Five Essential Social Media Tools for Virtually Any Small Business
Most people are surprised to hear that Facebook is 10 years old…Twitter is 8 years old…..
Social media has matured. Blogging is the new norm. Tweeting is a vastly underused advertising
medium. Facebook, Manta, LinkedIn, Twitter all work together, along with your web presence, to
promote your business to meet, or get ahead, of your competitors.
Over 650 million users. 58 million tweets a day. Almost half from mobile. 135,000 new
signups every day. How many of them are your customers Tweet? Better question is…Are your
competitors tweeting to them for their attention while you are looking the other way? Are they
tweeting your customers just one more reason to select them over you?
The real benefit here? Consider this. People looked you up on Twitter to follow you. They expect to
be “tweeted”. That’s why they followed you in the first place! Of all the social media, this presents
the most increase in exposure. Why? When one of your followers re-tweets your tweet to their
followers…now your tweet that went to 20 of your followers just went to 1000 (or 100,000 or one
million) of their followers. How is THAT for exposure? Again, they EXPECT your tweets…that’s
exactly why they signed up and followed you!!! Biggest users are celebrities and company
CEO’s. Posts must be oriented and relevant to your target audience.
One of the oldest and biggest professional social networks, it has a firm grip on that territory.
Launched in 2003 LinkedIn has 277 million active users. 187 million LinkedIn users check in at
least once a month. LinkedIn is the premiere forum for showing off your knowledge and expertise.
It is the one place where social business actually closes on a regular basis. All posts here must be
targeted directly to the audience you want to capture. LinkedIn groups are a great way to connect
with other CEO's and Presidents, through most every position level in a business.
If you are a business, most every other business (and many individuals) will check your Manta listing
to make sure you are “real”. It’s a validation of your business as legitimate/responsible. Currently
the site offers a kind of Q&A community for business owners who often seek recommendations and
operational advice from their peers. If you sell product and services to businesses, you definitely
need to be here. If you sell to the average Dick or Jane on the street, it's good to be here. You don’t
have to post often here, just keep your basic information up to date on a regular basis.
At 10 years old, Facebook is the granddad of social media. The good news? Facebook has over 1.3
billion active users. In 2013 they had an increase in users of 22% over 2012. The bad news…14
million users are under the age of 12. Is that your target audience? Great…if not, their parents are on
as well. 48% of users check in at least once a day for an average of 18 minutes. Posts must be
targeted toward your industry or your business, not your friends and family, but you can have a little
bit of fun here with your postings. This is a "must have" for businesses that sell to Dick and Jane.
A relative newcomer, Google + had a whopping 58% increase in active users in the last 6 months.
Now with over 300 million users, the benefits of having a Google + account is now a no- brainer. It’s
easy to see the future here. Google integrates Google + with Maps, Wallet, Gmail, You Tube and
more. Unique visitors to Google + jumped 22 fold in the last 12 months. That is nothing short of
explosive. In just two years it has overtook Twitter and taken the number 2 spot in social media.
Get on board here. Now. This is one to grow with. Google + users growing every day and a very
friendly business environment. All posts must be relevant to your target audience.
Why Use Social Media at all?
In a nutshell, it works. Your competitors use it. It increases your business presence across the web.
It works 24/7…..while you sleep. You could pay a consultant for a full year to promote and manage
your social media for less than placing a business card sized ad in a metropolitan yellow pages
(remember them?) In a medium sized market, like Rochester NY, that would run you about $600 a
month on your phone bill. And that was back in the 90’s!
The nicest side benefit is when all this is running properly, when a new user, say a referral, searches
for you on Google. Bing, or Yahoo…that first page of results IS ALL YOU!
Your website shows up, followed by your Manta listing, followed by your Facebook, Twitter,
LinkedIn, and Google +, so all the returns “above the fold” (before you scroll down) ARE YOU! Does
a competitor have a similar name? This is the way to bury them in the Google listing returns (global
and local SEO).
Another benefit is these days, not everyone picks up the phone anymore. Heck, most folks don't
bother to have a "home phone line" anymore. They use their cell. What else do they use on the cell
phone? SOCIAL MEDIA. You’ll get contacts from Facebook, Manta, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn as
an active user because for those users, it easier to make first contact to discuss business
with you through their preferred social media.
And that is the number one rule of effective advertising.
Ease of contact.