Get in the game! Here are five reasons to get your business on social media and keep it up-to-date:

1. Seeing is believing.
Snap a picture and share it with your customers. New inventory? Let everyone know. Customers loving their new purchase? Post a pic of the customer and item. Sharing organic pictures is the best way to remind your customers that you’re alive, open and ready to do business.

While I’m on the topic of seeing is believing, social media is your answer to shaping your company’s personality. Want to really engage with the community? Show it. Post about important community efforts and events to your account. When you participate in the community, you become a member of the community. And frankly, customers are loyal to local businesses who care about them.

2. Your competitors are using it!
Want an immediate metric to your success? See how many Likes, Friends or +1’s your competitors have. Then aim to be in their ballpark number. Spend time seeing their engagement with customers. What are their customers saying, asking for and loving? Immediate research data for you!

3. Write well and appropriately.
So you use social media but do you keep your messages contained? Your posts should be about the good things in life. — Yes, that’s the key to building a customer following for a small business: concentrate on the positive, the good and the pretty. I’ll be the first person to say that sometimes things don’t go as planned, or someone throws you a curve ball, and you want to holler at the top of your lungs. BUT DON’T DO IT! At least not online. No matter how well you write, when you complain, you become the whiner, the guy who can’t handle things, or the crazy fool.

And when you’re the guy who writes about a negative situation in the most positive light, then guess what? You become THAT guy, which is frankly, much worse and annoying. That persona of “always overcoming” or being above, beyond negative energy is only appealing to others who are healing too.

4. Personally create and groom your profiles on Google+ and Yelp.
Taking accountability for your business is about managing its online presence too. So why do this when all your customers are on Facebook and Twitter? Because Google as a search engine is kindred spirits with Google+ and Yelp. Whatever they publish about you, Google the search engine thinks it’s awesome and puts it at the top of the search results. So make sure you have a profile pic and that your hours and website URL is accurate.

5. Free marketing rocks!
Free is free. You have an event coming up, the next step is to create an Event on Facebook. Then share it with local bloggers, neighborhood associations, other businesses and your biggest fans. Ask them to repost or retweet. It is almost that simple. The hardest part is having a good picture to share and writing two sentences about your event. Having a sale? Say it! Having a special guest? Say it!

Wondering about timeframe? Depending on how big your event is, it may be appropriate to create the online event as early as two weeks in advance. Just don’t forget to follow up and remind folks about it. Have a strategy and give followers a little more info each time you post about it. Create the dialogue not a one way, repeating shout out.

For more information on how One Leadership Group can help small businesses attract more business, read about Small Biz Tools.

 Karen Galli is the founder of One Leadership Group. She focuses on driving leadership development through relationship building. Through her work, she helps people see that leadership is about self, others and thought. If you’d like to contact her, you can find her on Linkedin by clicking here. 

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