Social Media: The new way to market your business
For some, it’s hard to believe Facebook and Twitter, two sites that were unheard of 10 years ago, are now two major leaders in the marketing and advertising worlds. To some it’s not so hard to believe; after all, social media is where you’ll find a majority of young teens and adults sharing, interacting, and communicating with their friends. So what better way to build your brand and socialize with your customers and leads than through social media?
Social media, as defined by Margaret Rouse of TechTarget.com, “is the collective of online communications channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration.” A good description of online websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, which are created for the sole purpose of sharing content and interacting with friends, followers, or connections.
“Social media is the equivalent to a modern day advertising campaign.” – Jeremy Willis
With over 1.2 BILLION monthly active users, Facebook is the top choice right now for social media beginners. I say right now, because social media is ever-adapting and changing to follow and start trends in society. Facebook is an easy to use free social networking site that allows users to create a profile and share photos, videos and status updates with their “Facebook friends” on a newsfeed. Facebook can be a fun way of interacting with your fans – simply set up a Facebook account, create a Facebook Business Page, and you’re ready to get started!
Tip: Advertise in-store that you are new on Facebook and customers can have $5 off a repair if they like your page.
Since its creation in 2006, Twitter has gained over 220 million monthly active users, with Twitter users sending over 100,000 tweets per minute! That’s a lot of content being shared! When using Twitter you can share short posts of 140 characters called “tweets.” These tweets are broadcasted to your “followers,” who are users who have chosen to have your posts show up on their Twitter feed. You can also allow your tweets to be found by other users by placing a #hashtag (#) before the word you would like to have searched. For example: if you want to tweet TGIF on a Friday afternoon, and want your tweet to be found by other users searching TGIF, apply the #hashtag and your profile becomes much easier to find.
Tip: Following other small businesses in your neighborhood is a great place to start.
Created in 2010 as an iOS-only app, Instagram has quickly gained speed (and active users) in the social media game. With over 150 million active monthly users posting an average of 55 million Instagram photos per day, it’s safe to say Instagram is getting hotter in social media – especially for younger audiences. Instagram is the easiest way to share photos with a group of followers. Setting up an account is simple and takes less than five minutes. Instagram is a great way to share behind-the-scenes photos of your business, share promotions, and interact with customers.
Tip: There is a thriving repair community within Instagram; a simple search for #iPhoneRepair on Instagram will get you in the door!
Businesslike and for the professional, LinkedIn is best for creating professional business connections and sharing business-related content. LinkedIn was created in 2003 and now with more than 225 million acquired users, it is the top social network for professional social networking.
Tip: Treat LinkedIn as an online Chamber of Commerce – network!
Pinterest is basically just an online pinboard-style photo sharing social media site. It allows users to create and manage themed image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, “re-pin” images to their own pinboards, or “like” photos on others’ pinboards. According to this Social Media Demographic Breakdown, Pinterest is appealing mostly to rural residents and middle-class women.
Tip: Use Pinterest to post before-and-after pictures of repairs.
Tumblr is a microblogging social media platform founded in 2007 with 108.4 million blog users! Tumblr is basically part blog, part social media networking site, allowing users to share whatever they want – photos, text, quotes, music, videos – and share it with whomever they want. Tumblr has a much younger crowd; according to the Social Media Demographic Breakdown, a mere 6% of adults use Tumblr.
Tip: You may not have time to run your own blog, but you have expertise! Share your thoughts about your personal repair world. You can even post links of your microblogs on your other Social Media sites.
Ahh, Google Plus, everyone’s secret enemy – or best friend. Whether you like it or not Google has made its way into your social life by creating Google+, a “better way to share data with the people you know.” Okay, Google. So far Google+ seems to be a place for people to post blogs, content, and share others’ content with similar individuals, but as it’s so new to the social media game that could (and probably will) change.
Tip: Make sure your pictures, hours, phone numbers, locations, etc. are all current on your Google+ or Google Places page. Google is increasing use of that information across all their sites and platforms.
So where to begin?
Start at the very beginning. Pick one Social Media site to start with that will best represent your business and demographic. Then build from there.
How many social media profiles should your business have?
The more social media profiles you have for your business, the further your online influence will be. However, proceed with caution: quality over quantity, of course! Choose one to start with, build it, gather a following and then start on the next – while consistently maintaining the first. Social media can turn into quite the balancing very quickly; starting slowly to get the hang of it is highly suggested.
How do you do social media?
Don’t ask yourself how to do social media; rather ask yourself how you can be social with your fans, followers, and future customers ON social media. Social media is simply a platform on which to stand and spread your brand’s message!