Social Media Strategy:
How I use social media to promote BusinessPlusBaby.com
You don't often find a real-life example of how social media is used to promote a website, so I thought
I'd share the strategy I use for BusinessPlusBaby.com. I've also included some tips that will help you
get the most from the different social media platforms.
Business Plus Baby is a website that helps parents start and grow businesses around their young
families. I started BusinessPlusBaby.com back in 2009 when my daughter was 14 months old and I
was eight months pregnant with my son. Yes, that was a busy year!
I needed a way to bring traffic to Business Plus Baby and I knew there were plenty of mums with
businesses on Twitter because I used to hang around in internet forums with them. As my grasp on
search engine optimization wasn't great at that stage, it made sense to start with Twitter.
I got much better at SEO soon after that!
Twitter worked well, but Facebook was huge so I wanted to try that, too. So I set up a Facebook page
for Business Plus Baby and gradually started to get likes. (Although back in those days they were still
known as fans.)
So far so good, but to turn your followers and blog readers into clients you need a mailing list and that
was next on my to-do list. I set up an account with Mailchimp in 2010 because it had good reviews
and - let’s be honest here - it was free!
I'm still using Mailchimp today for Business Plus Baby, but I've moved over to Aweber for my latest
mailing list at HelenLindop.com. I'll explain the reasons in a future post, so stay tuned for that. In a
nutshell though, Mailchimp is pretty good but Aweber is more powerful.
My marketing funnel
My social media strategy had now taken shape. I was using Facebook, Twitter and SEO to bring
readers to my blog then, by offering a useful free e-book and regular mailings, I encouraged readers
to sign up to my mailing list.
In the not-so-distant past this would have been my marketing funnel, where readers were encouraged
on a one-way trip to my mailing list. But these days it's not as linear as that.
Let me give you an example. A reader may find me first on Twitter, then find a friend of hers likes my
Facebook page, so she decides to like it herself. After that she might read a few blog posts and
download my free e-book. I'll send her an email with updates to my latest blog posts which beings her
back to my blog. Then she might exchange a few tweets with me or maybe retweet one of my posts
that she found helpful. After that she might buy one of my e-books or another that I'm recommending
as an affiliate.
So people hop up-and-down and side-to-side with my marketing funnel rather than travelling straight
How do I use each platform? And which are most effective?
First let me say that works best for me won't necessarily work best for you. You need to work out who
you want to connect with and where they hang out online. There's much more on this in my soon-to-
be released Twitter marketing course. (Sign up for updates -in the sidebar on your right - and I'll let
you know when it's ready)
Twitter is perfect for me because small and solo business owners are very active there. Being a mum
to young kids can be isolating and so can being a home-working self-employed person. Being a self-
employed mum is a double-whammy. I swear that some days Twitter kept me sane and I'm cetainly
not alone. That's why there are so many solo business owners on Twitter. They don't just talk
business, they share and recommend too. So it's a great place for a small business blogger to get
My Twitter strategy has been to be friendly, get to know people, help them out and share good stuff.
Occasionally I drop in a tweet that invites people to download my free e-book but those tweets are
very much in the minority.
Ah Facebook. I love it and hate it. I love it because it has one billion active users all over the world
and you can build an amazing community there. And using Facebook Ads you can target those users
very precisely indeed. That's an unbelievable marketing opportunity. But sometimes I hate it too
because there are so many rules and updates it's a pain in the butt keeping up with it all.
But moaning aside, Facebook has been great for me because it's very, very popular with mums who
have small children. My strategy for my Facebook page is to make it a useful and interesting place to
visit, where you're welcome to stop by and say hello or ask a question. I only allow adverts on
Fridays. Women working from home are always a target for multi-level marketers and people
recruiting to party plans, so I do have to be strict and prompt about deleting adverts off this page on
other days of the week.
I share links to my own blog posts and free e-book, but most of the content on the Business Plus
Baby page is from other sources, including articles, training, discounts and other events.
My target audience isn't as active on Youtube as it is on Facebook and Twitter, but I still find YouTube
is extremely valuable.
Why? Well, video is fantastic for building relationships. If you want to connect with people online, then
get your face in front of a video camera. If you see someone talking on video they are instantly more
real, more believable than in a written format and if they aren't that confident in front of a camera that
only adds to their sense of authenticity. Even better, your competitors probably haven't plucked up
the courage to try it yet, so it's an easy way to stand out. Plus you can embed videos in your blog
posts, tweet them and share them on Pinterest or other social media platforms.
I wasn't all that active on Google+ for its first year because my audience weren't that active there
either. But that's changing now.
Pinterest is very popular indeed with women in my target age group. So it makes sense for me to be
there. But Business Plus Baby doesn't lend itself as well to pictures as, say, a design or photography
business would. Add to that the fact that I'm more of a 'words person' than a 'pictures' one and
Pinterest wasn't a natural place for me to shine. However, I do now get a little traffic coming through
from Pinterest and I do make a point of pinning and re-pinning a couple of times a week.
Many of my readers have product and design-based businesses, so it's worth me being there for that
reason. Sometimes, it's worth having a small presence on a social media platform even if it's not your
cup of tea. If I had a product-based business I would be all over Pinterest like a rash, though. And if
my design skills were not up to showing my product off, then I would find a photographer or graphic
designer to help me.
So if your audience is active on a social network that doesn't match your skills, then definitely
consider paying someone to help.
One of the less well-known social media platforms, Audioboo is all about sharing audio clips that are
usually 3 minutes or less in length. Think of it as an audio version of youTube.
Like YouTube, it's easy to embed your 'boos' (audio recordings) in blog posts and to share them on
Twitter and Facebook.
My main reasons for loving Audioboo are that a) that it's quick - in fact recording a boo is just like
leaving a voice-mail, b) unlike video it doesn't matter what I look like when I hit the record button and
c) I like talking!
Audioboo doesn't bring traffic to Business Plus Baby directly, but it's a quick and fun way of adding
variety to my articles. (Find out more here.)
- Linked In
My target audience tends to have profiles on Linked In but they aren't that active there. And that sums
up my use of Linked In, too. I do keep my Linked In profile up to date as it appears on page 1 of
Google when people search for me by name. I'm also happy to for other people to link to me as it's
always good to be building your professional network and I've set it up so that links to my new blog
posts appear there, too.
One of the strengths of Linked In is its groups, as that is where you can network with other
professionals in your field. However, I've found the groups for women in micro -business tend not to
have much quality discussion going on. You may have to dig a little to find a good group on Linked In,
but I've heard it can be well worth the effort.
My final words to you...
Whatever you do on social media, make sure you have a strategy. It's so easy to get sucked
in trying out to tips and tricks when the only way to get results is to have a strategy and use it.
Work through your plan, tracking, testing and tweaking as you go. Otherwise you risk wasting
a lot of time and getting disappointing results.
I use search engine optimization alongside SEO to bring traffic to Business Plus Baby. Social
media does help with SEO though, as links from Twitter, Facebook and other platforms back
to your website help tell Google that there is valuable info to be found there. If you'd like to
know more about how I optimize my blog posts, take a look at this post.
And don't feel you need to use as many platforms as I do. It's fine to use one or two and use
them well than to spread yourself too thin. I'm a social media nut, this pattern of behaviour
isn't recommended for most people!
Helen Lindop, March 2013