Long gone are the days when a small business simply listed their services in the yellow pages or took out a small ad on television or in a newspaper. Today, social media resides at the core of advertising for businesses, regardless of size. So how does a small business with limited resources use social media to their advantage? Here are a few ways to reach a wider audience via the web.

Try Content Creation

No matter what you’re trying to sell, getting your name into the Internet domain is vital. To reach a large audience, many small businesses use content creation from Copypress or similar services to populate the Internet with high-quality content. Services such as these harness your information and vision to create informative, engaging articles that link naturally to your product. These articles find homes on websites that focus on topics related to your industry with the goal to reach reach potential customers. Content creation remains cheaper than other types of media in many cases.

Build a Facebook Profile

With over one billion users, Facebook is a great starting point for the novice social media marketer. The social media giant allows businesses to create pages that promote their products and services. A great way to make this work is by giving away discounts or products to people who like or share your pages online. It also helps you to track how many people you reach. The best part is that you don’t need to hire someone to maintain or develop it like you would a normal website, thus limiting the costs of the advertising.

Start Small

You don’t have to go crazy when you start marketing on the Internet. Rather than overwhelming yourself, begin on something that’s easy to use such as Twitter. Once you decide on a platform, become familiar with how the site operates. Twitter and Facebook both show trending topics, and many times, this is your window to new customers. Websites such as HashAtIt.com aid you in this quest by finding the hot topics of the day without spending hours upon hours of valuable time.

Expand Professionally

While reaching consumers remains important, kindling relationships with other businesses and knowing what your competitors are doing is equally important. Websites such as LinkedIn allow you to do both. Use social media platforms to contact potential suppliers or retailers, depending on your line of business. It also allows you to find potential hires looking for a job or aid you in luring away a competitor’s workers.

Cater to the Needs of Customers

Steven Strauss, a leading figure on small business marketing, said that the proper ratio of content on social media is 80 percent about the customer and 20 percent about the business. With this in mind, use online marketing and social media to provide top-notch customer service rather than just plug your product. Your customers will take notice.

No matter how you choose to market yourself online, know that the biggest mistake you make is not pursuing online marketing and social media involvement. Low-cost marketing is often the difference between success and failure. You might feel overwhelmed at first, but keep trying. You’ll get there.

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