How To Grow Your Small company Using Social Media

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Are you currently a small business owner researching ways to grow your business? Do you wish to attract more leads to your company, or have heard about Facebook marketing, and now want to try it?

Being a small business owner you face many challenges - limited capital, minimal support staff and having too much to do in what seems like very little time. So, how do you increase your small business without heavy purchase of marketing and advertising? Answer - with the use of technology. Web 2.0 will provide you with various tools and techniques that really help you to generate leads while increasing the exposure of one's home-based business. Social media is but one such tool. Here's everything you should know as a small business owner to begin with increasing revenues using social media.

What is Social Media?
Social websites is a category of online media where individuals are talking, participating, sharing, networking, and bookmarking online. These comprise of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, GooglePlus, and MySpace.

What exactly is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is using the above mentioned platforms to reach a new audience of consumers and create product brand awareness. By spreading word of a product from user to user, Facebook marketing strives to gain greater legitimacy for any message because it is shared between trusted "friends."

Which Social websites Channels are most popular?
Studies show that Facebook & Twitter are most favored social media channels followed closely by YouTube and LinkedIn, GooglePlus.

How is it that Social Media Marketing Interest me?
If you believe this kind of Marketing isn't for you, think again. These platforms offer a large bundle of advantages to small business owners. Here are several reasons why you should consider using Social media marketing for your business.

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Exposure: As a small business owner you rely largely on network marketing to channel results in your business - which, subsequently relies on your interaction with folks. This is the core understanding of what Social Media is! But Social Media offers virtually unlimited opportunities to interact with people - an incredible number of them! With this interesting way of marketing, your business is not limited to local leads; you'll find leads coming in from a diversified geographic market!

Zero-cost: While other marketing media can be expensive, this type of marketing is comparatively free, or requires negligible monetary investment. It's really a great low-cost way to get your message across.

Improved online presence: Being on popular social media platforms strengthens your web presence. The more people mention you on Facebook or Twitter, the more are the chances of your company being found on relevant web searches for example Google, Yahoo!, or Bing.

Direct exposure to prospects: These platforms keep you in touch with your customers directly. You could have one-on-one contact with them, determine what they really want.

Go viral: Such marketing will give you the opportunity to go viral together with your marketing. Think about this. You put up a video regarding your business on YouTube. 10 people like it, and five of them share it with their friends, who in-turn share it with 20 the best way to. This is known as "viral marketing," this means you will be a very effective approach to increase your lead generation.

Exactly what is a Social Media "game plan" and why should you have one?
A social networking game plan is a process including a few simple steps that can help you achieve your social internet marketing objectives. The social websites arena is large and you will get lost in it unless you play by the rules. There's a lot of competition and you have to experience a clear plan if you wish to stand out of the crowd and get noticed.

Your ideal Social websites game plan
A typical game plan for your business should include these four steps

 Build your network
 Propagate your presence
 Stay connected

Step 1 - create your network: The first step is always to search for and add those users in your network whom you think belong to your target audience segment. When placing a request to add users for your network, it is always better to accompany such requests with a personalized message. It's also possible to look for and join groups that have to do with your line of business. For instance, if you are a business selling Health drinks and also other health-related products, you could join groups where topics such as nutrition, diet or health are discussed. Bring in more business provide you audience to the products you have to offer. However, much more a group, do remember to ADD VALUE. Answer questions that you are equipped to answer, actively participate in discussions, be subtle , nor aggressively "push" your products.

Step 2-propagate: The next task is to announce your Social media marketing presence. You can do this by having links to your social networking pages on your website, e-mail signature line or newsletter, if you have one. You are around with your business-announce it!

Step 3-stay connected:The 3rd step is to stay connected with your fans and group members. Social media initiative is easy to start, but requires effort to maintain. And like many networking efforts, answers are usually not immediate. Acquire permission from group members among others on your network to send e-mails. You can then e-mail relevant content to people on your network. The important thing here is to send RELEVANT, VALUE ADDING content-not an advertisement of your products/services. If you are a health-drink selling company that's also a part of the diet and nutrition group, you can send links like '10 Best Anti-Oxidant Rich Fruits' and then perhaps add a graphic and some information about your products, encouraging people to get in touch with you if they're interested. This process will be better-received than just sending the prospects an e-mail flyer totally committed to your product.

