This article originally appeared on Intuit’s excellent Small Business Matters blog. For experienced – ahem – media professionals – lots of this will be self-evident, but the world isn’t full of latte-drinking wankers on fixed wheel bikes, and it’s those who this is aimed at.
1) If you’ve got a Facebook page, make it fun. If you try the hard sell on your ‘friends’, people will just switch off. Instead, fill your page with videos and articles that they’ll love – and importantly, share, because in the digital era content really is king. Intel’s brilliant Museum of Me project is exactly what I’m talking about.
2) Update customers (both real and potential) with an email newsletter – you can ask an IT type to put a ‘subscribe’ button on your site. Say you run a small business concerned with technology, send your customers a mailout with interesting tech links in it, perhaps making one of the links go to something you’ve put on your site/Facebook page.
I edit an online men’s magazine, Umbrella and we update our readers with a weekly newsletter which not only entertains them, but drives them back to our site. We use Mail Chimp for this – great for email campaigns.
3) Have a conversation with your customers. By telling them about interesting things that are going on in your chosen field, you become someone they’re happy to interact with. Write a blog on your company website, and like the Facebook page, update it regularly with interesting stuff. Once they’re on your site, they’re more likely to to use your paid-for services.
4) The best use for Twitter is as a filter to the net. ‘Follow’ and ‘re-tweet’ journalists and experts in your field, because they’ll point you to articles and trends that you may not have heard about. You in turn can use those ideas yourself or link them back to your Facebook or website. There’s a whole world out there – be inspired by it.
5) Don’t get lazy. Facebook, Twitter and blogs rely on people updating their profiles. Like it or not, the state of your social media says a lot about your company’s attitude. If you haven’t added anything to your blog in three months, it’ll look like you’re closed for business and people will go elsewhere. You might not like it, but that’s the way it is.