Social media has really leveled the playing field for big corporations and small businesses alike. An opportunity to engage the masses on a personal level and in high volume was only a privilege that high budgeted companies were privy too. Now through websites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. anyone can reach thousands of people with a few keystrokes. Social media can grow your business faster than any other method when done right.
Social media is really just that: social. Your goal should be an engagement between you and your customer/clients/audience. It’s important to not just spew out anything and everything that your company does and offers, but actively engage your audience to become a participant in your brand. Asking questions, holding contests, soliciting feedback, etc. are great ways to engage your audience. Remember, your audience wants to read things that matter to THEM, not what matters to you.
When used correctly, you can build a fan base that can ultimately lead to success. Giving your audience content that they enjoy and think is valuable will create a loyal following. Lily Allen and Justin Bieber are good examples of this. Lily Allen used MySpace, Justin Bieber used YouTube and both are now successful recording artists. Companies like Lulu Lemon and Shoe Dazzle actively engage their customers through Facebook. Ellen Degeneres uses Twitter to run on-air contests with college students throughout the nation.
Use social media to connect with your audience, but be careful to not just throw information at them. Think of it as a conversation and a platform for you to share valuable content.