Dos and Don'ts
While social networking is all about human interaction and cannot be strait-jacketed, here are some tips that will come in handy.

What you should do?
Improve the value of your contacts: Always add value to your contacts. Always! Provide them valuable information, tips and other interesting facts that they can use. For example, Jane, a home-based small business owner sells health drinks and weight loss products. So, it seems sensible for her to provide the wedding guests with interesting articles on the subject of weight loss.

Remain consistent in your online participation: It's not a one-time effort. To expect building a relationship... and relationships take time. Be consistent in your social media marketing communication. Have an interesting tweet/post/update no less than every day. In some few cases, multiple postings a day are even better-but don't forget rule#1-add value. Your content shouldn't sound like pointless ramblings or advertisements of the product/service.

Pay attention to what's being discussed: If you have joined a forum or even a group, actively take part in relevant discussions. Make use of specific, professional knowledge to assist others. Contribute to add depth and dimension to a discussion.

Conversation is paramount: As mentioned before, social media marketing endures relationships. To build a powerful relationship with your prospects, you have to engage in a conversation with these. Maintain a 2-way communication between your audience. Take genuine fascination with what they have to say and follow up on comments or observations that are made.

Thoroughly have in mind the subject you are speaking about: Position yourself as an expert on these platforms. But make certain you know what you're referring to. Research if you aren't absolutely clear on something. Mistakes on these platforms spread quickly and damage the status for your business.

Personalize your interaction: It's better to personalize your interaction using your audience. Inquire about a conference or occasion posted on the Wall, such as a recent trip, or "like" the trip pictures on Facebook.

Portray your individuality: The most important advantage small business owners have over large corporations is the fact that they are much smaller and haven't lost that real-person feel. Allow your audience know the person behind the business enterprise. Make sure your interactions will include a personal side!

Reply to your customers' grievances ASAP: Are you aware that 88% of customers say unanswered complaints on social media sites deter them from doing repeat business? And deleting customer complaints is a whole lot worse! So make sure you resolve your customer's complaints on social websites platforms immediately. Even if you can't resolve them, at the very least respond so that they know they're being heard. Acknowledge everything.

Mention your Social media marketing presence: Advertise your profiles. Always provide links on your social media profile in your website, blog, e-mails and in many cases print materials. For websites and blogs, it's best to add Facebook and twitter widgets which give a live feed of what is happening on your Facebook/twitter page, at that time on your website or blog. Provide incentives or value adding information such as whitepapers or articles so that you can encourage people to follow you on social media sites!

Monitor & moderate: Monitor your social websites presence. Find out where your name's coming online and in what context it is often used. A Google alert will be the simplest way to do this, even though there are many free tools available on the web to monitor your web presence. Remain in-control of your social media pages. Read what other people are putting up on your page and respond promptly.

Syndicate your Social websites content: Content creation takes time. So why not make the most of this content you have? Post your articles on all popular social media sites and don't hesitate to re-use them. Turn your blog post into a link and place it on Facebook. Morph it into a video and add to YouTube and Facebook or turn it into a presentation and put it up on SlideShare. The aim is to get maximum exposure on your content.

What you should not do?

DON'T overtly push your products/services: Social media is a platform

in places you build relationships, to create value. It's NOT an advertising venue. Your audience

will shun you if all that you talk about is the belongings you sell. Think about it, could you talk to your family

and friends about the products you sell continuously? Of course not! Then don't treat your

social media audience any differently.

DON'T spam your contacts with pointless updates: OK, now you added two new items to your line-up. While it is good to share the news, don't spam your contacts with ads. Put up a link to the new range of products; monitor who is interested and share information on a need-to-know basis.

DON'T have grammar and spelling errors inside your posts: You are a small business out to create an effect. Don't spoil it through spelling and grammatical errors. Use spelling/grammar checking tools, but never rely solely with them. Proofread your posts before putting them up online. If spelling or grammar just isn't your strong suit, have someone else proofread your projects before it goes out

DON'T are not able to respond to requests for help in your area of expertise: If you're a part of a group or forum, seize every possiblity to display your expertise. You shouldn't be a wallflower-actively participate in discussions.

Don't allow your profile get stale: Be sure that your profile is frequently updated and you offer something new. One mistake many small businesses proprietors make is creating social media profiles and then neglecting them. Your social websites efforts have to be on-going to bear results.

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