Apr 292014
 
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7 Things

Seven Things All Small Businesses Should Be Doing On Social Media

Many small business owners are now active on social media. Whether you outsource your marketing, have an in-house staff or you are a solo entrepreneur doing it all yourself, making sure to get the most out of your social media marketing is important!

Talk to a web designer and s/he will tell you web design is of utmost importance. Talk with a graphic artist and branding becomes your #1 priority. Talk with a social media manager and engagement, blogging and audience building should be at the top of your list. Are you confused yet?

There are many things you should do online if you ask the ‘experts’. Whatever you decide to do online and whatever time you have or budget to pay for it, make sure it is done professionally, with consistency and frequency.

Going back to basics though, especially for those just starting out, here is my BEST ADVICE for small business owners.

  1. Own your own online real estate. Get a website! There is nothing, I repeat, nothing – no other platform – better than your own site. Get a .com and get a website. You can do and say whatever you want on that site and you own it. Traffic to your site will be for you to do with as you want and building that online presence cannot be done anywhere else.
  2. Choose your social media platforms wisely. Once you commit to a certain platform, be present and post relevant information. Information should be relevant to your current audience, that specific platform and potential customers alike.
  3. Engage with your audience and stop broadcasting. Ask questions, provide industry information, quote experts, post behind the scenes looks, updates and pictures of office, staff and events.
  4. Have consistent branding and know who you are first! Use your ‘elevator pitch’ to find your key marketing points and make sure those come across quickly in your branding. This includes written content as well as images and graphics.
  5. Fill out those profiles with as much information and keywords as possible. Social media profiles get indexed by search engines. What will they find when they index yours?
  6. Have a blog, create content consistently and frequently and learn where and how to distribute it. One great way to create blog content is to turn every single question asked of you about your business into a blog post where you answer that question.
  7. Know what you are doing online, why you are doing it and where you want to be! Track your efforts, track your leads and analyze what you are doing to improve your stats.

+ 2 BONUS:

  • Doing all of the above without a strategic plan will set you up to fail. Start with a strategic social media plan which includes short and long-term goals.
  • Include social media in your marketing budget. This money could be used for advertising (PPC, Facebook ads, Twitter ads, SEO services etc.), graphic design, running contests, social media tools, website management, social media management, consulting services and more!

The value of social media is directly related to the effort you put into it. I can’t say it enough, but I will do so again: being present where you have a presence is super important. It’s how you build your reputation and brand. Would you invite guests to come over to your home, leave the lights on for them, but forget to be there yourself?

Dorien Morin-van Dam
Social Media Consultant & Strategist at More In Media
Connect with me on Social Media
Twitter
G+
Facebook

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The Importance of Taking Social Media Seriously

 Posted by at 7:24 am  Social Media  Comments Off on The Importance of Taking Social Media Seriously
Aug 242010
 
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The is a guest post by Phyllis Zimbler Miller.

Businesses large and small, online, offline, national, and local need to take social media seriously or be left behind by their competitors who do take seriously this form of promotion/marketing/connecting with potential customers/clientele.

It’s human nature to prefer to interact with real people rather than with faceless businesses. How many times have you had a customer service problem and asked whom you can talk to that can help you with the problem? If the business has a known contact person, don’t you instead ask to speak to that person?

Yet social media marketing goes far beyond providing the name of someone whom people can ask for help with a product or service.

Effective utilizing social media enables a business to forge relationships with targeted audiences, create raving fans of those people with whom relationships are formed, and have those raving fans spread the word about the business.

Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook pages (business pages rather than personal pages — profiles) offer businesses a way to connect with target markets where these target markets hang out. At these online “water cooler” sites, businesses can then provide valuable information and special offers plus have the ability to keep tabs on how well the information and offers are received.

Local businesses can use Twitter to tweet a promotional offer or to announce a new product or service. These same local businesses can use Facebook pages to provide a community for their fans and to capture the email addresses of these fans in order to stay in touch with them by email as well as through Twitter and the updates on the business’ Facebook page.

Encouraging people to “like” a company’s offerings/blog on its website and/or its Facebook page provides social proof of the worth of the company. After all, how much more likely are we to attend a film that our friends rave about than a film that movie critics rave about? That’s the power of “social proof.”

In addition, mobile marketing builds on social media marketing. Using mobile marketing, for example, businesses can send special offers by text message to their fans who have opted in to such notifications.

Let’s imagine the websites of two restaurants:

Restaurant A has an old-fashioned static website that gives address and telephone number, directions, hours, and a sample menu. There are no links or icons for Twitter or a Facebook page; no blog; no way to interact at all except to email info@restaurant.com

Restaurant B has an up-to-date website/blog that also provides email optin for special discount offers, a Facebook “like” button or “recommend” button, perhaps a Facebook “comments” widget so fans can leave comments on the website itself, a Facebook page widget so fans can “like” the restaurant’s Facebook page without leaving the site, a Twitter link, and numerous other opportunities for fans to interact with restaurant personnel on the restaurant’s website.

Which local restaurant is more likely to have a loyal fan base? Obviously restaurant B.

Bottom line as to why you need to take social media seriously for your business?

Because your competitors are taking social media seriously and you don’t want to lose your business to your competitors’ social media efforts.

Learn about how combining social media with a social media-enhanced website can help attract more business by getting the free report “Twitter, Facebook and Your Website: A Beginning Blueprint for Harnessing the Power of 3 for Your Business” at www.millermosaicpowerof3.com

(c) 2010 Miller Mosaic, LLC

Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the social media marketing company Miller Mosaic Power Marketing, which coaches clients on how to effectively use social media to attract more business..

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