As a small business owner the thought of spending one more dime on your advertising budget probably sends shivers up your spine. You know you've got to do it but, especially today, cash is tight. One of the beautiful things about the web today is the ability to get free exposure on websites like Twitter, Facebook and more. It does not cost you a dime to create a Twitter account, put together a Facebook page or setup a Linked account. All it takes is a bit of time and a little know how.
When you start out looking to use some of these social media sites to advertise your business sit down and create a plan. You want to lay out three distinct points in this plan.
First determine, realistically, how much time you (or an employee) can dedicate to a social media campaign. Successfully building exposure, brand recognition and dedicated followers takes consistent effort over the long run. Just sitting down one night and plowing a few hours into creating accounts will get you nowhere. It is an hour a night? Maybe it's only a couple hours a week. Whatever it is decide what time you can afford to spend and dedicate yourself to actually putting that time in each and every week.
Secondly determine what your specific goal is. What do you want to get out of the time you invest in Twitter, Facebook and the others? Make it laser specific and not something as vague as "Make more sales." Especially when starting out pinpoint a definite goal that you can track and monitor. For example, say you've just started to carry a new line of product. Perhaps your social media goal is to increase the sale of said product over a certain period of time. Make it small, targeted and manageable. Now spend your time looking for, and connecting with, people on these social media sites that are interested in that product. As you build a base of followers you can interact with you'll notice they naturally start to explore more of your product line.
Lastly, and this is the hardest part, is you've got to do it. If you dedicate 1 hour a night then make darn sure you put that time in. Read and learn about how to become effective in the space. I'd wager that 9 out of 10 people that start on social media quit right before they start to see results. To borrow a massively overused saying - the online game is a marathon, not a sprint.
Visit BillyIrish.com for tips on creating, managing and getting the most from your small business website. Bill has been working for and running small businesses his entire life and helps others increase profits and sales from their small business websites. Get some small business website help!
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