Social Media and Small Business


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How social media can help busy professionals and small businesses.

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Social Media and Small Business

  1. 1. Social Media: A Must for Small Business A Primer for Busy Entrepreneurs and Professionals
  2. 2. Why is it important? The background • Shift from Me Web to We Web • Earlier, search for personalization, MyYahoo, iGoogle, YouTube. Names say it all. • Blogs largely personal rants, not really discussion • Friendster, Orkut were too early • Eventually, desire to be social online. • Technology caught up with the curve in early 21st Century
  3. 3. Why is it important? The research • Nielsen: More time spent on social networking than e-mail • Forrester’s “Future of Social Web” • Groundswell • Some companies already jumping way ahead
  4. 4. Social Media > E-Mail • Nielsen report in April. Paradigm shift in consumer engagement. • NY Times: Small businesses moving to social media. Marketer: Those who don’t adopt within a year will be left behind. “I hate to say it, but if they don’t, they’ll get left in the dust.” -- Rob King, Sage North America NYT, June 4
  5. 5. Future of Social Web Five overlapping waves of online change: • Social relationships (social networks) • Social functionality (technology) • Social colonization (Open IDs across sites) • Social context (Sites serve by identity) • Social commerce (Social networks supplant brands/corporate sites/CRM systems)
  6. 6. When will this happen? • 2010: Sites will begin to recognize personal identities and social relationships to deliver customized online experiences. • In approximately two years, social networks will be more powerful than corporate Web sites and CRM systems, as individual identities and relationships are built on this platform. -- Future of Social Web “The community will take charge, and that's going to happen whether or not marketers or brands participate.” – Jeremiah Owyang
  7. 7. Groundswell • Book from Forrester researchers • Refers to transformation of business through social technologies • Company blogs least trusted • Social networking profiles (handled properly), consumer reviews/rankings far more trusted
  8. 8. Future is now: Just one example Volkwagen uses a consumer’s Twitter profile, analyzing it for keywords and then recommends a vehicle based upon that user’s Tweets. Far-fetched? Not all that different from Amazon recommending a book based upon your previous purchases.
  9. 9. Who uses social media? • Avg. social networker goes to social sites five days a week, checks in about four times a day, total of an hour a day • Super-connected (9%) stay logged in all day, constantly checking out what's new. • 52% have followed or become a fan of at least one brand. 64% neutral on seeing messages from brands. 45% neutral to seeing more messages from brands
  10. 10. Who uses social media? • 45% link only to family and friends. Another 18% will link only to people they've met in person. • Only 10% will connect with anyone • Only 15% said they go on social networks at work. • Top three interests are music, movies and hanging out with friends. • Four times more likely to use discussion boards, post videos or blog
  11. 11. Four types of social networkers • Business users. LinkedIn and Twitter • Fun seekers. Students and middle-aged reconnecting. Facebook. • Social-media mavens. Power users whose lives are on social media. Twitter. (Lifecasting) • Late followers. Middle-aged flocking to Facebook.
  12. 12. Latest on social networking • Spending on social media marketing by companies will grow to $3.1 billion in 2014. • More will be spent soon on social media marketing than for email or mobile. • Moms on social media: 11% in 2006 to 63% today, a 462% increase • Facebook 142% increase in ATL (Jan. 4-July 4) • 513% jump on FB among 55-plus at same time
  13. 13. Who doesn’t use social media? • Not tech-haters. Many use Web thoroughly. They say: • Don’t have the time. But 22% will be using in 3 months, another 27% in year. • Don’t think it's secure. (1/3 are retired, may come around) • Think it's stupid. (94% of this group will never use it)
  14. 14. But where do I start? • Blogs (not always social) • Social networking sites • Video sharing sites • Photo sharing • B-to-B social sites • Social sites created for profession (e.g., LegallyMinded for lawyers)
  15. 15. Too many choices, what to do? • Just choose the sites that make sense for you. • What sites are others in your profession using? Competitors? • Most important, your clients or customers.
  16. 16. But I’m too busy!!! • Just commit to a small amount of time, M-F. • Best beginner’s book: “Social Media Marketing: An Hour A Day” by Dave Evans • Really 20 minutes daily once you get started.
  17. 17. A look at the major players • LinkedIn • Twitter • Facebook • MySpace
  18. 18. LinkedIn • Atlanta 13th biggest user base in world • 42 million users worldwide (however, growth flat) • No. 1 social network for business • Way to connect with others in your field • Good way for entrepreneurs, professionals to market themselves • More than just job recruiting service
  19. 19. Who uses LinkedIn? • Males 57%, females 43% • Highest average income, at $89,000 • More likely to have joined site for business, work • Business networks, job searching, business development, recruiting • News, employment information, sports, politics • More likely to be into fitness, golf and tennis • Like gadgets. Highest nos. in gambling, soap operas (12%, 11%)
  20. 20. LinkedIn tips • Changes should be made to profile several times a week • Search engine optimization, keywords • Take advantage of functionality • Link to sites/blogs, SlideShare, Events Calendar, Reading List, other apps • Discussion groups, Q&As • Powerful research tools, databases provide market research
