Social media is by far one of the most powerful marketing tools for small businesses today. When used to its fullest potential, social media can increase your reach, improve customer satisfaction, boost sales and help solidify your brand. Yet, with so many options, platforms and techniques, how can you be sure you are truly getting the most out of this dynamic tool? Here are 5 tips that will help you harness the power of social media for your business.

Keep it Real

One of the down sides of the Internet is its somewhat impersonal nature. Social media provides a unique avenue to reach both your existing customers and your prospects, but in order to truly do so effectively you have to be willing to show them your personal side. People want to know that there’s a person behind your brand, not just a business. Many business owners forget this important component.  It’s ok to post business-related topics, but you should balance that with real-life posts that reveal what you are passionate about. Why not share a funny quote from your child or a favorite recipe you’ve been meaning to try? When you keep things real, you’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll be able to connect with your audience.

Focus Your Energy

Many business owners approach social media with the mistaken idea that they have to have an equal presence on every available platform. What ends up happening is they feel overwhelmed, and often abandon all of their social media efforts altogether. The truth is it’s perfectly ok to pick one platform that you enjoy and are good at, and stick with it. Rather than trying to manage 5 different networks half-heartedly, you should instead focus your time and energy on making one or two as effective as you can. Figure out which social media platform contains the highest concentration of your target audience, and then work from there.

Use Facebook to Generate Leads

What would your business be if not for leads? Certainly not much. Yet, actually getting your hands on quality leads isn’t always a simple task. Facebook provides an excellent opportunity to grow your list of leads through a simple opt-in strategy. All you need to do is use iFrames to create a custom welcome tab on your fan page. This will let you implement what’s known as a “reveal tab”, which involves the following two steps:

1)  Include a compelling call to action to encourage visitors to “like” your page.

2)  Once a new user “likes” your page, offer them a prize or giveaway in exchange for providing their contact information.

By using this strategy, you will be able to increase your fan base and grow your leads list at the same time!

Harness the Power of Video

One of the most effective ways to make the most of your social media marketing activities is through the use of video. Simply put, video creates a much more dynamic, engaging way for people to interact with your brand. It also happens to be an excellent tool for getting your website to the top of search engine results. Create a custom channel on YouTube for your business, and then begin posting a series of short videos that showcase your products or services. Remember to provide something of value to your potential viewers, such as instructional videos or testimonials, and include visually appealing graphics. Oh, and a little well-placed humor doesn’t hurt. Just remember to keep the clips short – no longer than 3 minutes each.

(Our article that highlights some of the recent changes to YouTube can help you get started.)

Share Some Secrets

The fastest way to generate interest and develop a following on social media is to offer access to industry secrets of how-to tips that your readers can’t find anywhere else. Not only will you be providing your audience with content that they can use and truly solves their problems, but it will also be much more likely to be linked to and shared. Start by developing a list of commonly asked (and hardest to answer) questions that you receive from your customers, and then use that list to develop content.

Want more ideas on how you can master social media and use it to bring your marketing to the next level? Check out these other helpful articles on and creative ways you can Socially Reward Your Customers. When you truly harness the power of social media for your business, the results will amaze you.

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