When I was younger, there were several times when I had to fundraise, whether selling frozen pies for Thanksgiving or local discount books, I knew where 90% of my sales were going to come from – family friends and neighbors. Most semi-willingly purchased what I was offering, not because I had oneof-kind frozen pies, but because they knew me. Whether they purchased out of guilt or because they genuinely wanted the pecan pie was irrelevant to me, the sale was done. For small businesses, communicating their story is one of the most important factors in succeeding. One of the benefits of owning a small business is that owners have the opportunity to easily connect face-to-face with their patrons. Similar to student fundraising, small businesses’ most loyal customers are often people who they know. In today’s technology driven world, small businesses can benefit greatly by creating a sense of community and sharing their own brand story.

That being said, often times these small companies are competing with large corporations that spend thousands of dollars to develop and maintain their web presence. While it is not necessary for small businesses to have an independent marketing department, it is integral to their success that they communicate their story. By leveraging the internet and developing a social media presence small businesses can actively and easily communicate with their clientele and have the opportunity to grow their allegiance. Large companies have an advantage when it comes to cost of production and sales, but in today’s day and age, small businesses should excel in user experience by maximizing human interactions. By utilizing Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Small businesses like yours can develop genuine relationships with customers and build a reputation in the community by utilizing the free tools at their fingertips via the internet.

Here are 5 tips to capture your audience’s attention and affection:

1) Make Your Page Yours
Make sure everyone knows that your page belongs to you. Include your hours, locations, promotions, blogs, photos, and anything that adds value to your brand. Websites like Yelp and Facebook allow business owners to post this kind of information.

2) Engage, Don’t Enrage
The only thing worse than not posting, is posting too much. Over posting of irrelevant content is one of the fastest ways to lose support. Anything that is not relevant to the company should not be part of your social media content.

3) Be Interactive
Modern day technology puts consumers only a click away. Do not be afraid to connect with your audience. Asking questions and offering incentives for promoting your brand are great ways to connect. In addition, if someone criticizes your company reach out, apologize, and see what you can do to improve their next experience.

4) Pick Your Platform
It is easy to get overwhelmed when selecting which platform to use. Find out where your consumers go and hone in! Test out which one works best and master it before moving on. In addition, make sure all your social media channels are communicating similar content.

5) Track and Adapt
Almost all social platforms allow you to track clicks, visits, posts, responses, etc. Take advantage of the metrics available to you! Be proactive and take note of this data. Your social actions should react to and reflect the information and data that you gather.

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