5 Types of Social Media Your Local Small Business Should Be On
Should Your Local Small Business Be on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or Snapchat?
In today’s episode: We discuss the top 5 social media sites that local small businesses should consider. Stop being stubborn, social media isn’t going away and is being the number one source people check when looking for references. Toss away the yellow pages, now Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest & Snapchat are your new best advertising tools!
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Episode 79: Types of Social Media Your Local Small Business Should Be On
Welcome back to the Local Small Business Coach Podcast. I am your coach, Tammy Adams.
Today we are going to take a look at the 5 types of social media that local small businesses need to be a part of: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest or Snapchat
Hey everyone, so how many of you are using social media for your local small business? I know you might be using social media personally, but do you have an account for your business? If you do, I’m curious as to what you have found to be most effective? And if you don’t use social media, why not? What is keeping you from taking the leap?
Today’s question, comes Beth. Now Beth has been in business for quite some time but has never used social media as part of her strategy. But now she realizes that the time has come to dip her toe into the social media world to grow her local small business.
Let’s take a look at Beth’s question:
I have been cutting hair for the last 20 years. Over time, I have built a pretty decent clientele. However, I want to take my business to the next level. But in order to do this, I think I’m going to have to step outside of my comfort zone and use social media. I barely know how to use my Facebook, so I don’t have the first clue as to what to do next. Do you have any advice for a novice like myself who knows I should be using social media but I just don’t know where to begin? I appreciate any insight you might have. Beth
Hey Beth, first off congratulations on being a local small business owner for over 20 years. That alone is pretty darn amazing. I also want to congratulate you on realizing that in order to continue for another 20 years, you’re going to have to do business differently than you have in the past. Unfortunately, the folks that tend to fight social media the most are those that have been able to build their business without it. After all, if you been able to build a solid business without it, why would you need it going forward? Well, at least that’s the mindset that many long time business owners have.
It is important to realize, that the way people found you in the past, is not how they going to find you in the future. The days of grabbing your local Yellow Pages or phonebook are over. Nowadays, people turn to their family and their friends as well as social media to get those recommendations of who they should frequent. Especially for personal services like Beth’s.
So, Beth, if I woke up in your shoes, the first thing I would do, is think about my customers and which social media are they currently on today? Let me ask you, do you specialize in cutting any particular person’s hair more than others? For example, do you specialize in cutting kids hair? men’s hair? women’s hair? Or everyone? Or maybe you offer certain services that people want more than others. For example, maybe you specialize in dying women’s hair. This way, you can focus on one particular niche and try to drive that particular piece of your business through social media.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS ABOUT TAPPING INTO PEOPLE’S EMOTIONS
Now the key to social media, isn’t just about pounding people with what you do. There’s only so many times they can hear that you cut hair before they don’t want to hear from you anymore. Remember, people get excited when they see the results of the haircut. After all, isn’t the biggest fear people have is getting a bad haircut? So the more you can show them the before and after, the more people are going to be drawn to you. So knowing this, helps us narrow down which type of social media that you would benefit the most from using.
While there are many types of social media, the big 5 right now are going to be Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapshot and Twitter. The first four are very visual mediums. Which are perfect for a business like yours. But don’t worry I’m not going to tell you to master them all. However, I would definitely pick two of them and work on building a strong following on them both. Let’s take a look at what each has to offer.
Facebook is by far is the number one social media site. And you are more likely to hit your target customers on Facebook. The great thing about Facebook is, you get to reach your target audience through both your personal page but also through a business page but the most powerful pages or the community pages. Since folks will know you have a local small business you end up kind of like a local star in your community. And since cutting hair is one of those personal things where people like to share their “person”, these folks will be your best marketing.
Now, if you’ve listen to the show for a while, you have heard me talk about how I think these Facebook community rooms are gold mines for local small business owners. You need to join every community page you can find. They allow you to talk to your customers. That doesn’t mean get on there and start selling your business. That isn’t the plan. Your main mission is to just be engaged with the group. Put a face to the name. Then when people are asking for recommendations, folks that have used you before, will toss out your name and now people will have a face, a real person to relate to since they have been seeing you on a regular basis.
