Social media is an absolute must as a business tool. An amazing panel session during Day 2 of Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Summit provided key ways to drive sales and help your business grow using social media.
[Related: ES Day 2: Dr. Jamal Bryant Gets Real on Black Entrepreneurship]
The session panelists included Lamar Tyler, founder and CEO of Lamar Tyler New Media; Reuben Canada, founder and CEO of Canada Enterprises L.L.C; and Manny Ruiz, founder of Hispanicize.
The session, “Driving Sales Using Social Media,â€ was moderated by Black Enterprise’s SVP and Executive Editor-at-Large, Alfred Edmond Jr.Â Entrepreneurs “have to turn fans and followers into dollars,â€ said Edmond, kicking off the discussion.
Tyler spoke of the importance of social media and digital content saying, you have to keep, “feeding the fire with fuel…communicate with people who want to see (your content).â€
Tyler also said that social media was a great way for a small businesses to seem big and have significant presence.
Five of the most important takeaways for entrepreneurs on how to leverage social media for their business and to drive engagement were:
- Use social media to share the journey of your business. People want to see it.
- Social media gives small businesses an equal playing field with large enterprises.
- Entrepreneurs need to create original content. You cannot rely only on social media and especially on one platform. Even if your business has 500,000 followers, that social media-generated content never belongs to you. You must have a website or a blog. Think of your site or blog as the movie and your social media content as your movie’s trailers.
- E-mail lists are critical. Studies show people spend more time on social media than on e-mail. Social media is how you drive engagement, but e-mail is your moneymaker. You have to find ways to bridge e-mail and social media. Some suggestions include boosting a Tweet that does really well or using Facebook’s e-mail list integration tools for business.
- Keep your business social media content sophisticated. As Hispanicize founder Ruiz, put it, “As a very small business, it’s very easy to be cheesy.â€ Even your graphic art should have a level of sophistication and professionalism.
Social media is a fantastic tool for small businesses. It’s vital that you understand your customers. Social media does that market research for you.
“Social media makes this a beautiful time to be an entrepreneur,” said Tyler.