Social media for small business
by Quba Digital on Sep 21, 2010
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As a small business owner, your most valuable commodity is your time and without focus social media can be incredibly time consuming. My presentation is intended to help small business owners define a ...
As a small business owner, your most valuable commodity is your time and without focus social media can be incredibly time consuming. My presentation is intended to help small business owners define a focus and plan their social media marketing to get the most out of the time you have to put in.
Step 1: Listen
There are plenty of free tools you can use to set up listening alerts for your brand name, your competitiors and your services. Give the following a try:
Google alerts – Set up alerts and every time your keyword is mention you receive a notification
Technorati and Delicious – Search for influential writers in your field
Google reader – syndicate your searches into an inbox style format
Feedly - syndicate feeds into a magazine
TweetDeck – Set up columns with searches on keywords or @ mentions (when someone is talking directly to you).
Step 2: Define goals
Track all the data you find from listening using a spreadsheet. Even spending an hour or so a week will begin to give you an idea of who is talking and what they are saying. This will help you to see where you need to have a presence and what issues you need to address.
What do you realistically want to achieve from a social media campaign? Do you want to increase sales? Build awareness? Improve your reputation? Make your customer service more efficient? Decide what counts as success for you and focus on it.
Step 3: Think about content
What type of content will help you to achieve your goals? What content do you already have that you can share? Try creating a content strategy, even if it’s just a calendar with dates marked to remind you to release content. A great idea for maintaining momentum is to mark industry events in your calendar and release content that relates. For example, a clothes shop might release a blog post or a fashion week widget during London Fashion Week, which is on right now!
Step 4: Tracking
Success can be measured in many ways. Use your goals to inform which metrics you choose to track but ALWAYS track. Google Analytics is a free and powerful tool that every website should have installed.
Step 5: Create your outposts and optimise them
Your website is the hub of your activity and social media profiles such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn act as spokes or outposts which allow you to drive traffic back to the hub or interact with your audience in different ways.
It is only once you know where you can get the most value for the time you invest that you should start creating profiles. Don’t get overwhelmed, go for the low hanging fruit first. If, for example, your audience is already having discussions about your service on LinkedIn, go there! Save Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, whatever for later.
A couple of other points:
Make sure you fill in your profile fully with a link back to your website
Customise backgrounds, icons and profile pictures where you can so your audience has a consistent experience
If possible, protect your brand name on multiple social networks to avoid misrepresentation. Use a site like Knowem to see if your name is still free on hundreds of networks.
Step 6: Start engaging
Think of this part as building a relationship with your followers and fans. If all you do is talk about how wonderful your company is, people will lose interest pretty quickly.
Instead of a hard sell try the following:
Direct people to interesting content from other authors
Ask questions – get to know people
Make them laugh
Give special insights, discounts and promotions
As a rule, for every seven or eight posts you make helping someone, you can make one self promotional post.
Social media isn’t only about selling your products. It’s about talking with your audience, having fun with them, making new connections, giving them reasons to talk about you, and building a long term relationship”
I hope this presentation was helpful, i
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