Remember, you want to engage at least 10 times on general things happening for every one “ask” or reminder that you might toss out what you do. Then on some weekend, just toss out that you have some openings this weekend and if anyone is in need of a haircut, to give you a call. That alone will spark conversation. Even if you don’t get any bites for that weekend, people will remember you.
What I love the most about Instagram is it’s all about the pictures. People that are using Instagram really well in their business are creating great visuals that inspire people or get them excited. For example, one of the groups of people that I follow on my Instagram account are people that do dog grooming. I love seeing the before and after pictures of when a dog gets groomed. They make some of the cutest pictures with these dogs. Not only because they might be dressed up or they might have bows in their hair, but let’s face it, doggies are cute and who doesn’t love animals? So, what happens is, when these people are having fun with the animals, they take pictures in various stages throughout the process. I find them entertaining and cute. This is what gets a person like me to like and remember them.
If you think about your business, it’s a great way to show before and after pictures of your clients. You can show the various hairstyles that you are able to create. Let’s just say you decide that you want to focus on children’s haircuts. You could do all kinds of pictures of the various kids haircuts that you take. People love kids and are always looking for ideas. Just remember, make sure you always get permission by the way on anyone you want to post. Oh, and if you specialize in dying women’s hair. Once again, more great before-and-after shots to show what that looks like.
Now Pinterest is also a very visual medium. However, most of the time, it’s not just straight pictures like you see on Instagram. If you hop on Pinterest, you will see a lot more marketing slant than Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, Pinterest is a great way to share those same pictures that you take for Instagram. However, keep in mind that Pinterest is more heavily weighted towards females. You will also not have as targeted local customers like Facebook and Instagram. You tend to get more followers from all over the world.
Don’t get me wrong I love Pinterest, I just happen to think that it fits some businesses better than others. Pinterest is great for people looking for fitness, for cooking, and for selling physical products because it’s a great way to drive people to your website. So, for any of you local small business owners that have a visual component to your business and you have a website that you can do additional traffic for other areas of the states, then Pinterest might be best for you. But for someone who’s more of a mom and pop whose services have to be done more locally, Pinterest isn’t going to get you as much traffic. Pinterest might get you a lot of followers and get a lot of people loving what you do, but it’s not going to put money in your cash register because you really need to target the people that are in your local community. So Beth, I don’t think Pinterest is going to be as strong for your particular business.
Snapchat is the newbie of our five social media sites we are talking about. It tends to skew more towards younger folks or Millennials. Snapchat is also very visual, so you get to take pictures but you also get to do little videos. So were Snapchat can come in handy is if you want to do little quick 10 second videos of what you’re doing. So if your target audience was going to be teenagers or folks in their 20s, Snapchat might be perfect for your type of business.
Once again, I see Snapchat growing but it will be a bit before it becomes popular with certain demographics. I just haven’t seen it be as powerful for local small business owners at this time. By the way, if any of you are using Snapchat in your local small business, drop me an email and let me know how you are using it to drive business.
It definitely is one to keep an eye on because it is growing faster than any other social media site. But Beth, in your case I don’t see you getting the return that you would want for the energy that you’re gonna put into it.
Twitter is one of the old dogs of social media. Most of us have a Twitter account and we post like crazy to it. The problem with Twitter is, your posts have a shelf life of attention span of a few minutes. It is all about the timing of it. Very few folks are using it on a regular basis. Those that do, are normally engaging with folks in real time via their Twitter feed.
Twitter is also not a visual medium. Now, they do allow you to add pictures now, but for your type of business, it will not be as impactful. People don’t use Twitter for the visual. And as I mentioned early, I think Twitter isn’t the best for your particular business Beth.
SO WHAT SHOULD BETH USE?
