Marketing your small business is vital. Without it, nobody knows you exist and therefore cannot engage with you, your products or services. It has been stated a third of small businesses fail in the first two years due to inexperience. One element of this inexperience is marketing. In an ever-changing world it is hard to know what to do – an advertisement in the paper doesn’t cut it anymore. Here are 5 top tips for marketing your small business.
1. Use Social Media To Your Advantage
Social media is your greatest asset if you use it properly. The first step is to get a personal profile on as many platforms as you can. Use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and anything else you can think of. Don’t forget about Google+ to improve your SEO. Once you are familiar with how it works, then you can use it to talk to your customers. Social media is about talking to people and maintaining this conversation. To maintain this conversation you need to post frequently with relevant content. See social media as a force of good in the world and you will embrace it to benefit your business.
2. Don’t Forget To Keep A Consistent Image
Keep everything consistent between any social media platforms you are using, your business card, your shop front and any other promotional pieces that you have. Make sure someone else has read over this to make sure there are no typo’s, contact details and operating hours are correct and everything looks professional. If you need help designing a business card, reach out to someone with design skills. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
3. Customer Service Is The Easiest Way To Look After Your Customers
As a small business, you need to look after your customers. Customer service might not initially seem like marketing but it is how you communicate with people – customers, potential customers and the public. Looking after your customers is not difficult – handle complaints quickly and swiftly, respond to feedback and acknowledge the customer. Repeat clientele is easier to create value from than finding new customers all the time.
4. Word Of Mouth Is King
You can’t beat good word of mouth however in the day and age of social media, it is easier than ever for word of mouth to spread. Maintaining customer service is the first step in creating good word of mouth however be aware of your reviews online. On Google+, you cannot remove a poor review, so ensure you respond in an appropriate manner. The products your are selling and services you are providing must also be of a good quality to instigate positive word of mouth. Keep the 4P’s of Marketing in mind – Product, Price, Place and Promotion.
5. If Word Of Mouth Is King, Planning Is Queen
I cannot stress enough how important it is to plan everything. The launch of content on various social media platforms to be timed, stock of products to be available when it’s being promoted and most of all, you must be available within a reasonable time to customers when they need you. Have a contingency plan for when things don’t go to plan – an alternative number for when the phone is down or an additional admin account to your Facebook Page incase an account is compromised. These plans (though they may seem extreme) will enhance your campaign and save you if anything goes pear shaped.