For anyone out there who is still skeptical about what social media can do for your business, here is a quick run through of the benefits it can offer. And now during the “most wonderful marketing time of the year” is a great time to really test out the social marketing waters. Why use social media? Expand the life and reach of your email marketing messages. When you post the hosted version of your emails on your social profiles or include share links in your emails, your content can be shared in ways we have never seen. You emails can be shared on social networks and reach thousands of new prospects with just one click. Using Social Media will help you connect with your customers. We recently surveyed some of our customers and found that this was the primary goal of using social media for your business. You can really connect with your customers in a genuine way and find brand advocates. Use social media to reach prospects when your content is shared. Also, having a social presence makes it easier for people to find information about your brand in search engines. Social Media is a great tool for promoting news, events, sales and more about your business. Having a last minute sale? Did a new shipment come in? Extended business hours? Put it on your social profiles. Use social media to find brand advocates. Does someone mention your brand a lot or say positive things? Be sure to reach out and thank them. They can be valuable for your business because people trust other’s endorsements of brands. Make sure to recognize them and encourage more brand advocacy. Or just say thanks! Use social media to be in industry resource. Provide valuable content to your followers– news articles, blogs or tweets from other sources. You want to balance updates that promote only your business with interesting and valuable content that is helpful for your followers and pertains to your industry. For example, we often retweet articles from Mashable or about email marketing etc. Maybe your competitors aren&apos;t on social media or maybe they are. Either way, having a presence is a good way to stand out from the crowd. It’s also a good way to listen to what people are saying about you and your competitors. Forces some of your efforts on listening and you will be surprised about how much you learn and what you can then do to ramp up your efforts. Social media is good for search engine optimization and will drive traffic to your website.
Social Media & The Holidays: The information we discussed on the previous slide is useful all year and especially during the holidays. Now is the time to reach customers and prospects. Promote sales and special events around the clock. With social media you are not just constrained to the time you send out a deal or an offer. You can schedule updates to your social profiles with some automated services like hoot suite and then you can reach people who might not be shopping or on the web when you are. During the holidays, you can use social media to to listen to what your customers are saying, what they want and what is happening in your industry. You can then use this information to adjust your marketing accordingly. Use social media as a support tool to answer questions about your business and products, this way you can catch people while they are online and hopefully increase your chances of getting the sale. Most businesses big and small will be on social this time of year. Join them and be relevant and stay ahead of the game. Groupon or Foursquare- these are services that you can use to offer deals online that are redeemable in store. This is good if you have a physical store and you want to integrate social media into your marketing during the holidays. Most of these social media services are free, so it is a great way to promote your business during the holiday season for a little money! 60% of Americans regularly interact with companies on a social media site (Cone Business in Social Media Study, 2008)- so now is your chance to reach them.
Twitter: Twitter is a great tool for small businesses, because with little effort your message can potentially be seen by hundreds of new people. There are over 65million tweets per day and users are always looking for good content, relevant content, interesting things to RT to their followers and the best of the best. This sounds more daunting than it is and you really have more interesting things to tweet than you think! Here are some ideas about what to tweet: Hosted versions of your email messages. Even pick popular content and tweet little sections of it to your followers. Tweet photos of products, your store, videos or interviews Tweet specials, free shipping offers, and seasonal deals Gift guides Make sure to counter all of the promotional tweets with informative articles, news, press releases or helpful hints for your followers And lastly, make sure your followers know store information ( location or holiday hours), especially if you have made a change
You are probably wondering how to gain followers once you have joined Twitter. Have “Twitter only” deals Tweet valuable and interesting news that pertains to your industry, People will ideally pass this along to their followers and those people will in turn follow you. Successful social media is based on reciprocity. Follow other users. Retweet & mention others. Retweet their content, mention their Twitter handle in tweets and always recognize people who have mentioned or RT’ed you. Use hastags. Hastags are those pound signs that you often see in tweets. They work to organize tweets based on topic, theme or keyword when add the hashtag before a word in your tweet. The reason using Hashtags is important is that by adding them to your tweets, it includes your tweets into a larger conversation so they can seen by everyone who follows that Hashtag. For instance, when VR4SmallBiz adds the Hashtag #emailtip to a tweet, all the people searching for Hashtag &apos;emailtip&apos; on Twitter or TweetDeck will see our tweet and then hopefully follow us! To find Hashtags that are relevant, use a service like Trendistic to see how many times a Hashtag is being used. This is a good way to find hashtags that are trending and get your tweets seen by new people! Respond to questions and make sure people know you are present on your Twitter account to keep people following you. Send our an email letting your customers know you are on Twitter, you can even give them an incentive to join you! Remember: It’s better to have a smaller list of engaged followers than a huge amount of followers that don&apos;t interact! Much like an email list!
