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“Social media is here. It’s not going away; not a passing fad. Be where your customers are: in social media.”

-Lori Ruff

 

The goal here is to Participate in discussions and bring value through Social Media.

It’s like this:   spend 8hrs cold calling customers or log onto Linkedin(or Facebook/Twitter) and spend 1 hour engaging and sharing quality information?    I’m into social networking for small businessdoing more with less, and I hate cold calling so leveraging the poser social media is my obvious choice.   The trick is to make social media part of your routine, like getting coffee and checking your email.    Most people are generally involved in only one social network.   So, at the bear minimum find where your customers are and be active there.  Start with one social network.   Just post something every day, even if it is about the weather.      Once you get into the swing of things, go ahead and stock your posts with entertaining and useful information for people, specifically your customers  It’s ok to post personal stuff too, except for Linkedin.   Personal outings and stories show that you’re human and folks can relate.    People buy from people, not businesses.


Social Media Marketing

This is proactively and regularly participating in social media discussions and adding valuable and interesting content.  Let’s face it, most folks are looking for entertainment as they scan social media sites, so posts should be interesting and entertaining.

Checkout Million Hit Secrets for some great social media tactics.


Native Advertising

Social Media presents in stream or native advertising where ads are mixed right into content, and appear as content.  It’s more important than ever to deliver value in your ads.   This form of advertising is relatively dirt cheap still, so get in while the gettin’ is good.


Customer Service with Social Media

Many companies now handle some customer service questions and kudos through social media.  This demonstrates how you take care of your customers, and shows your company is alive and kickin’.  Social media is also a place for disgruntled customers to share their complaints with the world, so it’s more important than ever to go the extra mile for each and ever customers, and also address their concerns they post over social media.

A popular hockey player who has 87,000 followers on Twitter had a poor experience with an online flower company, he sent out 2 tweets alerting others about his bad experience around mother’s day.

There major social media platforms you need to look at are Twitter, Facebook, Google+,  Linkedin, Youtube and Pinterest.  They are all different and can help you in unique ways.


Twitter for small businessTwitter

Twitter is the 9th most visited site in the world.  The distinctive feature of Twitter is that it only allow short, 140 character messages.  You follow people of interest to you and people you may not know will follow you.  It’s all free.  Because of the short message length you can tweet (that is what they call the message, a tweet) often.  This is also a drawback, as lots of people posting often gives your message a short shelf life.

Twitter is great for B2B and B2C communications.  But when you tweet, don’t just send out sales messages.  Make your tweets filled with information that your potential customer base will find useful or fun or both.  Sending all sales tweets will drive people away.  Some experts recommend ten information tweets for every sales tweet that you send out.

Twitter is also a very affordable advertising platform for businesses.   Checkout this awesome Twitter training for Entrepreneurs:

 

 


Facebookfacebook for small Business

Facebook is the behemoth in the social media marketing landscape.  It’s the second most visited site in the world.  Your customers likely all have Facebook accounts.

Facebook is built on the development of Friends.  Friends Like each other. When they like each other they can share all of their personal information and a news stream called a feed.  You can post pictures on your feed, form clubs and form or join discussion groups, among the many other features that Facebook has.  All of these features can be used to help you build your company’s brand.

You can also pay to advertise on Facebook.  When you put together a Facebook ad campaign you can target your ad at a very selective group.  You could choose, for example, dog lovers in Atlanta with children in the home and have purchased a car in the last year.  It’s hyper-targeted.

Considering the number of users on Facebook it is essential to have a business page on Facebook.

Like using Facebook?  Amy Porterfield will show you  exactly how to drastically increase traffic, leads & sales in Fbinfluence.

If you want to properly leverage the power of Facebook Advertising, checkout 2 Cent Facebook Clicks for 2014.


google plus for small businessGoogle+

The online search giant brought out Google+ to compete with Twitter and Facebook.  So far it has not grown to meet those expectations.  But it is still fairly new.

The good thing about Google+ is that the information you put there is automatically fed into the complex algorithm that Google uses to determine its search engine placement.  This can be really helpful for getting you better search engine rankings on Google.

Google+ is free to set up and easy to use.  While Google+ is still getting its footing it is worth adding to your social media repertoire.

You’ll need a Google+ account to have a Youtube Account.  Here are some great trainings on Google+:

Google Hangout Mastery

12 Steps to Google+ Success


YoutubeYoutube for small Business

Youtube is the third most visited site in the world.  Having a channel for your business, and putting out entertaining and helpful videos will get you great search engine rankings and drive traffic to your website.

Google is begging for companies to advertise right now, so it’s dirt cheap…like 10 cents per view.  You don’t even pay unless someone views your ad for longer than 30 seconds.

Learn how to quickly rank videos and drive traffic from youtube at the Video Traffic Academy


linkedin for small businessLinkedin

Linkedin has 277 million members, 93 million from the United States.   The average user income is the highest of any social media, topping out around $90,000

Linkedin is a business and professional development social media site.  A lot of job seekers use Linkedin, as do professionals looking to network and to develop sales.  As a small business owner setup a personal page highlighting your work and you can also do a company page.

Linkedin works off connections, so you can only communicate with 1st degree connections.  It’s like friends on Facebook.

The real power networking on Linkedin happens with Groups.   There, you can communicate with anyone and build win-win relationships with ease.  Many businesses have exploded their sales this way.  You can learn how to do this with Linkedinfluence.

Linkedin also offers advertising, targeting certain job titles, companies and geographic regions.


Other Social Media

Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, Flickr and Meetup are other sites you may find your ideal clients.  Poke around and see what feels right to you.


Local Profiles 

It’s critical to setup local profiles if you are a local business.  There are 100s of local profile sites.  Yahoo local, Yelp, Angie’s List, YP are a few of the top ranking.  See what your competitors are using and what’s ranking high in the search results for your business, and that’s where you’ll want to start with your local profiles.   ie, if you are a plumber in Houston and you’ll search “Houston plumber” and see what local profiles show up first.  Many times it’s Google+, or may be Angie’s list in this case.


Streamlining Social Media Updates

If you are active on muliple social media platforms, it becomes very tedious to login to each platform when you want to post something.  You may also miss important messages from your audience.  There are some really great tools now which allow you to manage all of your social media accounts in one spot.

HootSuite – Has a nice variety of social media platforms

Sprout Social – Great metrics and works only with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+

Sendible – Has the best variety of social media platforms, social bookmarking, Youtube and Pinterest