A Small Business Guide to Building Better Relationships on Social Media

Social media is an integral part of any marketing strategy, as customers expect brands and businesses to have an active social media presence. Potential customers will often check a company’s Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts before deciding whether to buy their products. However, many small businesses fail to use social media effectively, which means they are missing out on valuable opportunities to build relationships with loyal customers. Learning how to use social media effectively can give you a huge advantage over your competitors.


Build Relationships

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is to use social media as a way to generate sales and promote their products. Users of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and other social platforms want to interact with other users, including businesses; they don’t want to see advertisements, marketing material and promotional content clogging up their timeline. Focus on building long-term relationships with customers and potential customers, rather than using aggressive marketing tactics that will only annoy your fans and followers.


Learn the Rules

Each social media platform comes with its own set of unwritten rules that users are expected to abide by. It’s important to research each platform and spend some time observing how other users interact with each other. Take a look at how your competitors and influencers in your field use their social media accounts, as this will help you to determine what works best for your type of business.


Get Involved

Contribute to the social media community by providing useful content, answering questions and getting involved in campaigns that affect your business and your customers. Offer advice or ask questions to encourage interaction with potential customers. Try to be as useful as possible, without asking for anything in return.


Build Familiarity

Aim to build a solid presence that other users will be able to recognize. Familiarity is one of the cornerstones of building a trustworthy reputation. Post regular updates and reply to messages within a reasonable time frame. You can also increase public awareness of your company by using branding elements, such as your logo, slogans and images associated with your business.


Create Your Own Corner

Create your own corner of social media by using custom hashtags to interact with other users. Hashtags can be used in many different ways, such as to start conversations, run contests, request feedback on your services, perform market research or launch your products. To avoid confusion and prevent misunderstandings, try to create hashtags that no one else has used.


Encourage Sharing

One of the great things about social media is that satisfied customers like to recommend companies and tell their friends and followers about positive experiences, such as products that exceed their expectations or excellent customer service. Make it easy for people to share your content, promotional messages, website address, social media accounts and anything else your customers may want to share. You can even offer incentives, such as voucher codes or free samples, for people who give an honest review of your company on consumer websites.

Social media can make or break a business. Developing the right strategy is crucial for long-term success when using sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to promote your business. Focus on building relationships with other users and increasing awareness of your services, rather than trying to sell products through your social media accounts.

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