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Social Media for Small Business – 3 Tips for Staying Relevant

Social media for small business owners can be easy!

A thumbs up with social media icons that represents Social Media for Small Business Source: http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/sme-social-media/484189 Social media for small business owners can seem daunting if you don’t know where to start. But think about the impact it can have on your potential customer base. Say you’re visiting another town and you’d like to find a local coffee shop or deli. How often do you search for a business, only to be turned off by their (lack of) website or social media presence? These days, small businesses thrive better when their information is kept up to date, and relevant to the customer. Websites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook have become the utmost authority on verifying businesses, via user reviews, and are more likely to influence which business the customer will ultimately end up choosing. That’s why it’s important for small businesses to have a grasp on social media and how it can keep them relevant. Social media and the internet can be daunting, however here are three simple tips for staying relevant in the digital world. 1) Stay Current! Google is the #1 search engine, and likely the first place your customer will find you once they’ve typed in a search for your product. Google Business Solutions is a free service that allows a Google user to claim a Business listing and manage that content. Once you’re verified, you can change your business hours, contact information, and even reply to reviews. Google+ is quickly becoming the next social media hotspot, and it’s important for small businesses to jump in on the ground floor. 2) Stay Connected! Facebook is the world’s biggest social media platform. With almost 900 million users on a daily basis, it’s crucial that even the smallest of businesses connect to their customers. Facebook for Business is another free service that allows companies to claim their web presence. By building and managing a page on Facebook, a small business is able to post and share content, highlight promotions, and give customers an opportunity to connect and give feedback. Users can leave reviews and share your content to their friends, thus expanding your customer base. 3) Stay Calm! Yelp is another crucial social media website. By uploading photos and leaving reviews on a 1-5 star rating system, users gain trust and leverage that influence other customers.¬†Unfortunately though, that means customers can leave negative reviews. Yelp for Business Owners is free and gives business owners the opportunity to keep their information current, upload photos of their products, and respond to customers. It’s important when replying to reviews that your tone and attitude stay professional and courteous. Always take a little constructive criticism with a grain of salt! Never let a negative review make you look even worse by replying rudely and trying to defend yourself. Stay upbeat and respond to positive reviews in a timely manner and you’ll begin to build trust on your very own. Social media for small business owners on a minimal budget can be quite challenging and difficult at times. These three free services make it just a little easier for companies to reach out and connect with their audience and customers, which ultimately can keep a small business afloat in the digital age.