Social Networking and Your Small Business

If you own a small business, you are probably not able to advertise like the “big boys” of Corporate America – taking out a hundred thousand dollar ad in a national magazine isn’t exactly in your budget. But, luckily for you, social networking has come along and changed the way small businesses everywhere operate, advertise, and make a profit.

For many, small business social network marketing has been a complete blessing: it’s simple, affordable (often free), and it has the ability to reach anyone with an Internet condition.

There are many ways to market your business through social networking. The following are among the most popular, and affective:

Facebook and Twitter Marketing: Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve heard of Facebook and Twitter. To say they are popular is like saying that the automobile was a useful invention. Facebook and Twitter, plainly put, are everywhere and, when you utilize them, your business will be as well.

With Facebook, you can start a page for your company and acquire “fans,” with Twitter you can acquire “followers.” You can even suggest that certain people – either people you know or people you have found that fit your target audience – become fans and followers.

Both Twitter and Facebook also allow you to post news, deals, discounts, or anything else useful to the consumer. They are a great outlet for small business social network marketing: allowing you to reach out to existing clients and gain potential ones.

Facebook and Twitter Advertising: Facebook and Twitter are not only useful because they are like “word of mouth” for the online world, but they also allow you to advertise. Though this is not free, it is very affordable and only requires you pay per click. Both sites also allow you to get very specific in your target audience. If you are selling customized children’s books, for example, you can choose women between the ages of 25 and 40 who mention “mother” or “child” in their feeds.

Blogging: Facebook and Twitter may be all the rage, but blogging was their predecessor and continues to be an affective form of communication to this day. Blogging is an ideal way to engage in small business social network marketing because it allows you to form an online personality, brand yourself, and show consumers what you can do for them.

The key to good blogging is balance: you want to promote your company, but moreover you want to provide your readers with useful information. Thus, if you sell restaurant equipment, don’t start a blog about the wonders of the tong, but one about food or great recipes. Then, advertise your blog the same way you do your company: in forums, on Twitter, on Facebook. People love to read interesting, fun journals with information that can benefit them: if you blog it, they will come.

Newsletters: Newsletters used to be an expensive form of marketing: you paid for paper, ink, and postage. But, the online newsletter is an ideal way to engage in small business social network marketing and it’s affordable.

Using Constant Contact, or a similar service, you can set up a weekly, monthly, or quarterly newsletter that goes out to your mailing list. This newsletter can include both information about your products and services, as well as information that consumers will enjoy reading. It can even include coupons or discount ads.

Small business social network marketing is the new form of advertising. It’s ideal for giving your company a voice and a presence. But, no matter the outlet you use, keep in mind that the consumer comes first. Providing content that is interesting or useful to them is the key to a successful campaign.

Brad Anderson

Brad Anderson is the founder and CEO of Fruition. Brad combined his passion for marketing, technology, innovation and data-based decision making into a successful national digital marketing agency when he created the Denver-based Fruition. Brad brings the unique perspective of an expert marketer, board member, agency owner and entrepreneur to his career and his thought-leadership writing.