To read more from the July issue of Business Review Australia, click here.
Whether you are founding a startup, have a fledgling or established small business, or run a company that’s at the top of the corporate world, your business can always benefit in some way from using social media.
It’s one of the easiest ways to grow a business, it allows you to connect to your customers on a personal basis and to reach these customers wherever they are – not just from a television set or from your storefront.
“There are those who love it and there are those that loathe it, yet every business has the opportunity to use social media for good, not evil,” said Natasa Denman, business owner and author of four books.
“All progressive companies are using social media to engage with their customers where they are hanging out. Put simply, if you and your business aren’t on social media, you are already one step behind your competitors.”
Natasa started seriously using social media for her business three years ago, and focused mainly on the most popular social media platforms for small businesses: Facebook and Linkedin. Facebook allows her to interact with her customers, share daily news, tips and promotions. LinkedIn has provided her a venue to connect professionally with those in her field, and to build lasting relationships with others in the community.
“I was still building my business the traditional way of getting out there networking, running workshops and meeting people, but I also saw the opportunity of reaching a wider audience online.”
There are some challenges that I discovered in the early days – I found some things worked and some things that didn’t. The more I learned through experience and the more I researched social media, the better the feedback and my results became. In fact, I’ve learned so much and have had such a good response that I now help other small business owners get their social media presence sorted.”
In an exclusive for Business Review Australia, Natasa has provided our readers with five tips for social media that a company of any size could utilize to help grow their customer base, and the loyalty of their customers.
Spend some time understanding where your potential customers and clients spend their time on social media and then make sure you go there. Every businesses’ customers are on Facebook and then you can choose between Pinterest (a visual medium), LinkedIn (for business connections) Twitter or Google+. I advise to choose to platforms that you will focus on and make them the priority rather than do a sprinkling of posts on all sites.
In the beginning you can often feel like you are talking to yourself as your Facebook business page or status updates resemble a ghost town. Attracting a faithful community is not an easy thing to do unless you turn up everyday and show that you are serious about being on social media - you must make a habit of posting every day. Let’s use Facebook as the example, and commenting and ‘liking’ any of your fans interactions. Utilizing these options can make your customers feel like they are special to you. It’s also been proven that when people “like” your business’s Facebook page, they are a lot more likely to do business with you.
Social media is not the place to go to try to sell. If you go about it this way, it is a surefire way to lose the engagement with your audience; you can actually do a tremendous amount of damage to your brand. Instead, just add value. Post relevant information that will make your audience’s lives better. Solve their problem through your expertise and share stories or case studies that back up your information.
This is a pertinent tip for LinkedIn; however, it is just as important on other platforms. If someone connects with you, make sure you have a follow-up system in place. Reply in a personal way and say how happy you are that they have connected with you. Ask what is was that made them chose to connect and offer to be available to help them if they ever need you or your expertise. This is another way of being social and building the foundation for lasting relationships.
Be the positive authority figure
No one wants to hear about your ‘woe is me’ problems on social media. If you are having challenges, wait until you overcome them and then share them as a learning experience for your audience. Never post negative comments about any customers or competitors. Be the expert and authority figure that leads by example, and show the best side of you and your business at all times.
Social media is an extremely powerful tool for your business. It is pertinent that you understand the fundamentals of marketing with your social platforms of choice before you actively utilise these tools for your marketing ventures. Knowing the basics and following Natasa’s advice will have you seeing returns from social media marketing sooner than you think.
Natasa Denman is the next-generation business mentor and product generator specialist. The founder of Ultimate 48 Hour Author, a book-writing mentorship program, Natasa is the author of four books herself – The 7 Ultimate Secrets to Weight Loss, Ninja Couch Marketing, You Can Live The Life Of Your Dreams and her soon to be released latest, The Ultimate 48 Hour Author. For more information visit www.ultimate48hourauthor.com.au.