Could open with this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpIOClX1jPE social media in plain English . . .
Social Media is Not an Ad or Sales Campaign! Social Media is truly based on your interaction with the world around your business not only about interaction with your customers, but also the information that you can gain as an expert in the industry. With the help of social media you can gather and share information with customers and clients as well as others in your industry. Give the example of information gathered on social media. Herb and Nancy post, email, and tweet social media articles to one another. No matter how hard you try to read and understand every new article about social media – you won’t be able to! By accessing the benefits of social media you can certainly engage your customers in conversation through the knowledge that you have and the assistance that your small business can give your current or potential customer. Remember no matter what kind of marketing you are involved in you are always looking to solve a problem for your customer. It is not “me marketing”!
You have to know what social media is not before you begin. This is just as vital as learning what social media is. SEO is still a vital part of your small business website and understanding this will take you further. While the search engines change their algorithms that calculate your ranking extremely often…it still is best to keep your website up to date with what we currently see as a beneficial way to gain “points” with the search engines. Ultimately your social media resources should lead the relationships that can be Before diving in to social media, you MUST commit or you cannot expect fabulous results. This is a learning experience for EVERYONE involved. So it may not be easy! There may not be an answer for every question or a guide for every situation. Excitement and common business sense are the two best assets you can have when embarking on the social media endeavor. NUMBER ONE RULE: You must be honest when taking part in social media. A great quote that I heard was – If you are not transparent, people will see right through you. There is no need to embellish who you are or what your company brings to the table. Say what you will do for those listening to you – no more or no less. While it might be a little unsettling to open yourself up to the world of social media, you must or you will be left behind. You can either be a participant or a bystander and from the looks of things if you are a bystander you will be in a heap of trouble in the future. Even if you are not taking part in social media other people are talking about your business be it good or bad – don’t you want to be there to manage it? There are no promises that social media will be successful for your small business. Social media, like any other marketing effort, amounts to what you put into it. You must be certain that all your bases are covered. The five strategies in this session will give you a greater understanding of what is expected of you to succeed at social media marketing.
Small business owners are instinctively on the lookout for the next best thing….and to most, social media is the new horizon! With budgets tight, it seems like social media could be the answer to the small business owners need for fulfillment in marketing, interaction, and research. Social media seems to be a way to level the field for small businesses. While you may not have as much human capital to direct at social media, you have some. Take what you have and do the best you can. The staying still holds true in social media that a mediocre marketing plan is better than no plan at all!
As a small business owner you don’t have time to sit down and read a book or wait for a report on your industry. And most of the time the market research that is available is extremely expensive. Now through information from the ASBTDC Market Research team and through the power of Google you have access to up to date industry information at your fingertips. Connect – Social media allows for relationships to be strengthened and formed through Listening is the number one skill necessary in social media. Listening to your clients, listening to your peers, and listening to the economic reports of your business industry. Listening to your customers helps to address any problems they might have or reward them for spreading the good news of your business. By listening you also can learn what your target market is looking for….there may be things that you haven’t thought of! Outreach – while many of your connections online will come from those that you already have a base relationship with, you will find that many newcomers who are interested in your business or industry seek you out. As you become more and more active in your social media endeavors you will see this grow. It will allow you to show your expertise and benefit from your knowledge. This outreach can also be seen as a Public Relations tool. More and more we see media outlets looking for what is going on around town through social networking Exp – Herb’s TV Stations showing up to seminars because he tweeted about them! Push Sales – While I wouldn’t suggest using your social marketing just as a sales tool, I certainly don’t think its wrong to help yourself out! After you have built a following and you want to reward your loyal customers by giving them a coupon, go ahead! Just don’t over do it! They aren’t on social networks for commercials – so be gentle with your sales prodding! Research – Let your fingers do the walking! Find out the new best thing through digging through the social media sites available. Some sites will have information that you can seek out just for your industry. While you must be careful what you take of each article, it never hurts to read and form your own opinion.
