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Using Social Media To Grow A Small Business

It's no secret that social media has had a meteoric rise over the last decade. Even just ten years ago, relatively few businesses invested time and money into building websites. Today, social media has provided a free digital channel that almost all businesses use to reach customers. While social media has been invaluable for many small businesses, its sheer scale now means that business owners must stand out in a very crowded space.

If used correctly, social media can be a fantastic tool to drive customer engagement and brand awareness for businesses large and small. Which social media platforms you use will depend on who your core customer group is and what they are using.The best idea is usually to try out multiple platforms and see for yourself where you have the most success. Is your company's social media strategy effective?

Be consistent. The best way to achieve steady growth is by posting to your social media platforms consistently. You should be sharing interesting content a minimum of several times a week, although several times a day is better. It can be tough to generate enough content to continuously post interesting, relevant things that your customers will want to read, but remember that you don't have to generate all of the content yourself. Sharing photos, videos, articles and news related to your business will keep your customers engaged. Be sure to also keep your message and "voice" as consistent as your frequency of posts.

Add value. The best way to grow your followers—and your business—is to provide a value-add for them. Ask yourself what would make someone want to connect with your business. For example, running promotions or giveaways from your social media page can provide a benefit to those who connect. Similarly, offering expert advice can give people a reason to add or follow you.

Capitalize. Having an established online presence is great, but it won't do you any good if you aren't seeing any return to your bottom line. Once you have engaged your current and potential customers, it's important to provide them with ways to buy. There is a fine line between coming off as too sales-oriented and giving customers the opportunity to make purchases from you. But if done properly, your social media presence can really help drive sales. Let your customers know about sales and promotions, new products and how they can easily do business with you.

Emma Sledge is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on

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