As a small business owner, there’s nothing more important for growing your business than getting word out about just how awesome it really is. But where do you start? Word of mouth marketing has its limits, and traditional advertising is expensive and doesn’t show clear results.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed there’s a lot of hype surrounding the power of social media – but is it really an effective way to grow your business? The short answer is (heck) yes. We’ve seen it do wonders, especially for small businesses!

If you’d like to grow your small business in Ottawa through social media, this post is for you! Here’s where to start:

1. Get on Facebook (seriously, if you’re not already) – and do it right!

Facebook is the king of social media platforms. As the most-visited social media site in Ottawa, Facebook is a great tool to reach potential customers. Don’t wait for your customers to come to you – meet them where they spend their time – which for almost everybody at least once a day is Facebook!  It won’t cost you anything to setup, and right away you can share pictures and post updates on new products! However, Facebook is changing all the time, and the advertising functionality is growing increasingly complex. Check out our post on how to optimize a Facebook page, or consider seeking outside help if you don’t have the internal capacity to do a dedicated Facebook campaign justice. Trust us on this one – you’ll see it back in spades!

2. “Media Launch told me – you better shop around”

Don’t just stop at Facebook! Dip your toes in other social media ponds and to try and reach your audience in cool new ways. Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Instagram… and the list goes on. From hashtags to checkins, each site provides new and unique ways to interact with customers and build your brand through social media in Ottawa. So get out there and test the waters!

3. SEO on Social Media? Yup.

Don’t just do social media for the sake of doing social media. We all love our customers and want to give back, but social media can and should be doing more for your business than just that! When you are posting new content online always keep in mind the ways you can use this content to capture the interest of customers. This can be done by created search engine optimized (SEO) content, which means that your writing contains key words that customers are searching for. This will help improve your ranking on Google and other search engines, which helps put the word out about the great business you have.
Writing SEO content that will improve your brand and your ranking is a skill that takes time to master, but the results are worthwhile. Don’t have time to learn? Contact an expert at Media Launch, we pride ourselves on getting top rankings for our clients!

4. Stick to Your Social Media Plan

Before you dive right into the world of social media marketing, take a step back and make sure you have a clear social media strategy for your small business. This will give you a better understanding of what you want to accomplish, and what resources you can dedicate to your social media strategy. Be realistic about what resources you can dedicate to social media in your workplace, and don’t underestimate the level of commitment necessary. Big companies have entire social media divisions because they understand how important it is as a tool for business development, and the level of work involved. Don’t let it be an afterthought! With social media, you get out what you put in.
Need help with your social strategy? Contact us today!

5. Know Your Limits

The world of marketing is changing at a rapid pace, and new technologies and social media platforms are always emerging. It can be a lot to keep up with, especially as small business owners have many demands on their time. The importance of social media can’t be understated. Once you commit to using social media, you have to ensure that you are putting in a dedicated effort, or you will not get the results you want. Be realistic about your time and resources, and if social media is not something you can handle in house, don’t be afraid to call in an expert who can maximize your social media budget to yield the best possible results. Media Launch has a variety of social media packages that can help you grow your small business. Contact us to find out what we can do for you!