  21. 21. LinkedIn Groups, Answers • Establish your credibility • Enhance status as thought leader, person to trust • Answer questions from peers, customers • Steer people to your blog or site. • Important: Don't sell yourself or spam. Many do.
  22. 22. LinkedIn research tools • Company profiles provide sources of clients, potential connections, avenues for introductions • Learn more about who potential customers are and who to avoid. • Can see movement of potential contacts between companies • Make sure your company has a profile, so you can be found. Also enhances SEO.
  23. 23. My Top 5 LI Tips • Add keywords everywhere (for search) • Update regularly. Status. Ask questions. Answer questions. (Secret: You can use Ask Question to start discussion. Join me on blog. LI best as channel, not a destination site. • Take advantage of the search functions. • Important: Don't sell yourself or spam. • Be brief. Not long, unless adding keyword
  24. 24. Twitter • Atlanta 10th largest number of users in world • Conversational, 140-character limit • Knowledge exchange • Share thoughts, content • Make new connections around your brand or product • Establish subject matter expertise, trust
  25. 25. Who uses Twitter? • Super users. News, restaurants, sports, politics, personal finance, religion. Pop culture. • More likely to buy books, movies, shoes and cosmetics online • Most entrepreneurial. More likely than others to use it to promote their blogs, businesses • Avg. income of $58,000. More p-t workers.
  26. 26. Twitter tips: 70-20-10 rule • 70% of time should be sharing quality content from OTHERS • 20% should be conversation/collaboration with others (some room for self-promotion here) • 10% can be chit-chat, trivial details of your life. Makes you human and likable. Not the “eating a sandwich” cliché.
  27. 27. More Twitter tips • Be active. Appear throughout day. (Don’t worry about night time.) • You can use tools to write/schedule tweets in advance. Spead them out rather than multiple tweets at once. • Respond quickly to re-tweets and replies. Don’t Direct Mail unless specifically requested. • Tweets short enough so folks can re-tweet
  28. 28. Top 5 Twitter tips • Be active. Avg. power user posts 108/wk • Follow the 70-20-10 rule • Use third-party tools for research – who are your users, what are their interests/concerns • Use automation up to a point. Need to be social, not a machine. • Be helpful to people, answer questions.
  29. 29. Facebook • Atlanta No. 2 market in world • 225 million users worldwide • Massive growth among 55-plus, moms • Huge, influential social networking site • Can use as supplement to more business- oriented approaches on other social sites • Use carefully for business
  30. 30. Who uses Facebook? • Avg. interest level across news, etc. (because of large no. of users, no one special interest) • More likely to be married (40%), white (80%) and retired (6%) • They have the second-highest average income, at $61,000, and an average of 121 friends • Skew a bit older, more likely to be late adopters of social media • Loyal to FB, 75% say it’s their favorite site
  31. 31. Facebook and Business • Can create personal and business accounts • Group or Fan pages • Groups gather around topic • Fan pages can focus on your service/business • Once you have 100 fans, you can get custom Facebook URL -- business • Increased SEO, good for brand.
  32. 32. Top 5 FB tips • If starting, think through strategy. Marketing thru biz account or social thru known people • Can use Boxes area to add content, links • If you create a Fan page, make sure you offer something to them – special offers, etc. • Take advantage of vanity URLs for search. • Use the box underneath photo to add something of value
  33. 33. MySpace • Young, fun, but fleeing the site • 67 million users worldwide, but in freefall • Has been social, but just revealed new strategy to become entertainment portal • Specific hobbies, longtime niches still there • Not just kids, some parents there.
  34. 34. MySpace and Business? Don’t • Avg. income the lowest, at $44,000 • More likely to be single (60%) and students (23%). • Create profile only for SEO purposes. Search engines like it for now. • Reputation not good for business. Garish pages, flashing images.
  35. 35. Success Stories -- LinkedIn • Jim, an outsourced CFO, joined several LI discussion groups and posted regularly • CEO of XYZ firm became unhappy with his outsourced CFO • CEO had noticed quality of Jim’s posts and called Jim to hire him • Connections lead to success • Quality more important than number. • Don’t get caught in numbers game.
  36. 36. Success Stories -- Twitter • Cincinnati-area small firm made birdhouses out of recycled paper • Started tweeting about birdhouses, green topics on Wednesday • By weekend, Disney ordered 400 birdhouses for education program. Others followed. • NYT soon featured a story on the business • Company now has multiple product lines
  37. 37. Success Stories -- Facebook • Companies – big and small – gaining trust, brand awareness through Fan or Group pages. • Coke/Starbucks fan pages have large followings. Special offers, promotions. • Entrepreneurs direct users to their sites, blogs, products • Be careful not to sell directly to friends. • Used appropriately, social relationships can lead to business relationships.
  38. 38. Keys to Success • Social media alone can’t bring business success • Work hand-in-hand with face-to-face time • Risky or a waste of time if not done right • Must have clear strategy and goals • Be flexible to adopt new directions • Don’t expect immediate results; it takes time.
  39. 39. Questions? • Jay will help you make sense of social media with a strategy, implementation, and ongoing support. • Contact Jay Knows Networking Jay Scott Social Media Strategist • Call to book Jay to speak at your 404-558-5971 next business gathering