You may find this hard to believe, but the majority of small businesses still don’t have any online presence, let alone social media prowess. If a business doesn’t have a website, however, that doesn’t make it immune from the development of an online reputation (for better or worse).

Customers can still write reviews, and if the company lacks the means to engage, it’s a one-way street. Think your business is too small, too niche oriented, or just not the right fit for social media? Think again.

Of course, every firm that has a social media presence should also have a well-designed, mobile-ready site. Every example of online presence you manage should lead back to your website.

However, social media offers a different set of opportunities from a website: It allows interaction between businesses and consumers in an informal setting.

Here are examples of small businesses that could give their company a huge lift if they do social media right.

1. Bakeries

A bakery, more than any other type of food or beverage business, is all about looks. Yes, it’s about satisfying the sweet tooth, as well, but why not use a bigger platform to show off your new cupcake collection, vegan cookies, or pastries?

Hunger cues are often sparked visually, and getting your “pitch” in between newsfeed posts is a great way to build a business.

2. Physical therapists

Unlike general physicians, physical therapists are more often seen only when something’s wrong. While that’s certainly a big part of their job, anyone can benefit from visiting a physical therapist to check for alignment and early red flags.

De-mystify what you do by using social media as your go-between. It will enable you to talk directly with potential patients, educate, and clear up the benefits of seeing a PT.

3. Animal shelters

Many shelters are largely managed by volunteers who already have a full plate. But an increasingly attractive volunteer position is social media manager.

What better way to place pets with forever homes than by showcasing them in newsfeeds? Encourage sharing and you just might make the perfect match.

4. Plumbers

A lot of people think of social media as image-driven and it certainly can be, so why would a plumber want to take part in that? Nobody’s likely to get enthused about photographic evidence of that professional’s daily grind.

However, contractors such as plumbers largely build their business on reputation and word of mouth. Social media is the digital equivalent of that, and a fantastic platform to encourage reviews and testimonials, as well as reach out to potential new customers.

5. Tourist attractions

Whether you manage the biggest holiday-themed house in the city or a tourist trap of a malt shop, social media can help you spread the word and link up with travelers plan a visit to your area. Updates, photos, and special deals can help raise your company during a dry spell, too.

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Originally posted on September 5, 2014 @ 6:03 pm


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