Why social media?

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We’ve been talking about social media as a good way to market if you’re a small business. Facebook, in particular, can be useful not just as a marketing tool, but as a platform that can serve as your website. If you don’t have a website, Facebook offers a way to have a “faux” website. It can provide basic information about your goods and services, and it can be easily updated. Unlike a website, it takes no web skills to change the content of your Facebook page. So at the very least, this is a pretty safe way to get into the shallower waters of social media. It is important to remember to update your Facebook page. Leaving it to get stale doesn’t send a good message. If you don’t care enough to keep it up to date what does that say about how you run the rest of your business?

Once you have set up a Facebook page, you now have to think about social media as a marketing tool. It is a way to market your goods and services and it offers the opportunity to interact with potential clients. Most other forms of marketing: direct mail, ads, fliers, etc are all one-directional. Social media lets customers interact with you, and develop a back and forth. This creates relationships and provides you with greater insight into the needs and wants of your potential buyers.

Social media can be a big boon for small businesses. It represents a generally low-budget marketing tool that can be adapted to your specific needs without much tech expertise. However, it does require the commitment to the labor needed to keep the sites active and responsive. You have to determine that you or someone you trust with the responsibility will commit to the daily follow-up needed. In addition, you should determine a policy about how frequently the sites are checked and who has the authority to determine how to respond to posts. In short, no good marketing tool is labor-free, but social media can be a relatively simple marketing tool for a small business.

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