Not just a webpage, but a work page Social media sites work much differently than your traditional webpage. While you must change content on your traditional webpage and be certain that it has been optimized for search engines, the work involved can be somewhat minimal after the initial outlay of the website. If you have produced an exquisite page that includes all the meta tags, headers and alternative text required of the web spiders to ping your page the addition of a few different items and changes on your page can be as simple as a copy and paste. While many business owners who are wholly online based require more attention to their sites. Assurance People are looking for assurance from you and their peers. The stats certainly spell it out for you 20% of people trust ads 60% of people trust editorials 80% of people trust word of mouth PersonalizationNot only can you personalize your social media for your business, but it can and should contain a certain bit of who you are as a person. You should let your personality show your passion and knowledge about your small business.Brand Management If you aren’t on social media – the comments – GOOD and BAD – will continue. The question is will you be there to manage what they say? You have the chance!
With over 72 of every 100 people being active internet users in the United States you must break down to your target market. Working through social media in a way that is not attractive to your target market will only lead to lackluster results. Just as you don’t want to waste your hard cold cash on ineffective marketing efforts, you certainly don’t want to waste your time and human capital on social media marketing that is not beneficial for your business.
Locating your target market is key… you most likely already have a really good idea of who your target market is, but just in case you aren’t exactly sure there is a lot that can be done. First and foremost the ASBTDC and our team of consultants - which many of you already work with - can help you determine exactly who you should be marketing to. Show them the benefits the ASBTDC market research can offer them. The market research which is available through the ASBTDC can help you determine who your target market is and where they are located. While we can offer an abundance of information and guidance on your target market. There is also information on the web that can help you research who is using certain social media applications and why they are using them. Unfortunately, because the art of social media is rather new…sifting through the information can be rather time consuming, but I will share a few websites that I find to be trustworthy and have relevant information that you are looking for.
While you may hear how many people worldwide are on a social network, don’t worry – you don’t have to reach everyone. You can narrow down your target market by the information that you present to the social networking sites or they will narrow down to you. You can choose to seek out people in your area that you know are interested or are current customers in your business….try to get permission first or lead them to you through your email marketing which I know you are using *wink wink* and if you aren’t using an email marketing service to lead your clients to what you are doing you should be – Inbox Impact Wednesday, Feb 10th. Don’t be a stalker! Exp. There is a company that continually tries to befriend me on Facebook….unfortunately, I choose not be a fan of their business because it not something that I am personally interested in and now they have just made me angry by continually messaging me. Facebook has now implemented a way for you to not be bothered by these pesky repeat stalkers with more privacy settings and a question process after you ignore a request.
Here are some stats that shows the popularity of a few of the social networks by generation. This information gives you a greater idea of what sites might bring you a little more traffic or popularity in reference to your target market. You should certainly research each site before taking this graph as gold. The data changes and should always be confirmed through research.
When you are looking at who your target market is you must also address what they are looking for. This “what” can certainly determine where you will find your customer as well. Your customers may not be looking for just your product or service, but could be looking for what you know about the environment they live in. Exp: A family photographer that I use sends out emails each month to her clients. The emails contain only (about 25%) snippet of information regarding her services and then covers a range of family activities according to the season (75%). She knows that her client base is predominately family based and is looking to solve a problem for them. Since people usually don’t get pictures taken too often, it is a way for her to stay in contact with her clients without being over bearing or sales pushy. Exp: A client in Conway who owns a children’s boutique often markets with a photography studio in the same shopping center to offer discounts and deals in both shops. By offering a supplement to their initial interest they can bring in more clients.
