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Small Business Social Media Marketing Roadmap.Ebook

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Social media guide eBook for small businesses who are looking to get started and tips for content, websites and profiles.

Social media guide eBook for small businesses who are looking to get started and tips for content, websites and profiles.

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  • Photo credit: D’Arcy Norman
  • photo credits:
  • Transcript

    • 1. Small Business Social Media Marketing Roadmap
    • 2. Small business marketing resource
      Please feel free to post this e-book to your blog, website or email those that would benefit from reading this.
      Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution –Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0. United States. To view this license visit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/
      © Kherize5 Advertising & Marketing, LLC, 2009
      By: Suzanne Vara
      Photo credit: TristianBrand
    • 3. Table of Contents
      4 Overview
      5 Small Business Branding
      6 Small Business Social Strategy
      7 Identify Audience
      8 Goals & Expectations
      9 Look & Listen
      10 Participate
      11/12 Website Development
      13 Content
      14/15 Search Engine Optimization
      16 Blog
      17 Blog Promotion
      18 Social Media Platforms
      19 Monitoring Reputation & Conversations
      20 Getting Started
      Photo credit: D’Arcy Norman
    • 4. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING OVERVIEW
      Social media marketing encompasses all the platforms that connects businesses with consumers/audiences by building relationships. Social media builds upon the brand by creating a two-way conversation to humanize the brand.
      Engaging and building relationships is what social marketing  is all about and seeing where you personally or as a company fit in is ongoing. Traditional marketing  while still being effective is measured in sales as there is not an opportunity to talk until the consumer reacts by purchasing.  Social media marketing changes that as you can reach out to people and talk to them to gauge how they may react.
      Photo credits: DanardVincente, TopGold, BenStein, Mario Sundar, Techwriterboy
    • 5. Small business Branding
      Developing the business brand and marketing materials are the beginning stages of a social media strategy. The website and platform profiles need to tie in elements of the brand identity to be effective. In developing a brand, some questions need to be answered:  Will the brand developed provide differentiation from competitors? Will it have relevance and deliver? Will it remain current or need to be frequently changed to meet the needs of the ever changing market? The development of a distinctive and relevant brand that delivers guides a company to achieve a positive reputation.
      Creating the identity around the brand (your initial declaration of who you are as a company and why consumers should trust and buy from you) incorporates the name, logo design, tagline, website, marketing collateral and platform profiles.  
    • 6. Small business social media strategy
      Creating a social media strategy is crucial to the success of your efforts. Without a strategy and a team to implement failure is almost imminent as the desire to be too push too hard to get noticed and understanding the audience are too high. Social media marketing is not a campaign (although mini-campaigns can be set up within social media efforts for promotions , events, etc.) but a long term commitment to the audience that you will be there to communicate.
      Components of a Social Media Strategy
      1. Identify Audience. Develop a buyer persona and then go and look for them, research their habits and conversations.
      2. Set Goals and Expectations.  What do you want to get out of social media? How will you measure success?
       
