Many small business owner struggle with using social media to increase leads and get exposure for their business. Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, and online forums are great ways to get involved in communities and build exposure for you and your company.
Identify groups that your product or service solves a problem for
A great place to start for local small businesses is local facebook groups like neighborhood groups, local trade groups, local networking groups, etc. You should identify what issues you will be helping these communities to solve so that you have a clear objective on the type of content and value you will be contributing to the community. If you already have a presence in certain groups, they may be a great place to start.
Identify influencers in those groups
The next thing is to identify the influencers that are a part of these groups. Influencers in communities and groups are not necessarily the people that have created the group, we need to identify what members of these groups are looked at as influencers and leaders in their community. Identifying influencers can be done by looking at how many total post they have, how frequently they post, and the quality of their content.
Create content that adds value to the community and find opportunities to involve the group influencers
We have two objectives with our content. The first objective is to specifically build relationships with top influencers in the group so that they will support us in the future when needed.
The second objective is to build relationships with the other members in the group. The way that we build relationships with other members in the group is by showing that we intend to be part of the group or the community to add value and content to it. There’s several ways to add value In online communities. A few examples of this are:
- Answering questions
- Commenting on others’ posts
- Posting helpful links to content on your website, or even someone elses
- Offering to refer people to another member’s business
- Offering something of value for free
- Offering information about solutions to common issues
- The list goes on…
After connecting with some people on these groups you can start to add them as friends and then private message them when it makes sense. When you private message someone the focus should still be on helping them, however at the right time you will be able to either tell them what you do… Or most likely they will actually ask you.