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The goal of any business is to make your business profitable. However, many small businesses struggle to do this, as they have giant, well-established businesses to compete against. If you own a small business and you are looking for ways to grow your business name and increase the number of potential customers that walk through the door, social media websites can help.

There are many social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn and Youtube. Unfortunately though, many small business owners don’t know how to best use these websites to increase their popularity. Here are 20 strategies that you may find helpful when promoting a small business on social media websites.

1. Use Multiple Social Media Websites

As was mentioned above, there are many different social media websites out there. One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is focusing on only one or two of these social media websites. It may take a little more time, but utilizing multiple social media websites increases the odds of potential customers finding you. Not every possible customer is going to use every social media website. If you use multiple sites, odds are better that your target customer base can find you.

2.Timing Matters When Posting to Social Media Websites

Another common mistake small business owners make when using social media websites to promote their business is that they post to these sites either early in the morning or late at night, when their business is opening or closing. However, many people are either asleep at those times, so they are far less likely to see these posts. When posting to social media websites, try to post at times that your target customer base is likely to be online, scanning these sites.

3.Keep Your Posts Short and to the Point

While it may be enticing to let customers know all the positive things about your business, posts made to social media websites should be kept short and sweet. Some websites, such as Twitter, have character limits. Others, such as Facebook, only display a limited amount of information on a person’s news feed. You want potential customers or clients to see what you have to say, but not overwhelm them or make them click to find out more information. Plain and simple, most won’t. So keep it short and to the point.

4. Incorporate Trending News

When you are creating content for your social media sites, consider incorporating some trending news in your post. Anytime you are able to tie in something popular with something your business offers, you will entice people. And as an added bonus, if the topic is trending, more people will be searching for it, which increases the odds of your social media post reaching more people.

5. Make Your Posts Stand Out From the Rest

How many times have you scrolled through your Facebook page and seen friend after friend posting the same image or meme? After a while, you just tune them out. Same goes for potential customers who may be scrolling through social media websites. They start to tune similar content out. So make sure the content you do post is unique and stands out from the crowd to ensure more people pay attention to it.

6. Offer Discounts

As a small business owner, you are likely looking for new ways to draw customers into your store. Offering a discount is a great way to lure customers in. Placing coupons, contests, specials or other promotional pricing on your social media websites can help you to get both new and existing customers in your store and help ensure these people continue to look at your social media pages for great offers in the future.

7. Make Customers Aware of New Products or Services

Anytime you get in a new product or begin offering a new service, let people know about it on your social media websites. This is a great way to introduce people to this new product or service. Be sure to include a brief description of the item, and tell customers how this new product or service will be beneficial to them.

8. Interact With Your Customers

A huge mistake small businesses make on their social media webpages is failing to interact with the customers who take the time to interact with them. Did someone tweet your business? Tweet them back! Did someone leave feedback on your Facebook page? Take the time to acknowledge them. It may take time to interact with your customers, but it helps you to build a repertoire with them, while also showing you value them taking the time to interact with you.

9. Don’t Let the Negative Outweigh the Positive

You will never be able to please anyone. And unfortunately, this means that you may eventually find yourself with a disgruntled customer or even former employee. It’s very common to see a negative post from these individuals here and there on a social media website. Should one appear about your company, don’t ignore it. Show other customers who may be reading the post how amazing your company’s customer service skills are and list the details needed to solve the problem. Then, let it go. Don’t continue to engage or that negative thread can overtake your entire page or make your company look argumentative.

10. Strategically Use Hashtags

The use of hashtags is controversial. Some people love them, while others hate them. While looking at hashtags can be annoying, there are benefits to using them. As such, consider using one or two short, simple, strategic hashtags that apply to your business. Don’t use long, complicated, or hard-to-spell hashtags or you will likely deter away from your post and confuse those looking at your post.

11. Automate Content

Posting to multiple social media websites takes time. However, there are websites and computer programs that can help you automate your content. You input the information you want posted, the time you want the information posted and the website you want the information posted to, and the program will do the work for you. This is a great idea if you find yourself short on time or have trouble remembering to post frequently to your social media sites.

12. Create an Idea Library for Social Media Posts

Coming up with ideas for your social media webpages is fairly easy at first. You know what you want to tell your potential customers. But, after you have been posting content daily for a few weeks, you may find yourself running out of things to say. One way you can prevent this is to create an idea library for your social media posts. Sit down and write down a list of things you want to say about your business. Then keep a piece of paper with you while at your business. Did a customer ask you a question? Create a piece of content geared around that question. Get a new product in? Explain how to use it. This helps ensure you have a steady flow of ideas for your social media posts.

13. Consider Placing Ads on Social Media Websites

You don’t instantly get followers or friends after setting up an account with any social media website. It takes time. However, if you are looking to quickly build up the number of likes, followers or friends your page has, consider paying to place ads on various social media websites, if your budget allows. This allows you to quickly build up these numbers.

14. Provide Value to Your Readers

Internet readers are deterred by sales pitches. If they are looking at your social media website, they don’t want to hear why your business is the best or have a product pushed in their face. They may want to hear the pros and cons of your service, learn how it can be beneficial to them, or learn how they should use that product. Offer your readers value, not just a sales pitch, when you post to your page.

15. Consider Letting Customers Contribute

Customers love feeling like they are appreciated by a business they frequent. If a customer offers you feedback about a product or service you offer, ask them if they would like to write up a post for your social media website. You get content for your page and the customer gets to see how much you value their opinion and feedback. It’s a win-win for all involved parties.

16. Pay Attention to What Your Competitors Are Doing

If your small business is new to the social media game, a great tip for you is to pay attention to what your competitors are doing. As you scroll through our competitor’s page, look for things you like and look for things you dislike. This will give you an idea of things you want to incorporate into your page and things you want to avoid. It may also help you see how your business is similar to, and differentiates from, other small businesses with a niche similar to yours.

17. Cross-Promote Your Business with Other Small, Local Businesses

Cross-promoting your business with other small businesses can prove to be beneficial to both businesses. You can place an ad or post on your page for their business, and in exchange, they do the same for you. Make sure the businesses you promote with target the demographics for your customer base and don’t offer the same services or products you do.

18. Include Your Social Media Information on Marketing Material

Anytime you put out marketing material, whether it be a newspaper ad, mailer, door-to-door flyer or even a commercial ad, be sure to include information to your most popular social media pages. This reminds customers to like you, and helps new customers learn more about your business.

19. Keep Followers Coming Back for More

The best way to keep your followers coming back to your social media webpages is to ensure that you post new content. Posting one to three posts a day is the best way to keep the content on your page fresh, without overloading your followers. It may take time, but the payoff will be well worth it.

20. Encourage Visitors to Like or Share Your Post

The last tip for promoting your business using social media webpages is to encourage your visitors to like or share your posts. The more people who like or share your post, the more people who see it. As such, take a second and remind those looking at your page to share your posts if they like what they read or found it to be valuable.

Setting up and learning to use multiple social media websites for a small business can be time consuming. However, when done correctly, these types of websites can help you to reach new customers and lure existing ones back to your business. There are many social media tools to help. The above tips are designed to help you do just this and help you promote your small business on social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn and Youtube.

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