The changing landscape of social media platforms can make it hard to know how to work it to your advantages. As a small business working on a limited marketing budget, you need to know how to best spend every dollar, in order to maximize ROI and capitalize on every opportunity.

How To Use Social Media For Small Business?

How to use social media for small business involves building a consistent social media presence, developing high-quality content, identifying potential clients and knowing how to target this audience, creating brand awareness with meaningful posts, and knowing how to manage your time.

#1 – Craft Good Content that serves a Purpose

Even with all the tips, tricks, and strategies on how to manage social media, a small business needs purposeful content to keep eyes glued to the page. Writing good content means writing for what your audience wants to read. Be it humorous content or informative content, there are many different ways to write and it doesn’t always need to be about your small business either. That said, keeping things light and positive is always the right approach to attracting followers.

#2 – Using the Right Platform

Every day, there are new social media platforms being developed and released to consumers. Knowing what is the right social media for your small business is a key component to success in the social media arena.

For example, a flower shop would be rightfully directed to Instagram, where it can share image-friendly content. Now if the business was a law firm, Instagram’s image-friendly search capabilities may not be so appropriate. For a law firm or a similar small business, using LinkedIn may be recommended. Speaking to a social media for a small business expert may be able to help provide some guidance on what platform is right for your company.

#3 – Building your Social Media Profile one Day at a time

No one shoots to the top of the social media game on day one. It takes time to build a profile. This begins with, first, taking the time to ensure that you have high-quality profile pictures and filling out the entirety of your business profile complete with links directing back to your website.

#4 – After your Profile is set up, Be Consistent

Decide on what kind of posting schedule you want to be on and adhere to it. Be consistent in making social media posts and look out for holidays, special events, and other occasions that you might be able to capitalize on to spike interest in your page. Even if you’re not getting the engagement you want just yet, be patient and don’t give up. There’s a lot of groundwork that needs to be laid for a small business before major social media success is experienced.

#5 – Don’t shy away from Interacting with Users

Social media, for non-small business users, is about interaction. Invest the time to interact with other users, respond when someone comments, and comment on other pages and posts that relate to your business. By reaching out and connecting with others, it accomplishes two things – first, you’re giving others a reason to pay attention to your business and second, it humanizes your page, providing consumers with a non-profit based message to connect with.

#6 – Look at What your Competition is Doing

Competitors provide key insights into what is working and what is not in the realm of social media. If something is working well, perhaps there’s a way to adopt the strategy to your small business. Furthermore, it’s always possible you will spot an untapped market or an opportunity that your competitor hasn’t seen. By looking at what your competition is doing on social media, you continue building the knowledge required for any small business to succeed in its local marketplace.

As social media continues to change, there’s always something new to learn for small businesses. Though it can be overwhelming, once social media for business gets started, it’s an optimal way to generate interest and build their brand. If you’ve never worked with social media before or are searching for the right agency with the small business expertise to help develop your social media presence, contact All the Way Up Media, your social media marketing agency.

Online reputation management is not just about looking after your social media accounts and maintaining a Google Alert on your business name. The Internet provides an opportunity for users of all backgrounds to share brand experiences and create conversation. Online reputation management involves managing the conversation that’s happening around your business or industry and looking after online reviews.

Consumer reviews are an opportunity for users online to have their voices heard and to share their experience. Seen on social media sites like Facebook, on search engines like Google, and on classifieds like Yelp, reviews can make or break a business. They’re powerful in the sense that reviews communicate so much about a brand’s standards, reputation, products, and/or services from the viewpoint of the customer. For example, if you want to have a haircut, you’re going to go online and check out the reviews for local hairdressers and salons. Those reviews are going to affect your final decision on where to put your money.

Where do online reviews show up?

No matter the category of business, user reviews have a role to play. Some of the most common online review websites are

  • Trusted Reviews for products
  • Indeed for jobs
  • Glass Door for businesses
  • Trip Advisor for hotels and hospitality-related restaurants or entertainment
  • Exclaim for music reviews.

Brands that aren’t monitoring theirs may have a reputation problem on their hands before long. For example, should a potential customer come along and see a ton of negative reviews, are they really going to want to purchase something from you – probably not.
online reputation management, reviews

How do online reviews appear?

Reviews can appear in a variety of different ways, with a five-star system being the most common. They may also appear as images, videos, or in plain text. It’s true that, in some cases, one bad business review can take down a business. If there’s an accusation that so poorly portrays your brand that few customers want to continue their relationship with you, you’re going to be in trouble. Notwithstanding, the average business may receive a mix of reviews. Some will be spam and can oftentimes be removed by contacting the review website. At other times, if someone expresses a legitimate concern, you may have some difficulty removing it.

Online reviews which appear as articles

Some reviews aren’t going to appear as ‘reviews’ at all but instead, will show up in the form of articles and blogs. If they say something positive about a product or service, or your brand, that’s wonderful. If it’s negative though, it can be much more complex on how to manage this. An article like that will get placed on Google and then, whenever someone searches out your brand, it’s going to come up. It could affect your reputation for a long time if you don’t be careful.

monitor online reviews, online reputation management

How to monitor online reviews for your benefit

Any brand who makes the investment to respond to negative reviews and monitor their reputation online shows their audience they care about what people are saying. In this sense, even a negative review can be an opportunity to advertise your business in a positive light. Thankfully, there’s also software which can help monitor what people are saying about you online. Various software will track your business name and brand, reporting to you any time you are mentioned on sites like Mention and Awario.

  • Decide if you need to respond. If there’s derogatory or degrading language, irrational opinions, or if it’s not something you feel you can remedy, contact the review website and ask them to remove the comment.
  • Respond to negative feedback by hearing them out, empathizing with them, apologizing, and taking action to fix the complaint. When other customers see your willingness to help and improve, they’ll feel comfortable doing business with you. Any business owner will have to go out of their way to fix a bad review. Even so, it’s important. By not responding, the damage a brand could incur is sizeable.
  • Respond to all positive reviews as well! You don’t want to give the impression that, to get your attention, a customer needs to leave negative feedback. A few words of acknowledgement is enough to thank someone for leaving their two cents.
  • Monitor the most popular review sites first and foremost since they get more exposure, as these will be where the majority of customers see you.
  • Monitor your social media accounts as well. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are extremely popular for users who want to leave reviews and comments regarding brands.
  • Respond quickly and politely.

Reviews, online reputation management

For help in building positive business reviews and for strong reputation management online, contact internet marketing company, All The Way Up Media, today.

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