We know it’s impossible to keep up with all of the news in the local business space. That’s why we’ve cherry-picked the articles from this week that matter most for business owners like you.
[Social Media] 4 Reasons Your Business Should Be On Social Media
Every day that your business isn't on social media is another day you're missing out on connecting with existing customers and creating loyalty, reaching a new audience of potential customers, and boosting your online presence. Don't waste another day!
Here are four reasons your business needs to be on social media:
- If you aren't networking, you aren't working. "Social media is replacing real-world relationships...a good business-networking site can help you keep [a] personal touch in both your online and live networking," says Doug Vermeeren, CEO of Business Networker. Keep a light, friendly tone, and let your customers think of you more as a friend than a business. It will keep them coming back!
- The customer and you. Every business needs customers — as a local business, you can only do so much on your own. Use social media to expand your customer base. You can use Facebook Ads to target potential clients in your area, and help spread the good word about your services or product. You can also connect with other local business in the area and build rock-solid relationships that can turn into partnerships.
- An extra problem solver. Social media is a good place for you to provide information for your customers in order to free-up time for yourself by avoiding inquiring or frustrated emails/calls. You can also poke around other business pages and see how they deal with customer questions. If a customer is angry on social media, always make sure you make that conversation private by asking them to send a private message or give you a phone call.
- Social media is more than social. In the past, social media was thought of as a tool to connect with old friends, keep up with celebrities, or your favorite sports team. It's blossomed into a place for businesses to identify customers, create strategic alliances. and find like-minded professionals to partner with.
Why It Matters: Local businesses are already at a disadvantage because of their inability to outspend their competition. Use social media as a free (or cheap) way to engage with customers, build loyalty, connect with other local businesses, and ultimately construct an online presence that drives customers to your business in droves!
[Social Media Marketing] 4 Social Media Marketing Tips for Local Businesses
Now that we've established that your business should be on social media, let's discuss the best practices for social media marketing. Your return on investment for a few hours a week and a few clicks of a button can be a game-changer. Support and grow your brand while building and maintaining relationships with current and new customers.
Let's dive into four social media marketing best practices:
- Quality beats quantity. This is pretty straight forward. Don't post on social media just to post — make sure you're following the 80/20 rule and providing content that is of value to your target audience. However, it is important to maintain a steady cadence. Don't post 20 times one week and twice the next. Figure out what works for you and stick to it. If you're having trouble delivering original content, don't be afraid to share content from other industry leaders.
- Focus on community. It's been proven by experts that social media marketing can help you reach and engage with a wider audience, and help you expand your customer base. Your tone should be conversational, unlike traditional advertising. Asking questions to engage customers in conversation, and then using that conversation to show your industry expertise is a surefire way to get people listening to what you have to say. Don't only engage with potential clients, though, other industry leaders and influencers are essential to expanding your social media presence.
- Consider advertising. If you have the budget for it, advertising online can be a huge difference-maker for your business. Use Google AdWords to boost your rankings in search results, and consider leveraging the ad platforms on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. You'll be able to use very specific indicators to target the right people — once your ads are served, you'll have a steady stream of visitors to your website and potential new customers.
- Repeat what worked. If it's not broken, don't fix it! Simply put: if your efforts are generating positive results, maintain the consistency of your current strategy until you notice slippage. On the other side of the coin, don't give up on something if it doesn't work once. If you spend $20 on a Facebook Ad and you only get one like and no website traffic, it doesn't mean that Facebook Ads aren't worthy of your time and money, it means you need to go back to the drawing board and figure out a way to make your ad more enticing and engaging.
Why It Matters: As recently as five years ago, marketers would have killed for the kind of targeting and reach-ability that social media offers today at little to no cost. Don't let the opportunity pass you by! Take some time to learn how Facebook Ads work, how Google AdWords work, and start generating some ad content. It's also important to spend time engaging with existing and potential customers, as well as other industry leaders online — once you see how rewarding it is you'll wonder why you weren't doing it in the first place,
[Business Management] 10 Lessons for First-Time Entrepreneurs
Source: Business News Daily
"If only I had known this." It's a phrase uttered by far too many entrepreneurs whose businesses failed because they never learned some basic business principles.
Here are 10 lessons you should take to heart if you're a first-time entrepreneur:
- Keep records from the beginning.
- Learning to balance your time and money takes time.
- Perfectionism will slow you down.
- You need to say 'no' sometimes.
- You'll be handling things you've never faced in the corporate world.
- The ability to adapt is critical.
- Separate your business life from your personal life.
- You'll always need more money than you think.
- Don't micromanage.
- Make employees feel like they're part of a winning team.
Why It Matters: When it comes to starting and running your business, it's better to know too much than to know too little. Ask other entrepreneurs for advice, and make sure you have an adviser (or two!) that you can bounce ideas off before you make big decisions that can have a make-or-break impact on your business.
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