How to use social media for your small business
May 23 2017
What you'll learn
- Which social networks to choose?
- Creating interaction
- Creating original content
Let’s start with a basic observation: if your business deals with individuals or other small businesses, you need to be on social media, if only to have a digital calling card. This is true whether your customers live in urban or rural areas, whether they are young or old.
It is estimated that over 70% of adults in Quebec use social media. Its importance cannot be overstated when it comes to building and maintaining relationships with your customers. Clearly, you’ll also need a website, but it must be complemented by social media.
What you do with it afterwards and how many resources you invest in it depends on the goals you’ve set out and your business model.
This also stands for a good deal of independent workers. For more information on what being your own boss involves, read “What you need to know about being self-employed”.
Which social network to choose?
In Quebec, there is no doubt that Facebook and YouTube are the two most popular platforms, with Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter all following suit.
First, you have to create a Facebook page to reach the general public. A LinkedIn page might be useful to build business relationships or recruit candidates. A Google+ page is also a must, if only because it is associated with the world’s most important search engine. Twitter may not be all that popular in Quebec, but it can’t hurt to create an account in order for its users to know who you are and reach out to you.
Although it racks up an impressive number of daily visits, a YouTube account will only be useful if you plan on creating video content. We’ll discuss this further a little later on.
Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest are very popular among younger generations, and can be used strategically by certain types of businesses. Hostels, hairdressers and boutiques would be well served to promote their products and services on these image and video exchange platforms.
Don’t hesitate to write back to people who reach out to you, whether through instant messaging or through comments on your posts. Try to do so as quickly as possible, because the online community appreciates and rewards prompt replies.
It may appear a little trickier if it concerns a complaint or criticism; however, if you respond in a polite and courteous fashion, it could turn the situation around, or at least show your good faith to other users.
Creating original content
Once you’ve set up your pages, sharing and creating content are the best ways to get your business seen. If you find interesting articles and videos relevant to your products and services, don’t hesitate to share them.
You should, however, strive to create your own content. The golden rule when it comes to creating videos or writing articles is to inform and entertain, not to sell. Tell your story, how you got here, introduce your team, let people know what issues matter to you, film entertaining and educational vignettes. The goal is not to sell, but to get eyeballs on your content.
Internet users are looking to be informed and entertained above all. They will ultimately reward businesses that provide them with this type of content.
If you need assistance, some businesses offer social media management and content creation services.
- It is estimated that over 70% of adults in Quebec use social media.
- First, you have to create a Facebook page to reach the general public.
- The golden rule when it comes to creating videos or writing articles is to inform and entertain, not to sell.