Social media: Does it make sense for your business?

Quick answer: Social media can provide excellent opportunities to showcase your business, to engage with your customers, and to stay on top of what your competitors are doing.

As a business owner, you probably already feel there aren’t enough hours in the day. The idea of producing a social media strategy for your business may feel like a commitment — or worse, burden — you just don’t want to take on.

Things to consider

Instructions: Click each item to learn more.

Social media is free

There’s no need to pay for expensive marketing campaigns that may not reach your intended audience anyway. Or, if you do have a marketing budget and campaigns that are working for you, you can use social media channels to support what your campaigns and advertising are already doing. Either way, sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram provide an easy-to-use platform that is absolutely free.

Your customers want to interact with you

The power of social media is that it’s not just a one-way communication street. Your customers can ask you questions, compliment you on an enjoyable experience, evangelize about your product or service, or ask a question that others may have wondered too. And when you respond in a timely fashion, your customers feel even more connected to, and positive about, your business — even when they aren’t currently shopping for your product.

Social media makes an excellent outlet for promotions

You can experiment with making special offers on your social media site, which will give your customers extra incentive to follow you. You can also learn valuable insights by seeing what people respond to and share with their friends.

Consider offering a discount on a seasonal service, with a special code to be redeemed when the customer buys online, calls to place an order, or visits your location in person.

Research your target audience and reach new customers

Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram let you explore what topics related to your business are of interest to potential new customers. Maybe you offer a secondary service you’ve never really showcased, but by browsing social media sites, you learn that there’s a passionate audience interested in that very service. Now you can highlight that service on your social media channel — and spread the word among new customers who’ve been looking for exactly what you are offering.

Stay on top of what your competition is doing

Want to know what your competitors are doing? Simply follow them all on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and wherever else they happen to be. Watch what your competitors’ customers are responding to, and read what kinds of third-party content they and their customers are reposting or retweeting. Remember, social media is a conversation, and you can learn a lot by seeing the response your competition is getting.

Now, are you ready to get started?