Four ideas for smaller businesses to thrive with smart social media usage

Business networking sites have effectively created a level playing field for smaller businesses in terms of marketing. They can not only survive, but also thrive with help of social media. Just a few basic things need to be kept in mind for their proper usage. The following ideas sure will help you to use a popular business networking site like LinkedIn in the most effective and focused manner.

1 Make your status updates meaningful

  • Irrespective of the kind of profile you are looking to create, it needs to be a bit different (in effect, more focused and more user-friendly) from a printed résumé. Status updates work very much like those on Twitter or Facebook, though informing your contacts that you’ve just stopped in at Starbucks is not going to be very useful. Add substance to your status updates.
  • Remember the fact that LinkedIn is the social network that gets down to business, literally! You can increase the overall impact of your status updates by seamless syncing of Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

2. Deflect undesirable invitations

  • Even as you network across social media sites in order to widen your contact base, it is important to deflect undesirable invitations. Be careful while searching for users whom you don’t know so well, and exercise caution while inviting them to join your network.
  • This is because you don’t wish to add people who could end up dragging down or harming your reputation. A business site like LinkedIn allows you to deflect undesirable invitations with help of the Archive button. In this way, no one will know that he or she has been quietly rejected by you.

3. Seek new customers and business associates

  • Contended customers serve as the best marketing source for small businesses. To seek new customers, word of mouth is the best avenue. Increase your referrals by prompting your satisfied clients to post a favorable comment. Such recommendations can be published as part of your profile.
  • It is equally important to enhance your industry network. Search Groups directory on the business networking site to find domain specific associations and relevant networks to participate in. Targeting a smaller group of users with sheer business intent help you leverage the social media reach better and in a more focused manner.

4. Share your expertise

  • Share your expertise with prospective customers through unique posts. Small business owners can establish their credibility by creating informative content.
  • The updates should be linked to from their LinkedIn profiles. Also, featured blog content can be pushed to LinkedIn members (for example, with small text ads). You may specify who in particular, will see them and incorporate a link to your profile so the select visitors get to know you.