Having a Facebook presence is paramount in creating a solid social media program for your business. You can kind of look at a Facebook Page as the hub for all of your other social media and it is a great starting point. Why? There are more an 30 billion pieces of content shared on FB each month and over 25% of VerticalResponse small business customers use FB as a marketing tool. So, chances are, you do too. A Facebook page can drive signups, traffic to your website and brand awareness. Plus, it can help grow your email marketing list when you easily add an opt-in form to your FB page. It’s easy to maintain a page when you add some information about your business and it’s free!
So you are on Facebook and you are wondering what to post? Trust me, you have more content than you think. Post the hosted version of your VerticalResponse emails. It’s easy to get the hosted version of you email when you go into your VR account. Click on a sent email. On the left hand side, of the reporting page, you will see the Twitter and Facebook Icons. Click on this and a box will open up. Copy this link and paste it into your status update on your FB Page. Also, Post information about Sales, events, news about your business, articles and valuable information about your business or industry trends. Also, any important milestones you have reached at your business. You can also link your twitter account to update your page. This is easy and is a good way to make your content go further! You can do the same with your blog posts, or you can manually update those. You can update your page with photos and business or company events. Share new products, presale information and gift guides. People want help to know what to shop for this holiday season, so save them time & make it easy when you tell them! Share business hours and links to your website. Make it easy for people to find you. And of course, any holiday coupon codes, sales or specials!
LinkedIn is really emerging as a valuable resource for businesses and professionals. It’s a great tool for making connections in a professional setting both business related and personal. But for many of our small businesses, when you are running the show, these two are interchangeable. Use linkedin to: Interact with customers, prospects and make business connections Add information to your profile that people might need to find you: Job history, honors, awards and groups. This can help you manage your online presence and give your business some cache. Sync blog and twitter updates to your profile to keep your LinkedIn followers informed Create a profile for your business Provide information about your company Using LinkedIn will increase search ranking & make it easier for people to find accurate information about your business.
Join Groups that pertain to your interests or industry. For example, I am a member of the emarketing group, and the sub group for social marketers. It’s a great way for me to learn some things going on in the industry and to connect with other Likeminded individuals. Once you have been a a part of some groups, start one for your business. We have one. It’s the Small Business marketing with VerticalResponse group. It’s a great way for us to connect and build relationships with our customers and also learn about what they want, what things are on their mind and what&apos;s going on with other small businesses just like us! In the group you can post blog entries, recent newsletters, press releases and articles that your group members will find interesting. Post your holiday emails, special sales and events. Remember, these people want to join you, so give them updates! Also, include an opt-in form or a link to your opt in form in the group. Reach out to customers and identify your advocates. If people say nice things about you, thank them! Send out an email and invite your customers, also post a link to your group on your Facebook wall and on Twitter and in all your emails, especially business ones.
We know that time is a big obstacle for small business owners, especially this time of year. To save time, here are some quick social media tips for success! Maintain presence on one or just a couple of sm social media platforms. You do not need to be everywhere! You can even survey your customers to fond out where they would like to interact with you if it is unclear. Repurpose your content to save time: use your emails and blog posts as content. Break this up into smaller pieces for your social profiles & encourage people to “learn more” by subscribing or clicking on the hosted version of your emails. Also, use the content from your LinkedIn group for updating other profiles. If there is a great conversation going on, be sure to update your twitter and Facebook people too. You definitely want there to be a connection between everything. The VerticalResponse Social Sharing feature makes it easy to socially share your emails in one click. Use social media as a customer support tool When you answer a question publically, you might be answering a question many of your customers have, you will save time in answering support related emails or phone calls. Also, its much easier to search twitter and respond than to go through an email or take a phone call especially for quick questions. And the most important time saving feature: Retweet & Post Content from other users! Get content from your followers, industry leaders, news resources, bloggers and more. Find and distribute the good and valuable content for people and they will keep coming back. And now, I am going to hand it over to Jill & we will talk about how you can make your emails more social this time of year and all year long!
