How to Promote a Small Business Using Social Media

By Michael Delpierre

social media small businessThere is a great deal of chatter these days about social media companies and how they can help a small business grow their bottom line. Of course small businesses are interested in marketing their company online.  Yet small business owners who are not Internet savvy need experienced direction on conducting social media campaigns to raise awareness about their brand and/or stimulate sales of products or services.

Social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, provide some excellent opportunities for networking with existing customers and prospects.  Each of these social media sites offers the business owner an opportunity to build a page, free of charge, to promote their company.

Step 1: Establish your company

Establishing a company page on any of these social networking sites is the first step towards company visibility in the world of social media. But having a company page is simply not enough to generate interest in a product or service or a brand.

Friends and contacts must be recruited to ‘like’ the company on Facebook, ‘follow’ the company on Twitter or make ‘contact’ with a company on LinkedIn.  Without friends, contacts, and followers, a business social networking account is in danger of lying dormant.

There are many ways to keep social networking accounts active, interesting, and dynamic.   Friend seeding is a common practice, and the main social networking accounts make it easy for the user to do this.  With the permission of the email account holder, as well as the email passcode, Facebook and Twitter will search email contacts and suggest new friends or followers.  These sites will generate emails inviting new friends or followers. This automates the process of finding friends.  There are other methods of friend seeding as well, but those mentioned above are the easiest way to get started.

Post Regularly

Additional methods of gaining more traction with social networking accounts include regular posting to social media accounts.  Posts can include links to website pages or blogs, special promotions or coupons available only online, and messages crafted for the customer or prospect to generate immediate responses or interest in a product or service.  Posting can include keywords as well as short, compelling summaries of the content linked to or the promotion that is currently available.

Respond to comments

It is important to be responsive to comments and inquiries that come through social media accounts.  Many small business owners and employees find that direct engagement with clients through social networking sites is a great way to gauge customer responses to new or existing products or services.  Business owners and stakeholders must be prepared to listen to both positive and negative input and criticism.  In the case of comments – these must be addressed in a timely manner.  Facebook now allows for the removal of posts, making it easier to ‘scrub’ a social networking page of negative customer comments.  Positive comments can stay visible.  The most important factor in maintaining a social networking presence is in responding to comments that require immediate attention.

There are people willing to help you

Many small business owners and employees are not tied to a desk or a computer all day. They are out on the road interacting with people in their line of business.  In this case, the small business owner will want to hire a social media company to keep social networking accounts active enough to continuously generate leads and interest.  Some small business owners are tied to a computer all day but have no interest or little skill in maintaining social media accounts or working with the public in this way.  This type of owner will need to hire a staff person to work on social media or find a qualified social media company to execute regular promotions.

In the world of online marketing, social media is a necessary component of any type of successful promotional campaign.

Though many companies think of social media as free, there is a hidden cost to this type of online marketing. Social networking is labor intensive, takes continuous work and requires a creative individual with new ideas to execute it properly.

The good news is that when social media campaigns are done correctly and consistently, it is effective at developing and increasing an online following over time.

For more information on setting up and maintaining social media accounts, visit