Get the Word Out: Build Your Client Base with a Social Media Manager
If you think that small local businesses don’t need social media, you’re wrong. These days, your potential customers are not letting their fingers walk them through the yellow pages or reading the newspaper, they on their mobile devices trying to find a new place to eat or shop, and if you aren’t listed, you just missed out. Since most small business owners don’t have time to promote themselves through social media, it’s worth your weight in gold to hire a good social media manager.
Build Your Client Base with a Social Media
What is Social Media?
If you aren’t an internet aficionado, you may wonder what is this thing called social media, and why do you need it? Social media is a broad term to describe sites where people communicate on a daily basis online. You’ve probably heard of Facebook and Twitter, but have you heard of Yelp, Citysearch, Angie’s List or Urban Spoon? These are review sites where users rate their local businesses. Even if you’ve never heard of them, you may already be reviewed on them, and one bad review can hurt you if it’s the only one there.
How Can a Social Media Manager Help?
A social media manager’s job is to make you look good. They control what is said about you, countering the bad with the good and making sure that the most positive image of your business is what people see when they search for your name. They make sure you are listed on all the sites you need to be on, and all the sites those mobile users are going to hit when looking for a business. They get your name out to thousands of people on a daily basis so that the next time someone is looking for a day care, a restaurant, or a contractor, they will remember that they read about you somewhere and look you up.
How Much Does a Social Media Manager Cost?
Social media managers usually charge by the day, not the hour, because that’s not how social media works. They usually have several clients, and divide their time daily between them posting to all the places where your business needs to be seen. How much you pay depends on how much you want them to work. Most of them charge from $300 to $500 a month for small businesses, depending on the location and size. Of course, if you are in a large city, you will pay more because they will be able to bring you in more business.
How Will I Know if I’m Getting My Money’s Worth?
If you have been advertising with local print media, and believe this is the only way to make money, think about how many people you are reaching. On a good week, a thousand people may actually see your ad. Online, tens of thousands of people in your local area will see your reviews and coupons and specials. Even if only one-tenth of those people visit and become customers, that’s 10 times more than what you would get through local print media.
How Long Will It Take to See Results?
Results are strange things. You may see results without even knowing you are seeing them. The point of social media advertising is to get people talking, to make your business known. If you want immediate results, you will have to use some incentives, such as coupons and special online-only offers. This will get people in to your business. It’s up to you to keep them as returning customers.
Remember the Rule of Sevens
Every day, people are asking their online friends and associates for advice as to good businesses to fit their needs; restaurants, contractors, lawyers, doctors or whatever the need may be. Every person who is pleased with your business tells approximately seven people. Those seven people tell seven people and those seven tell seven more. Even if they never visit or use their business, word of mouth online spreads 1000 times faster than it does person-to-person on the street. Unfortunately, if they are dissatisfied, it spreads that fast too, so this is an incentive to make every customer a happy customer.
How Do I Find a Social Media Manager?
The easiest and fastest way to find a social media manager is to ask other business people. If no one has any suggestions, post an ad on sites like Craigslist, Elance or Odesk. Join sites like Facebook and Google+ and post that you are looking for a social media manager. You will be swamped with offers, so choose carefully. Ask for references and have a clear contract that spells out exactly what their duties are. On the other hand, someone you know may do a great job as your social media manager. Do you have friends or family who work online, or who are heavily involved in social sites? While a professional is always best, this may be an inexpensive way to test the waters.
Promoting your small business today is much more complicated than it was before the internet. Print ads and coupons are good, but if you really want to get the word out and build you customer base, you simply must go social. Try it out and see what a social media manager can do for you.