Social Media for Small Businesses
In the digital world that we live in, people can connect to each other effortlessly via social networks such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Instagram. As the amount of people using social networks in their personal lives has risen, so too has the number of businesses setting up accounts on these innovative sites in an attempt to reach new audiences and boost brand presence. This guide examines some of the top social networks and their benefits for a small business looking to integrate their printed business cards and offline promotional tools with the modern world of social media.
For smaller businesses who only have time to maintain one social platform to a high standard, Facebook is a worthwhile venture. More than one billion people log onto Facebook every month, so the chances of being able to find a large number of people in a business’ target demographic are high. Facebook is a great network for businesses who wish to create a community of users around their brand. Users can interact through wall posts and status updates, and features such as polls and the ability to upload video, pictures and other forms of media allow the page operators to communicate closely with clients or prospective customers. Moreover, the Facebook icon itself is an instantly recognisable one. Placing it on a business card and on other methods of promotional material including flyers and leaflets can increase traffic not only to the Facebook page, but to the company website itself.
Rather than building a community and interacting closely with clients like Facebook, Twitter is more preoccupied with news feeds and real-time updates. Users update their status in a limited message of 140 characters, meaning that businesses who can be concise and to the point will see excellent results from using Twitter. Building a steady Twitter following requires dedicated and consistent ‘Tweeting’; even users who see a company name in their feed once every few days or once a week will be more inclined to turn to their business when they are in need of a certain product or service. Twitter also allows for further sharing and can enhance the probability that something will ‘go viral’. The ‘Retweet’ function allows users to share Tweets with their own followers, meaning that an interesting, funny or exciting update can be shared around thousands upon thousands of users within minutes, depending on who deems the update good enough to pass on. Adding a Twitter username to printed business cards and other office stationery signifies a company which is at the cutting edge of modern technology, whilst the easy format (@username) means there are no expansive URLs or long web addresses to share.
Known as the ‘business network’, LinkedIn is probably the social network which requires the least maintenance, but is ideal for professionals who want to network. Each user is allocated a page where they list their qualifications, areas of expertise and their past positions. LinkedIn doesn’t require regular updates from its users in order to stay relevant, and is simply a way for professionals and businesses to connect with likeminded users or companies; it is primarily used for attracting potential employees, creating business connections and networking.
Please direct press queries to Rebecca Appleton at Dakota Digital. Email Rebecca@dakotadigital.co.uk or Tel: 01623 428996.
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