      3. Look and Listen. Now that you identified them, go find them and watch how they engage and see where you could fit in.
      4. Participate.  Create a profile and slowly start talking to people. Go slow and do not interrupt conversations. Let them notice when you are there and when you are not.
      5. Build Relationships. It is not about you and how many friends or followers you have but how benefit them and add value. Key is to earn trust.
      photo credit: Intersection Consulting
    • 7. Identify audience
      Developing a buyer persona starts with researching what consumers are looking for in your product or service.  Go to where they are on the web and read blogs, forums and then ask questions.  Once you have created this persona, how do you talk to them and get across what you want them to believe about you?
      One you have identified the persona, keep in mind that there are 4 main visitors to your website that very well may fit into your buyer persona.
      1. Stumblers. New visitors who found your site either on accident or through
      another site/blog. 
      2. Researchers. They are pretty low in the buying process and are
      gaining information before they pull the trigger and buy.
      3. Buyers. They have already done their research and now are ready to buy. They
      are choosing you as they feel you are the most trustworthy and are the best
      source to solve their problem.  
      4. Surfers. Just looking, checking you out with no real interest in buying.  
      Photo credit: hipposrunsuperfast
    • 8. Goals & Expectations
      What are you goals and expectations of social media marketing? More sales or connecting with people on platforms and talk with them and not to them?
      Setting goals and expectations cuts out the frustration and the popularity contest. It is not how many followers or fans you have, it is about the number of relationships you build.
      Core Goals of Social Media Marketing
      1. Build Brand Awareness & Reputation
      2. Improve Search Engine Rankings
      3. Increase Targeted Traffic
      4. Drive Sales
      Photo credit: inacentaurdump
    • 9. Look & Listen
      Listen
      Look
      Go find your buyer persona.
      Perform searches for blog, forums along multiple
      platforms.
      Read about them.
      See how they talk & learn their “language”.
      Keep searching as they are not always where you
      think or expect they are.
      Hear them.
      Listen to their problems to determine how you will
      solve them.
      Hear exactly what they are saying and not what you
      want them to be saying.
      Determine the “loud” voices/leaders within your
      persona – they will be a valuable resource.
    • 10. participate
      Participating in social media marketing is not just creating profiles and starting
      conversations. It is based off of a strategy which includes having the right tools in place to
      get found, aesthetically-pleasing pages and new, fresh content regularly. A website that is
      not updated frequently does not do the trick anymore. Consumers demand more and the
      search engines comply.
      Elements of Participation
      1. Website Development
      2. Blog
      3. Social Media Platforms
      Agencies with a creative development team can help but ultimately the design has to best
      represent you fit you and your company.
    • 11. Website development
      Developing your website as a part of your social media strategy starts to map out the path of implementation of
      your strategy. When developing a website the first thoughts are:
      1. What will it look like?
      2. How many pages should it have?
      3. What should we have on the site?
      4. How many visitors can we expect?
      Instead of posing these questions, it is important to first set to answer the purpose of the site.
      1. Why do you have a site?
      2. Why should people visit the site?
      3. Why should they trust you?
      Design and the content on the site are part of the overall development of the site but not the main focus of having
      a site. A website is the recipient of just about all of your marketing efforts and is a place where your target market
      receives more information about your products/services, purchasing, etc.
      Creating a website requires its own sub-strategy to map out the graphic design, content creation and how it
      relates to the keyword research and the overall optimization of the site.
    • 12. Website development (cont).
      Components of a Website
      1. Corporate Identity/Products/Services
      2. Content
      3. Search Engine Optimization
      The overall design of the site needs to incorporate your corporate identity and be consistent with each page. The
      layout on each page does not need to be exact, but introducing completely new colors or a completely new font
      confuses the reader. Showcasing your products/services in a manner that the reader knows exactly what you are
      selling or in cases of information based sites, that you are not selling and how your product/service will add value
      to their life.
      A website development company that understands your company as a whole and the vision of the company will be
      a great asset to you in the development of the site so long as they have experience in all aspects of on-page
      development.
    • 13. content
      Content is king as they say and it is now more important than even in website development. Google has gone on
      the record with saying that they do not pay attention to keywords – relevant content from trustworthy sites that
      match searches. Search engines have to meet the demands of the users and match search terms the best that
      they can or the user will move to another search engine.
      Creating relevant content that matches search terms, is logical, clear and flows naturally and not keyword stuffed,
      is not too long or short and that inspires, influences and educates needs to be the starting point and the focus of
      the content. Keywords need to be contained within the content for the search engines to find it and match it
      however saying “social media marketing “ 4x in a paragraph of 6 sentences is going to get higher rankings.
      Characteristics of Good Content
      1. Provokes thought.  Content that provokes thought ranges from how your product/service will add value to their lives, providing different insight that makes readers wonder, "Hmm never thought of it  that way."