Alright Beth, so which of the five social media platforms would I use if I was you. Well, if it was my business, my personal favorite would be Facebook and Instagram. I just think that these two offer you the greatest opportunity to reach your potential customers. Plus, with Instagram being tied into Facebook now, almost all of the folks on Facebook that you are friends with or people that are in your address book, which by the way could include previous clients, have the ability to follow you on Instagram. They will see a pop up letting them know you might be a great person to follow. This automatically helps you create followers in your local community. By having those two social media sites tied together, means that you will have two good solid platforms to reach your local community.
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU SPEND ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
Finally Beth, I want to talk about how long you should spend on each of these social media sites. First off please know I do not expect you to go down the rabbit hole and spend hours and hours a day on Facebook or Instagram or any social media for that matter. Please know it is very easy to get sucked into that world, so it will definitely take some restraint and control on your part. It is easy to start watching those funny cat videos or when those people make fools of themselves or those videos where they show you to make some yummy food recipe. So be careful not to get sucked in.
The key to any good social media is to make sure that you are setting aside a specific timeframe for you to work on it. So maybe you do it in the morning and then you come back in the afternoon and do a little more. It just takes 10 to 15 minutes being sociable should do the trick for you.
LEARN ALL YOU CAN ABOUT THE SOCIAL PLATFORM MEDIA YOU PICK
Since you are new to Social Media, make sure you dive in to learn these mediums they each have unique quirks.
Now learning Facebook is actually pretty easy. Especially because you have already been on it. You are familiar with the basics. The biggest thing that you want to do with Facebook to learn more about business pages and community pages. You will want to like your friends and family’s posts. You will want to comment here and there. Beth please, whatever you do. Do not make your Facebook page about drama!
Trust me nobody wants to hop on and see the drama that’s going on in your life or drama that you have with other people. They might want to watch at car wreck but trust me that doesn’t pull them into you and make them want to use you where your business. I personally try to make sure that mine is always about fun things, inspirational things, positive things. Let others be about the drama and you be about the inspiration.
I am not an expert on Instagram, but I do know that the key to Instagram are those little hashtags that you put in there (similar to Twitters). Since this will be a new medium for you, just sign up and start following a bunch people who do what you do and the friends, family and other community folks you find. Look at what those in your business are posting. What grabs you and seems to be successful for them.
Then hop on YouTube and study Instagram. There are all kinds of experts out there. A good Google search will help you find some good teachers out there. Set aside 10 -15 minutes or a 1/2 hour every day to start learning more about Instagram. You will learn what works for you.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
So, as I wrap this episode, the biggest thing I want to do for not only Beth but for all of you is to know that you cannot ignore social media any longer. The way you will drive your business in the future is by connecting and communicating with your customers and clients. And you will do this through social media. All the advertising in the world, all the flyers in the world, will never drive as much business as a really good website and 1 to 2 really good social media sites.
You need to have forward thinking. You don’t have to like technology. I get it. But if you want to run a successful local small business you don’t have a choice. You need to quit being stubborn and you need to make it happen. And if you’re like Beth, I applaud you for recognizing that now is the time to hop on the social media train. Just dive in and start playing. You don’t have to be an expert. You will watch and figure out what works for you in your business. And most of all, the key to social media is to have fun. Don’t make it too complicated or too serious. Social media is about fun. That’s what people love to be drawn to. People want energy, so let them have fun. Let them see you having fun.
And as we wrap up this episode I want you to know, that I realize being a local small business owner can be a lonely gig at times. But you don’t have to do it alone. Just know, I’m always here for you.
By the way, If you like what we are taking about, then make sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode, if you love the podcast and what we are talking about, then please leave a 5 star review so other local small business owners know this is a podcast that they can’t miss.
And don’t forget to visit the website at LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com to leave your question for me to possibly answer on the podcast in the future. You can leave it via the Speakpipe button or just shoot me an email.
Meanwhile, I wish you the best in your business and remember: Great Customer Service, coupled with Great business practices will set you on the path to Great Profits!
Bye for now…..
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