(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – There have been numerous articles on the Online Success Center detailing the benefits and reasons for having a social media presence. It is important to note, however, that as a small business owner you should be planning in advance the successes you expect to see from this activity. Even if you understand how you will establish a social media presence, you should not forget why.
In light of the New Year, try to determine your business goals of a social media presence before you plan anything else. Social media goals should be measurable and beneficial to your overall business strategy. Below are a few examples:
Social media puts your business in front of more people. While users would typically need to find your website on their own, social media allows your company to be found or seen in the social networks of many of your potential customers. Awareness of your brand is spread further if some of your most happy customers take the initiative to share your company information with their personal network.
Social sites such as Facebook provide you with data to see just how well your business page is performing in terms of likes and shares. This is useful information for evaluating and measuring your goal. However, there are also third-party tools available for measuring the bigger picture of your online reputation. These are generally paid services that can range in prices. As a small business, it might be best to start with the basic analytics you can get for free, and work up from there if your goals become larger.
Increasing Traffic to Your Website
Breaking this down into its simplest terms, the best way to drive more visitors to your business website is to have more connections on the internet that link back to it. If you have an active presence in social media, your pages should always be linking back to your website in some way. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are great for sharing certain information about your products and services, but customers will ultimately want to research on the actual website before making any purchasing decisions. Social media can be a great way to capture traffic that you may not have otherwise received from traditional methods like search engine optimization (SEO).
To evaluate how well you’re reaching this goal, you should look deeper into whichever analytics program you have for your business’s website. Most analytics tools will show you where the traffic is coming from. By measuring the amount of visitors your business receives from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc., and keeping track over time, you can determine how successful you are at achieving your goal.
Increasing Your Sales
While at first glance it may not seem like social media can directly lead to a sales increase, it can definitely influence it. Many businesses use social media as an opportunity to showcase new products and provide exclusive discounts and offers on their product line. For example, invite your users to like or share something from your page in order to claim a special offer.
You can evaluate your success by using things such as coupon codes. If you provide the code on your social media channel, you should be able to determine how many customers used the code when they ended up buying something.
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