If you have an offline business like a brick-and-mortar shop, a restaurant, or some other local-based business, you may have questions about how you can market online with social media. It’s obvious that many online businesses and big brands are using social media to help build brand awareness, promote their goods and services, and build relationships with their target market.

However, if you’re an offline business, you may have questions about how to make social media work for you, especially if you are a small brand, or a new business still trying to create brand awareness.

Here are some things to know about marketing your offline business online:

First, you need a website. Yes, we’re talking about marketing with social media but at the end of the day, the only property you have total control over is your own. Social media networks will come and go, and the rules will change over time, and features will change as well. So, while it’s good to market on social media and use the popularity of certain networks to bring people in, you ultimately want to send them to your own website.

This is where you have more control over the type of content you post, and you can get more detailed stats and information about the people who visit. You can link your services or your store, can offer a newsletter, and so much more. Build that website and you can also link it to all of your social media channels when you start using them to market.

Here are some additional guidelines for marketing online with social media:

  1. Understand the network – Before you start marketing your business on a particular network, you need to understand how it works and what the culture is around that network. While advertising on social is common and expected at this point, you don’t want to look like you’re spamming. Understanding how the networks operate and the social culture of the ones you are using is important to interact well.
  2. Create a complete profile – Another important step is to create a complete profile on whichever networks you use. You will want to include nice photos of your branding and up-to-date links to your website and any other ways to find you online. It’s also important for an offline business to have an accurate address, phone number and other important details about where you can be found offline. You want your online presence to be a tool to help customers find you offline.
  3. Get creative – Taking time to get creative with the ways you use social media for your offline business can help you stand out in your industry and also make more effective use of this tool. Not only can you use it to help people learn more about you and how to find your offline store or shop, you can also use it as a customer service tool, or to offer special deals and discounts to social media followers only.
  4. Always follow up and engage – When you run an offline business, it can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget to check your socials. If it’s too much for you to handle, you can outsource this task or hire a dedicated social media manager, but it’s really important that you always follow up and engage with users on your social networks.
  5. Create a strategy – It’s not enough just to create some social media accounts and start posting. You need to create a strategy based around the goals you have for your business and how you want social media to help you reach those goals. The strategy you create for an offline business will be different from an online business. Take this into consideration when planning your goals and creating your strategy.

With these tips, you can market your offline business on social media successfully. This can be an excellent first step toward word-of-mouth advertising and reaching your target client right where they are.

Just because your business is offline doesn’t mean you can make the use of popularity of social media and the great reach it can bring you. All it takes is a bit of time to learn how and to create a strategy that works for your needs. Offline businesses are making use of social media marketing every day to help them grow their brands and boost their sales.