This email is a great example because it is seasonal & has social links prominently placed. Make your own holiday email and use these social icons!
This email is lacking one thing– links to Folger’s other social sites!
Have a Tweet Holiday
Poppy Thorpe, Social Media Manager
& Jill Bastian, Training & Education Manager
Why Use Social Media?
Which Platforms to Use
Quick and Easy Social Media Tips
Social Media and Email – A Quick Overview
Tools for Success
Why Use Social Media?
Expand the life & reach of your emails
Connect with customers
Promote events and news at your business
Identify brand advocates
Be an industry resource for your followers
Get an edge on the competition
Search Engine Optimization
Drive traffic to your website
Social Media & The Holidays!
Reach customers and prospects on social media
Promote sales and special events around the clock
Monitor your brand and listen to what people are
Use social media as a customer support tool to
answer quick questions about your business or
Be relevant & stay ahead of the game
Promote sales & deals online and offline
Offer a deal online that is redeemable in store
(Groupon or Foursquare)
Stretch your dollar!
Why use Twitter?
190 Million users- reach them!
Connect with new and prospective customers
Increase your presence on the web
Social Share on Twitter to grow your list & expand the life & reach of
What to Tweet:
Your email messages
Photos & videos
Specials, free shipping options & seasonal deals
Informative articles, news, press releases & more
Store information or holiday hours
Tips For Getting Followers:
Have “Twitter only” deals
Tweet resources & news that pertains to your
Retweet & mention others
Use Hashtags (#)
Respond to questions about your business
Send an email letting your customers know
you are on Twitter
Remember: It’s better to have a smaller list
of engaged followers than a huge amount of
followers that don’t interact (like an email list)
More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links,
news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) shared
Over 25% of Small Businesses use FB
as a marketing tool
A Facebook Page can drive signups,
traffic to your website & brand awareness
Grow your email marketing list with an
opt-in form on your page!
It’s easy to maintain & free to join
Facebook, Now What?
What to Post:
Hosted versions of your email campaigns
Sales, events, news & more
Link Twitter account to automatically update
Photos & company events
Informative videos, product guides
Business hours & links to your website
Holiday coupon codes, sales & specials
Why Use LinkedIn?
Make connections in a professional setting
Interact with customers, prospects & potential
Add information to your profile: job history,
honors, awards & groups
Sync blog and Twitter updates to your profile
Create a profile for your business
Provide information about your company:
products, services & job opportunities
Increase search ranking & make it easier for
people to find accurate information about your
LinkedIn & Your Business
Join groups that pertain to
your interests or industry
Start a group for your business
Include updates, links to blog
posts, recent newsletters & more!
Post all of your holiday emails,
special sales & events to your
Reach out to customers &
group members & be a useful
Post links to your group on
your social profiles & in emails
Send an email & invite
Quick Social Media Tips
Maintain a presence on a couple of social media platforms
(Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Foursquare, etc.), you
don’t need to be everywhere!
Repurpose content to save time & post content from your
emails on your social profiles
Post hosted versions of email campaigns with the VR Social
Answer customer questions publically. Others might need the
answer too & it could save time in customer support efforts
Retweet, post or update your social profiles with good content
from other users, customers & industry leaders ( just site your
Getting Social With Your
Always include links to your
social profiles in your emails
Offer people an incentive
via email to engage with you
on Social Media
Have social only offers
Pre-sale or Sneak Peek
Discount, free shipping etc.
social share your emails to
close the loop
Include opt-in forms on your
social profiles whenever
Tools For Success:
Hootsuite Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn updates from one
dashboard, schedule updates and search for “keywords”
associated with your business
Tweetdeck monitor several different Twitter accounts &
Trendistic to find trending & relevant hashtags
Bit.ly Shorten links for Facebook & Twitter and track clicks in
VerticalResponse Social Media Guides
VerticalResponse Twitter Chat #VRTweets Wednesdays in
November from 1-2 PM PDT