If you have a small niche business, chances are you're already aware of the benefits of using the more mainstream social media outlets such as Facebook or LinkedIn to drive customers to your products. You may also be using the top media sharing networks like Instagram or even YouTube. However, you might be less aware of the many other ways that you could be benefiting from social media. A robust social media campaign can be a game-changer for any business, but a specialty business can benefit from it even more than most. Here are five tips for maximizing social media to increase your business.
Hire a Social Media Manager
If your business isn't doing as well as you know it could be, enhanced social media presence could be the missing piece of the puzzle. A great product that no one knows about isn't going to help you. For example, for a small furniture store social media can let your community know what you have to offer, the quality of your products, where you can be found and what previous customers thought. Many business owners are not aware of how to navigate social media platforms and will need to hire a dedicated social media manager or company to take on these vital tasks. Depending on the size of your business and your available budget, It might be worth allocating part of your operating budget to outsource your social media needs. Some social media usage can be simple, but if you really want to up your game, a professional could be just what you need.
Start a Blog
You'll have noticed that all the large retailers have dedicated blogs associated with their websites. There's a reason for that. Blogging is an incredibly effective way to combine the power of social media with your business goals. Especially for a niche business, a well-written blog that focuses on the things that are important to the types of customers who might buy your product can be highly successful in pushing your sales upward.
A great blog does require great writing though, so if that is not your forte, you might consider turning this activity over to a social media management company that can secure talented content writers to create your blog posts. They will also likely be well versed in SEO, a marketing strategy that can optimize your blogs to drive traffic to your business.
Use Interest-Based Networks
Particularly for a niche business, interest-based networks could be a corner of the social media platform that you haven't fully investigated yet. You may already be aware of some of the biggest networks of this kind such as Goodreads or Houzz, but there are networks for just about any interest you can imagine. Foodspotting focuses on foodies, Catmoji is an entire platform just for cat-lovers and RoPosto caters to fashionistas. Interest-based networks are growing fast and there is most likely one or more that specialize in areas that coincide with your business. This kind of network could be an untapped customer base just waiting for you, and you won't find yourself fighting for the attention you need in the more generalized big networks. The more specialized your product is, the more important it becomes for you to maximize your use of these interest-based networks.
Capitalize on Consumer Reviews
If your business has a great product and awesome customer service, that means you have happy customers. Don't hide your light under a bushel! Take advantage of the many consumer review networks out there like Yelp, Mouthshut or Qype. You should not underestimate the power of customer reviews. More than 80 percent of shoppers will look into reviews before shopping at a store or making a purchase. More importantly, they will be swayed by those reviews!
Successfully using customer reviews takes a dedicated strategy that includes choosing a network you want to focus on, soliciting reviews from your customers and then making sure to share those glowing reviews with potential customers. Start with choosing the right platform for your business. If you are a travel agency, then obviously you are going to want to use Trip Advisor. If you have a restaurant, then maybe you want to focus on Open Table or Zomato. Find the best one for your business and then steer satisfied customers to it consistently.
Most businesses today are aware of the impact that social media can have on their success, but the more specialized your business is, the more important it becomes. As a niche business, you must identify and then find your customers, communicate with them, form a relationship with them and ensure their satisfaction. Social media is today's version of good word of mouth. It is how consumers find what they need, identify who they trust to fill their needs, and communicate how happy they are with their purchases.
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Be sure that you are utilizing all the benefits that the various kinds of social media can offer to your business.