A marketing strategy can eat up a lot of a company's budget. And, when funds are getting drained out of a small business, it seems the impact becomes even more magnified.
Every little cost counts. Great owners and managers find ways to save money without sacrificing quality and profit. One way to do that could be with social media. Financial tips come in all shapes and sizes, and one of them could very well be these Internet tools.
The monetary cost is minimal when social media is used properly, according to Bankrate.com. A sound strategy takes time, but those expenses could be offset by a large return. Many users frequent sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, and those companies which effectively appeal to this segment now have a strong online marketing presence.
"Think of social media as a cocktail party," author David Meerman Scott told the news source. "You don't go into the cocktail party and go into the middle room and scream at the top of your lungs and say, 'Buy my products.' … What works is you have some meaningful conversation first. And that's just how social media works."
Thankfully for small business owners, there are plenty of ways to use social media without disrupting a financial plan. According to Minda Zetlin in an article for Inc.com, businessman and author Guy Kawasaki explained that these are some great tips to get started.
1. Divide and conquer
One social media site isn't going to cut it. Kawasaki noted that each one has different uses. For example, Facebook is great to connect with people who are already known, while Twitter can build a brand's reputation and LinkedIn can help a person stand out in the crowd.
2. Build a perfect profile
For users, their social media profile is what is seen first. According to Kawasaki, it has to be a good first impression. The avatar – or photo – is key, and that image can say a lot about a person or a company.
3. Provide value for others
Social media isn't all about status updates. It can be a great way for people to share valuable information, and this can be especially helpful for a small business. For instance, Kawasaki recommended that a restaurant share great recipes online, instead of simply posting coupons and specials.
4. Show some restraint
While social media might seem like it is for narcissists, this isn't exactly true. A financial plan could receive a boost if a small business cares about others. Limit talks about a certain product, and instead, focus on what the consumers are doing and saying.