SEATTLE (CBS Seattle) – Twitter, facebook and other social media can be great tools to bring awareness to your small business and communicate with consumers.  Like any other aspect of your small business there is a right and wrong way to do things when it comes to social media. We covered what NOT to do here. Now it’s time for some tips on the correct way to use these services to help promote your small business.

1. Get Started ASAP

The sooner your business is visible and active in social media the better.  Having your online presence up and running even before you open the door for your first day of business is optimal.  It’s never too soon (or too late) to start gathering the information social media can provide.

2. Hire a Social Media Manager

Your job as a small business owner is to manage your business. While social media is important it pales in comparison to the other responsibilities you should be attending to.  Hire someone interested in or studying marketing, not just someone who spends a lot of time online. You can make the position available to college students looking for an internship or hire someone as a paid employee to keep the position permanent.  If money is tight, give an existing employee a raise and assign them the task of keeping your social media presence fresh and interesting. You and your social media manager should meet to discuss the best way to use these services; what websites, who to target, frequency and style of updates, etc.

3. Engage Your Followers

It’s not enough to set up facebook and Twitter accounts and hope the friend requests and followers come flooding in. You have to be an active participant in the social media community.  That means daily updates, pictures, specials, personal notes, etc.  Don’t overdo it but one post per day is a good rule of thumb.

4. Help Consumers Find You

The obvious goal of setting up social media for your small business is to increase traffic to your store or website. But that’s not the only direction the flow should go. Signs pointing consumers to your social media accounts should be visible in-store and on your website. Put something next to the cash register with your Twitter and facebook account info. Have links on your website that take people directly to your twitter feed or facebook page. You want a continuous flow of people and information going back and forth from your place of business and social media pages.


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