Fun sites: http://Popacular.com/gigatweethttp://www.checkfacebook.com
Geosocial networking is social networking in which geographic services and capabilities such as geocoding and geotagging are used to enable additional social dynamics. User-submitted location data or geolocation techniques can allow social networks to connect and coordinate users with local people or events that match their interests. Geolocation on web-based social network services can be IP-based or use hotspottrilateration. For mobile social networks, texted location information or mobile phone tracking can enable location-based services to enrich social networking.Geosocial networking can allow users to interact relative to location and time. Web mapping services with geocoding data for places such as streets, buildings, and parks can be used with geotagged information (such as meetups, concert events, or nightclub or restaurant reviews) to match a user with a place or event or local group in which to socialize, or enable a group of users to decide on a meeting activity. In disaster scenarios, geosocial networking can allow users to coordinate around collaboratively filteredgeotag information on hazards and disaster aid activities to develop a collectivesituational awareness through an assembly of individual perspectives. This type of geosocial networking is known as collaborative mapping.QR codes storing addresses and URLs may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards, or on just about any object about which users might need information. Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader application can scan the image of the QR Code to display text, contact information, connect to a wireless network, or open a web page in the phone's browserThe NeoReader is a universal barcode scanning application that transforms your mobile phone into a barcode scanner and allows you to access mobile web content by scanning codes from print ads, publication, packaging, billboards, retail display, broadcast media, or any other medium. Universal means that the NeoReader scans all the standard code types (Data Matrix, QR codes, Aztec Codes, EAN, UPC, and Code 128), so NeoReader is the only scanning software you’ll need.
Now that you have an idea of what social media is and how to find out if your target market is taking part in social media, let’s look and see how to begin working on your social media presence. While this may be the part that strikes fear in you as a business owner, you don’t want to be left behind. Even if you take baby steps, at least your taking steps!
While beginning the process of social media can be a little overwhelming, as you begin taking part in the everyday activities the comfort level will come. By establishing your presence you will feel confidence in your place online and you will strengthen your business in the long run. Where – Are all the sites right for you? What – How much info do you display?When – All at once or a little at a time?
While we are talking about your social media presence….maybe we should take a quick step back and make sure you have a basic internet presence on the available search engines. This site will let you know if you are listed for FREE with the search engines – Google, Yahoo, Bing, Best of the Web. If you find that your business is not listed, take the time to register your business with these sites. No matter what your business is someone is searching for it online. I have heard many misconceptions about everything from drycleaners to zoos being researched on the internet.SHOW THEM! – Go to getlisted.org and ask for a volunteer to see if they are listed on the search engines that are viewed by the site. Remind them there are other sites to view as well like the others listed on this page. By adding their business to these sites they are gaining traffic to their business name and website. **Remind them to put as much information and accurate information as possible!** Exp. - I Lived in 3 States in 2 years….no house phone which means no phone book….I only located businesses and entertainment activities from the internet. My biggest problem was not being able to find local businesses. Worked for small family owned business and now ASBTDC – I want to be able to find local businesses.
You should google your industry and target market to see if there is a specific social network or medium preferred.Connection – is your target market looking for product info or industry info? Specific Site Examples: Mom’s Like Me NibbleDish – social network for people who love food! Artween – Artists and art lovers SocialPicks – Investors and finance interested individuals
Bookmarking – Bookmarking sites allow for organization of content that you have found rewarding for you, your business or your consumer. They allow you to connect with other people who are interesting in the same topics that you are and share your information. Not only can I share info with Herb who I know as a colleague, but also through people who are in my industry that are finding information on the topics that I desire information from. Blogging – You can either find blogs that suit your interest as a resource or you can become an expert your self. A blog “rule” is that it takes you blogging at least 3 times a week to have a reader hooked. This said – you have to know what is right for you and your audience. Are they expecting more? Do you have time for more? In blogging you should encourage interaction – commentary and suggestions are great for your readers and allow you to keep the conversation moving. **You should certainly note that not all commentary will be positive and you must be patient with your readers and continue the conversation – remember we are being transparent. Let them know your stance on the subject in a professional way. Blogging businesses experience 126% higher lead growth than non-blogging businesses!! 1/27/2010 – Lily Zhu
PULL UP A LARGE COMPANY ON A SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE – Ford, CocaCola, etc.Companies like CocaCola are beginning to abandon their traditional websites to concentrate on social networking.
Social Mention An alert tool that allows for real time social media search Google Analytics measures: Overall traffic increases Where your traffic is coming from Most trafficked keyterms or phrases