Dear Small business owners,
I have a passion to help busy small business owners make their businesses more successful. One big thing people often forget is their social media strategy. Most people use Google to find businesses to fulfill a need or desire they have. A few weeks ago I was interested in finding a clothing store to pick up some feminine, vintage finds. I had heard of one and decided to look it up. Instead of visiting the store and hoping for the best, I looked it up on Facebook. I wanted to know if the store had reviews or any Facebook fans. The store I had heard of had very little interaction on the Facebook, and had only posted a few times. I didn't want to drive far out to go to a store I couldn't find any information on, so I kept looking and found another one with a update page and eventually made a purchase. The other store could have garnered my interest with their Facebook. I would have been satisfied with 10 likes and 5 pictures! Just have something to advertise your product to me!
Focusing on customer satisfaction and quality products is important. If you have both of those things, the next most important aspect is your online presence. Even if you only spend 20 minutes once a day putting a post on Facebook, or find a young college student to update your website, do it! I can not stress that enough.Stay within budget, keep it simple, but make sure something is there to represent your business that contains current contact and location information.
At the end of the day, profits are the goal. Create goals for your website and social media. Use tracking websites such as Google Analytics or Crazy Egg (more info on those here: http://goo.gl/bKwdMZ). Do not spend money you do not have or set unrealistic goals. For instance, do not expect to have 500 Facebook fans in the first 6 months. Quality matters more than quantity, and 70 dedicated fans is better than 1000 likes but no engagement or interaction. Don't get weary, people always think that they should have 1,000's of followers on Facebook and a million clicks a day on their website. The point is to have that presence there so that if people decide to participate, they can.
A great way to jumpstart your Facebook is to get friends and family involved. Have them like, respond, and maybe even give a few friends (as in no more than 3, you are not a charity) small samples of the product to test. Let them know this is the only time they will get a free sample. This is a great way to get some supporters and they can start telling whomever they meed about the product they tried and loved. A great fun way to do that is similar to a Mary Kay or Avon Party. This allows people to see up close what they are buying. One last idea, if you have the budget, is to have a website launching party. I'll have more on marketing events in another post.
Sorry if I overloaded you with information! Feel free to comment if you have any questions.