Social media is taking over the world, literally. Facebook currently has over one billion members and counting. To better put this figure into perspective, if Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest country in the world! Every minute, LinkedIn gains 120 new users. Approximately 175 million tweets were sent from Twitter on a daily basis in 2012. Businesses that are not currently taking advantage of social media to market their brands are really missing the boat.

SMB Social Media Usage Statistics

A recent survey indicates that 90 percent of small businesses are actively engaged in social media to promote their brand; however, an astonishing 60 percent of these businesses have experienced challenges in building an effective social media marketing strategy. Discussed below are some helpful tips for successfully marketing your brand using your business’s social media pages:

  • Simply creating a Facebook page for your business is not going to get the job done. By engaging your fans and taking a more interactive approach, you will earn more likes, comments, and shares of your content. Try out a Facebook campaign where you reward the fan that gets the most likes on a picture of your product that he shared with his social network. Another way to encourage participation is to offer a modestly priced giveaway or product discount to fans that offer feedback or provide a review of your product.

  • More than 50 percent of Twitter users have tweeted about a brand at some point. This fact alone makes Twitter one of your most powerful social media tools and is certainly not a marketing channel to overlook. The key to Twitter is getting your followers to buy-in to your brand so that they will promote it within their own networks. Since people tend to connect better with other people versus just a brand, you need to make sure your brand’s personality is apparent to other Twitter users. Using Twitter to humanize your brand makes for a more successful social media marketing strategy.

  • While Facebook and Twitter can also serve as virtual platforms to discuss the latest reality TV show or weekend escapades out on the town, LinkedIn tends to serve more business-to-business discussions. LinkedIn offers small business owners the opportunity to keep tabs on industry contacts, participate in groups, earn recommendations from customers and colleagues to build brand credibility, and much more. Also, LinkedIn content is indexed by search engines like Google and Bing, providing small businesses with another opportunity to boost SEO. To make the most of this strategy, be sure to include relevant keywords in your company’s LinkedIn profile.

Many small business owners are now opting to hire a social media manager to handle the company’s digital marketing efforts. Deferring social media to an experienced professional can help to ensure that the online marketing strategy is optimized and implemented correctly for the best results.

What other social media marketing tips do you have for small business owners? What have you learned the hard way?

About Justin Fishaw

As Director of Marketing, I oversee branding & the inbound lead generation program at DigitalSherpa. My days are spent developing and implementing online marketing tactics and campaigns, writing and optimizing all website content, and developing partnerships in an effort to grow the business. In my free time, I enjoy running my clothing line, SMPLFD, and exploring the streets of Atlanta with my pup, Uncle Jesse.