Social media is made up of websites that make it easy for people to share articles, photos, videos and links. Some of the more popular social media websites are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Once you have a business website, you can grow your reach - how many people online see information about your business - by using social media. People can read your posts on Facebook or other social media, or click on a link to visit your website. To be clear, the more engagement and real activity you have on the social media of your choice, the more likely it is that your social media will prompt visits to your website and then to your store.
Social media may also help improve search engine results.
That gives your business two opportunities to rank on the first page of search engine results:
Two opportunities to rank is better than one in terms of what people see, which are your business websites, and what they don't see (your competition). Businesses that do not participate in social media risk losing business.
The usual approach is to claim and set up a Facebook, Twitter or other social media page. Do not use your personal page.
Start posting. Recognizing that people will not read an endless stream of commercials for any business, you will want to post related information: an article about industry trends, a repost of a light-hearted piece, or even upbeat news related to the neighborhood in which your business is located. Occasionally write an article to promote your business’ specials or other commercial.
Doing this well builds your credentials, making your business the one place to go to when people need what you sell.
Posting will be time-consuming until you get used to it. This is because all tasks take time to learn, and more time to get fast at them. However, regular activity on social media will bring people to your store. Reading the articles on social media in this chapter will help.
One other warning: The greater the competition in your industry, the harder you will work on your social media to get the results you need.
Once you have become good at using one social media to bring business into your store, look for another one and follow the same path as above. Except that the second social media that your business uses has to offer value that can only be found by following you there - not just repeating what you post on the first one. You will reach a point where you have two or three social media working effectively for your business. Then come back here and follow the next step, which involves actually spending ad dollars.