Michelle Keegan Kimball
  • By Michelle Keegan Kimball
  • 14 Feb 2013

As a small business owner, it’s easy to assume you’re too “small” to be a marketing powerhouse. How are you supposed to find customers without spending a fortune like the big guys?

Simple - you do what small businesses do best and forge meaningful relationships with your customers! Here’s how:

Goliath, Meet David

Have your SEO efforts been blown to smithereens by competitors with endless reserves of cash? Are your traditional marketing methods being drowned out by big business media blitz? It’s easy to get discouraged, but remember this - as the owner of a small company, you actually have superior expertise when it comes to your industry, products and services. You’re more involved with what you’re selling – and you have a closer link to your customers via (yes, no prizes for guessing!) social media.

Get a Leg Up

There’s been a lot of buzz about the creative ways in which large companies are using sites like Twitter and Facebook. But there are even more exciting opportunities when it comes to social media for small business. Instead of sending flurries of meaningless tweets to nameless, faceless followers, you can instigate personal conversations that generate real results. You just have to take what you do in the real world, and apply it on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Have Meaningful Interactions

The key is to keep things personal. This isn’t the time or place to spam your followers with aggressive marketing messages. Instead, see what people have to say about your industry, services and products. Join the conversation in a meaningful, interesting and helpful way. Share content that gets people talking. Show people that a real person, not a robot, is available to help.

Give People a Reason to Share

It doesn’t hurt to give people an incentive to share their positive experiences with your company online. As a part of your social media marketing plan, you could offer perks to those who share positive information about your company on sites like Facebook and Twitter, like discounts, free shipping offers or other deals.

Keep it Local

Posting stories about local events is a savvy way for your small business to engage in social media marketing – and there are services that help. For example, MarketMeSuite, a social media dashboard for small business, can help you manage and post to all of your social profiles (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) from one place. You can also search for people on social media who are having conversations about topics related to your business (hello prospects!) and even target geographically (hello local prospects!).

Start a Word-of-Mouth Frenzy

A viral word-of-mouth campaign is the ultimate reward for small businesses – and to the chagrin of bigger companies, it can’t be forced. Small businesses are the ones more likely to enjoy this kind of social media marketing success, and it can start with as few as 20 people talking about you.

Michelle Keegan Kimball (@michellekimb) is the Director of Marketing for MarketMeSuite, (@MarketMeSuite) and has been sharing her expertise with small businesses for over 20 years.

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