Large and small businesses are increasingly making social media an integral part of their business strategy.

Small businesses in particular, enjoy the benefit of communicating with and better understanding their customers through platforms that offer data analytics – such as Facebook.

Social media is a fairly recent addition to the business world however, so many entrepreneurs and small business owners are still learning how to best utilize it. Fortunately, there are some simple methods that even the least tech-savvy business owners can implement successfully. Here are 5 methods that small business owners should use to better leverage their social media strategies:

Grow your social media following organically

Most small business owners are aware of the fact that they can advertise on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. What many do not know however, is that organic social media growth is often far more effective. One way to organically develop a strong following on Facebook is to post useful links–either to your business’s website or to useful off-site resources–and ask your followers what they think. This will help get your followers more engaged and will increase the likelihood that they will share your page with their family and friends.

Actively engage your business’s social media following

In order to convince social media users to follow your page, you need to offer them something more than just an ad that will show up in their news feed from time to time. Instead, your company should embrace the “social” aspect of social media by actively engaging users on a regular basis. Have back-and-forth conversations with users; it’s perfectly fine if these conversations veer off-topic sometimes as well! The key is to make your followers realize that you are more than just a faceless business, and that you and your team are really listening to their feedback. Be sure to check out our Small Business Guide to Social Media for tips on how to best achieve this.

Create a sense of community and develop customer service and feedback strategies

Social media is a unique marketing channel because it allows businesses to speak directly to a large number of current and prospective customers in a much more efficient and practical manner. It also fosters a community of users that interact around your content. You can leverage this by further encouraging communication between followers on the various topics that you post – essentially creating an ongoing conversation around your business. Additionally, social media is a great platform to use for customer service if you implement it properly. Customers who have a question or an issue can ask publicly on your page, and you can respond quickly for others–who may have the same question–to see. It’s a great way to address frequently asked questions and show your customers that you are in fact available to help and interact with them on a more personal level.

Funnel social media traffic to your primary website with interesting content

One of the greater benefits of social media is that you can drive a captive audience to worthwhile content on your main website. Gone are the days when you could get your potential customers’ attention by simply flooding them with messages and advertising. Consumers are so frequently presented with both covert and overt advertising that business owners must now find new and interesting ways to draw prospects in. Serving as a resource and providing valuable content is one such way that’s been proven effective. We’ve delved into content marketing strategies in previous Counter Culture posts, but our Small Business Guide to Content Marketing is another great resource to start fine-tuning your content strategy. Of course, this is only truly effective when the information and links that you’re providing to your social media followers is in fact interesting and current, which is why it is important to…

Stay current with news and trends in your industry

If you’ve started your business from scratch, chances are that you are quite passionate about it and your industry as a whole. Most business owners already keep up with news about their industry, but social media provides even more benefits for doing so. Staying up to date on the latest developments in your industry helps position you as a thought-leader, which increases the likelihood that your social media page, along with your primary website, will become the go-to source for industry news among your target audience.

In the end, the ultimate goal of a social media strategy is to provide useful and engaging content that is valuable to your target audience. Keep that in mind and you will be on the right track!

Paul Nugent

Paul Nugent

Paul Nugent is a small business advocate who uses his background in the startup space, along with his POS system expertise, to allow small business owners to make informed decisions within their specific budgets.