      2. Entertains. This is not necessarily all about the laughs but more content that engages readers to read on and also return.
      3. Educates.  Education is not limited to school anymore.  Blogs and websites are a great source of education where readers are seeking out some sort of an answer.  
      4. Informs. Breaking news, updates to stories as well as new product information. 
    • 14. search engine optimization
      Search engine optimization is broken down into 2 areas: On-page and Off-page. On-page refers to
      the keywords in the page title, URL heading and the content on the page. When determining
      keywords seek those that are:
      1. High Search Volume
      2. Relevant
      3. Low Difficulty
      High search terms with low difficulty are hard to find. Taking these keywords and adding to them to
      with more specific or geographical terms creating longtail keywords help with ranking and ultimately
      will assist you in achieving the desired keyword. Ie: ad agency (hard to rank for) add: Las Vegas for
      ad agency lasvegas is easier to rank for.
    • 15. Search engine optimization (cont).
      Off-page refers to the inbound links that come to your site. Each link is a recommendation to the search engines
      that your site contains quality and relevant information. The more relevant and quality links, the higher your
      ranking.
      Links are built by:
      1. Submitting site to directories.
      2. Submitting articles to ezine, goarticles, etc.
      3. Commenting on blogs
      4. Creating company blog
      Link building is one of the most difficult areas when launching a new site. There are links that can be purchased
      however if you are a plumber and are receiving links from a knitting site, the search engines would discount you
      as the link is not viewed as a quality link to your site.
    • 16. blog
      Blogs formerly know as journal entries are articles that are written on just about everything. It is no secret that blogs are one of the best ways to increase search engine rankings as they serve 2 purposes in search engine optimization:
      1. Fresh, relevant content (search engines are hungry for new content to supply to users)
      2. Inbound Links. A great blog that is shared and read by many will receive links to it from readers who like the post.
      Blog s need to be updated frequently (2-3x) a week. A new blog is open to
      all types of industry specific topics while trying to determine niche and what
      readers want and expect.
      Blog topics range from lists/tips/how to, trends, breaking news, reviews,
      interviews, thoughts, ideas, answering questions, experiences, caveat to
      other blogs and press releases/company news.
      Not everyone is a writer and can take on a blog. Talk with copywriters and
      agencies who have experience in writing blogs for assistance. An agency
      who blogs 1x a month is probably not the best fit for someone who wants to
      follow an aggressive blog schedule.
      Photo credit: digitalrob70
    • 17. Blog Promotion
      Blogs are created to inform, educate, humor, promote, share thoughts as well as other articles with the hopes that they will be shared and conversations started with comments.  Your overall strategy needs to include the tools in which you will promote the blog. The social media platforms are these valuable tools.
      Promoting your blog is can be done in so many ways and there is no right or wrong way to promote. Reaching your target audience and providing them with useful information will get them to return for more.
      Tips for Blog Promotion
      1. Email marketing
      2. Blog Communities
      3. Commenting on other blogs
      4. Guest Blogging
      5. Article Submission
      6. Twitter, LinkedIn, FB, FriendFeed, Technorati, Squidoo. etc.
      7. Social Bookmarks
      Photo credit: PodKnox
    • 18. social media platforms
      Participation on social media platforms is where the relationships begin or are enhanced. Engaging with people on these platforms is an opportunity to share information, interact in real time and meet new people in your industry, interests or old friends.
      There are microblogs like Twitter and FriendFeed, social bookmarks like Digg, Reddit. Delicious. Sphinn and Networking sites like Facebookand LinkedIn. Interacting on these profiles is not for the casual visitor. There is a conversation happening with or without you and the more involved you are the better to gain awareness and build a community.
      Create profiles in platforms where your target, industry leaders and interests are. Learn how to use these platforms completely and leave no stone unturned. Monitor your reputation and conversations about you as well as happenings in the industry.
      One of the biggest mistake companies make is having an intern or a brand new employee with no experience with platforms to represent the company. Social media platforms are the tools to implement the strategy to humanizing the brand by building relationships and not just a body typing.
      Photo credit: smartfeeling
    • 19. Monitoring reputation & Conversations
      Monitoring your brand on the social media platforms and being able to react to the conversation about your brand whether positive or negative is one of the most important aspects of your social media strategy.
      Monitoring your brand reputation as well as the conversation surrounding your industry not only keeps you informed of what is being said about your company but the industry as a whole. This allows you to see what problems need to be solved, upcoming conferences and who is saying what.
      Monitoring the conversation on each of the platforms varies and, as such, there are alerts that can be set up so the conversation comes to you. Google has free monitoring with Google Alerts, socialmention.com is another free and very easy to set up. Twitter is best served with hashtags to follow conversations.
      These tools work best for small businesses with not a large amount of chatter however larger companies will need a bit more monitoring tools with paid services like Radian6.
      Photo credit: whiskeyandtears
    • 20. Getting Started
      Where do you begin? Start by being realistic. How much time can you dedicate to the blog, engaging with people on the platforms as well as face to face meetings? Face to face starts conversations that are continued on the platforms. It is not about how many followers you will have – it is about the quality of followers.
      Best places to start:
      Photo credit: Atrayu

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