’s face it: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are no longer regarded as personal social sites used for the sole purpose of checking to see what your 8th grade crush looks like now – although that is still fun. For small businesses everywhere, these sites are important and yes, FREE tools to help you promote your business and communicate and engage with your customers like never before.
The truth is that your customers are already talking about you and potential customers are searching for information about you online. Here are the 10 best tips on promoting your business FOR FREE using social media.
1. Sign up! There’s a plethora of social networks out there—Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Vimeo, Tumblr, Instagram—figure out which makes the most sense for your business (where are your customers?) and create an account. With nearly 850 million users, there’s a very good chance your customers are on Facebook. Get started now: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
2. Take Inventory: Think you don’t have enough content to promote your business on social? Think again. Photos, logos, old ads, and yes, you and your employees, are the best, most valuable assets you can use to engage your customers on social media and tell your brand story. So find out what you have and start sharing.
Want someone to mention your business to their fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter? Then be prepared to endorse other businesses by tagging them in your posts on Facebook and Twitter (for example, @FineFeatherhead). It’s a great way to build reciprocal relationships—and reach a whole new audience.
4. Start a Blog: And if you already have a blog set up, start writing regular blog posts! This is a great (and SEO/seach engine optimized-friendly) way to share relevant and interesting information with your costumers about your brand and other things you like and activities you’re doing—as well as drive people from your social sites to your website! Check out our blog for inspiration!
5. Don’t Be Camera Shy: Few things are more engaging on social media than a photo (with the exception perhaps being a video). Sure, a gripping blog headline or a hilariously composed 140 character tweet will get you noticed, but sharing photos—both about your business and not—is great and easy way to show your customers who you and your business are in a fun, new and fresh way. Try setting up and using Instagram on your iPhone or Android to easily take beautifully stylized photos and share them instantly on your other social platforms (e.g. Facebook and Twitter).
6. Link Up: Link your Facebook page to your Twitter account so that your posts on Facebook automatically get tweeted out to your Twitter followers (without you having to think about it). One post hits two very active social media networks.
7. Keep It Short & Sweet: While Twitter requires your tweets to stay within their 140 character limit (and less if you’re hoping people retweet you), the most engaging posts on Facebook, Pinterest, and Tumblr are also, yep, short and sweet. In fact, a recent study found that Facebook posts under 80 characters received the highest engagement levels!
8. Use Hashtags: Make sure people searching for keywords in your industry on twitter (e.g. #featherlove #finefeatherheads #Springhair) will find your profile and your tweets by using appropriate and trending hashtags.
9. Ask Questions: Social media allows businesses to engage with their customers and glean important insights into who they are, what they’re interested—essentially building a more personal relationship. It’s important that you’re not just marketing to your fans in the traditional sense, but asking relevant and engaging conversation starters to get people talking about your business.
10. Be Consistent: There’s nothing worse on social media than stumbling upon a businesses Facebook or Twitter account and finding them abandoned and unused (as in your last tweet was 3 months ago). Just like any personal or business relationship, make sure you set up a weekly—or daily—calendar that you can stick to to post to your social sites.
We know this can all seem a bit overwhelming, but our best advice is just to get in there and DO IT – and that’s how you’ll learn. For those of you who don’t know, Fine Featherheads started as a small business out of Dakota’s basement, and with the help of networks like Facebook and Twitter grew into a international sensation, supplying to over 30,000 salons worldwide! The power of word of mouth is limitless these days, and it’s a shame for you to miss out on all the great things your customers want to say about you!
Cheers to the start of your success and please feel free to comment with any questions you might have – we’re here to help!
Peace, Love & Feathers,
The Fine Featherheads Family
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