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Forbes – 5 Social Media Growth Hacks for Small Businesses




October 21, 2014

By John Rampton

As a small business owner, it’s of the utmost importance to make people aware of your company. And, the best way to spread the word about your business is by being active on social media and other places where they can communicate directly.

Whether you want to share updates, promotions, events or gain new customers, social media provides you with the opportunity to do so. But, that may be easier than it sounds. If you don’t have a respectable amount of followers or fans on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. then you may be talking to an empty room. This is way you need to grow your company blogs like I have done in my hosting blog as well as your social media visibility to attract new fans. And, here are five hacks to accomplish that feat.

1. Social Media 4-1-1

If you’re a new business that’s just starting out on social media chances are that you don’t have many fans, followers, etc. on your channels. If this is the situation, then one of the best ways to increase your social media presence is by getting influencers in your niche to notice you. Andrew Davis, the author of “Brandscaping,” suggests that you do something called Social Media 4-1-1 to catch the eyes of influencers.

Here’s how this tactic works according to Joe Pulizzi from the Content Marketing Institute:

For every six pieces of content shared via social media (think Twitter for example):

  • Four should be pieces of content from your influencer target that are also relevant to your audience. This means that 67 percent of the time you are sharing content that is not yours, and calling attention to content from your influencer group.
  • One piece should be original, educational content that you have created.
  • One piece should be sales-related — like a coupon, product notice, press release, or some other piece of content that no one will likely pay attention to.

Joe also adds that you don’t have to have exact numbers, just implement this idea to help make influencers take notice of your social media accounts. When influencers are encouraged and like what they see, they’ll share your content with their followers.

2. Show-Off Reviews

Reviews are a major factor for customers when making a final purchase decision. Research from BrightLocal has found that “73% of consumers say positive customer reviews make them trust a business more.” Even more important, “79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.”

But, how can you share those reviews on social media?

One of the easiest ways is to simply use a tool like GetKudos or ServiceKick. You could also look into the services offered by SocialToaster or Zuberance. If you’re a local business, then you should read this guide from the Houston Chronicle on how to share Yelp reviews on Facebook.

However, another way to ensure that customers leave positive feedback on Facebook or Twitter is by having top-notch customer service. In fact, research has found that customer is the number one factor in trusting a company. To make sure that you keep customers happy make sure that you act quickly and respectfully. Furthermore, reviews expert suggests that you are polite, authentic and prove that your customers matters.

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