Business

Social Media Marketing for Small Business Owners

Small Business

Best Practices for Using Social Technologies

Social technologies have revolutionized the business world. From an advertising perspective, the money generated from social media is and the growth associated is incredible.

But this is not the point. Social technologies, and not just social networking sites, are impacting the business world way beyond issues of ad revenue and user counts; they are impacting the brand image of companies across the world. The big deal about this is that a company’s brand image can be changed, literally, overnight. From Wal-Mart to BP to the local restaurant in town, the impact of social technologies on brand image is being felt the world over.

The power of social technologies is unabatedly real, but what can business leaders do about it and how can they enhance the image of their brand.

Evaluating New Technologies

One of the first best practices which the book discusses is the evaluation of new social technologies. Lots of time, effort, and money can be invested into different social technologies and it is important to make sure that any investment made toward “getting into” a social technology is a reasonable one. Using the groundswell technology test, useful information can be revealed by asking five questions about any particular social technology which is being evaluated. These questions as presented by the book are:

  • “Does it enable people to connect with each other in new ways?”
  • If the answer is yes, then there is potential for rapid growth.
  • “Is it effortless to sign up for?”
  • If no, be careful because most successful groundswell technologies are free and easy to setup.
  • “Does it shift power from institutions to people?”
  • Social technologies that support the power of communities are less likely to fail.
  • “Does the community generate enough content to sustain itself?”
  • People must be able to easily add content.
  • And “Is it an open platform that invites partnerships?”
  • Open technologies invite innovation and development

Answering these questions can help in the decision making process of what social technologies should be chased after and which ones shouldn’t be touched for write my essay companies.

Step 1: Get a Facebook page

Every small business, or at least, every small business owner, should have a Facebook page as part of their evolving social media marketing campaign.

Use this to forge relationships in your community, announce interesting events or happenings pertinent to your business, create a positive presence in your locality and to even offer discounts or helpful information (via content links) for loyal followers.

Provide link-throughs to your website and pictures of your office. Make sure you can always be found with ease by updating posts often (from every few days to just once a week can have impact) and cultivating friends lists.

In ways such as these, you’ll stay on people’s minds and create a persona of reputability for your company. Feature customers and what they are doing, so as to spread networking mojo among followers while portraying yourself as a leader in your field of work.

This truly is an easy effort that requires minimal time and can become key to gaining new business in the future. You want people thinking of you when they need what you got! It’s an investment in relationships that will pay off in the future.

Step 2: Get on Twitter!

Twitter seems like a far-out concept to those who have not yet engaged, especially when you’re (clear throat) over 40.

However, with one day’s worth of exploration, you can be on your way to being a Twitter expert, or at least contender.

Consider dedicating an employee (or hiring a writer) to post several times a week on interesting tidbits not only relevant to your own company, but relevant to your business as a whole. Link to interesting reads, post images or insightful quotes that will have people thinking you are a go-to in your field.

Trust me, it is one of the easiest and most impactful things you can do to look informed.

Social media and Twitter for business is not going away – so if you can’t beat ’em, you have to join! And realize that by taking the time to post yourself, if you choose that path, you will have the added benefit of remaining ever up-to-date on goings-on peripheral to business – literally keeping you the guru you want to be for your product.

Again, this is something you can do now to grow leads and position your company for better success later.

Step 3: Be all about the blog

Blogging is a form of social media and every business should have a blog with posts updated regularly.

Including a blog on your website will not only keep your readers informed about topics they may be interested in regarding your business, but it will help SEO, increasing visibility with search engines by forcing them to continually visit your evolving site.

Don’t just write posts yourself, but invite guest bloggers that are related to your industry to post on interesting topics on your blog – adding both credibility and value for readers.

Feature your customers’ businesses, and guest blog yourself on sites of contemporaries. This is network and content creation at its best.

And then, tweet out the links on your Facebook and Twitter pages with images that will get attention, making your social media campaign a cohesive whole to amp business and build trust, literally becoming that guy next door that’s there to help.

Helpful Hints 101 for Professional Usage of Social Media:

The future is bright

Of course, social media efforts for your company may not end here. However, these first steps will open the door as well as your eyes to the benefits of a social media marketing plan.

By remaining involved in Facebook, Twitter and blogging efforts, you will ensure that moving forward will be that next logical step simply as a matter of course. Once you’re involved, the bigger picture will become clear and you can evolve with technologies that you will begin to understand better through utilization and presence.

Follow some social media experts on Twitter and read up on areas that interest you further. For example, e-mail marketing, u-tubing and Pinterest may provide logical venues for that next move. Once you’re connected to those in the know, you can judge what’s best for your company because you’ll be living it, and understanding where real value comes from in your particular business. Now, good luck… and have fun!

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