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Social media marketing


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Social media marketing

  1. 1. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business Your Name Goes Here Your Company Name Goes Here
  2. 2. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business NOTICE: You Do NOT Have the Right to Reprint or Resell this Report! You Also MAY NOT Give Away, Sell or Share the Content Herein If you obtained this report from anywhere other than you have a pirated copy. If that’s the case please report it to us at © 2013 Copyright All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review. Legal Notices The information presented herein represents the view of the author as of the date of publication. Because of the rate with which conditions change, the author reserve the right to alter and update his opinion based on the new conditions. This book is for informational purposes only. While every attempt has been made to verify the information provided in this book, neither the authors nor their affiliates/partners assume any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions. Any slights of people or organizations are unintentional. You should be aware of any laws which govern business transactions or other business practices in your country and state. Any reference to any person or business whether living or dead is purely coincidental. Every effort has been made to accurately represent this product and its potential. Examples in these materials are not to be interpreted as a promise or guarantee of earnings. Earning potential is entirely dependent on the person using our product, ideas and techniques. We do not purport this as a “get rich scheme.” Your level of success in attaining the results claimed in our materials depends on the time you devote to the program, ideas and techniques mentioned your finances, knowledge and various skills. Since these factors differ according to individuals, we cannot guarantee your success or income level. Nor are we responsible for any of your actions. Any and all forward looking statements here or on any of our sales material are intended to express our opinion of earnings potential. Many factors will be important in determining your actual results and no guarantees are made that you will achieve results similar to ours or anybody else’s, in fact no guarantees are made that you will achieve any results from our ideas and techniques in our material. Page 2
  3. 3. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business Recommended Resour ces (Insert Image of Your Product/Service) (Insert Image of Your Product/Service) Description of product/service goes here. Description of product/service goes here. (Insert Image of Your Product/Service) (Insert Image of Your Product/Service) Description of product/service goes here. Description of product/service goes here. Page 3
  4. 4. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business Intr oduction As a small business owner you are already well aware of how important it is to market your company. It is incredibly important that you market your company’s services in order to be successful in today’s highly competitive marketplace. But how you market your business will be the determining factor in your success. In order to reach out to the most prospective customers, convert them into existing and repeat customers and increase your revenue stream, your marketing team should be employing many different types of marketing strategies. These strategies should include both on-line and off-line advertising, as well as a number of different advertising techniques. The online world is one of the easiest and fastest ways to reach out to potential customers, so you should be broadly marketing to them through their computers and mobile devices. This means that you should be incorporating online marketing techniques such as e-mail marketing, video marketing, search engine marketing and social media marketing in order to reach the most amount of customers. Social media marketing alone could vastly increase your customer base and your brand’s recognition. Page 4
  5. 5. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business If your business isn’t already using such online marketing tactics, you could be missing out on the ability to directly advertise to hundreds, thousands or even millions of potential customers. Rest assured that your competitors are using online marketing techniques. If you don’t want to fall behind it is highly recommended that you implement an online marketing plan immediately. This plan should include social media marketing strategies. Page 5
  6. 6. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business W hat is Social Media Mar keting? Social media has completely overtaken the online world in recent years. Everyone and their brother are using social media to connect with others and discover new and interesting things. Social media marketing refers to the practice of advertising a business through a number of social media websites. This form of marketing allows a business to directly connect with their existing customers and work towards developing new customers, all through a medium that a large majority of people use every day. It also lets you connect with your customers in a much more dynamic and personalized manner. Social media marketing strategies can be very large or very small, depending on the company’s advertising objectives. The majority of social media marketing occurs on major social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Google Plus. These are the online websites that a lot of people visit, use and depend on. By using these mediums to directly connect with potential and existing customers, businesses are keeping up with the same trends that their customers are using. This is just one of the reasons why social media marketing campaigns are so successful and popular. Page 6
  7. 7. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business How Can Your Business Benefit Fr om a Social Media Mar keting Campaign? Social media marketing strategies are quickly becoming the go-to strategy for businesses that are looking to increase their web presence. This is because this particular form of marketing can have a large number of benefits for any business who uses it. Here are some of the ways that your small business will benefit from marketing through social media: 1. Social media marketing can help potential customers ‘discover’ your business. While most of your marketing strategies will be based on the concept of directly talking to your customers, social media marketing goes a long way towards the customer ‘discovering’ your company on their own. Because social media sites promote communication and sharing between the people who use it, it allows a user to share information about a product or service they like with their friends. It also allows a single user to locate or discover new things on their own, based on how they navigate the various social media sites. This means a Page 7
  8. 8. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business regular social media website user could accidentally find your business while they are performing their everyday online tasks. This can certainly add to your efforts to locate new customers. 2. Social media is wildly popular with online users. One of the purposes of any business marketing campaign is to reach out to as many potential customers as is possible. Social media websites are extremely popular with online users, meaning your business will have access to a very large number of people to advertise to. Recent studies have indicated that Facebook has more than 1.06 billion users and that more than 2.5 million websites have directly integrated themselves with it. YouTube sees more than 1 billion unique users each and every month, and Twitter has more than 1 billion users itself! More than 525 million people are currently using Google Plus and that number grows everyday as well. This means that social media marketing offers your business the chance to reach out to an awesome amount of people each and every day! 3. Social media marketing allows your business to raise its brand awareness. Page 8
  9. 9. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business Social media platforms allow a company to spread its brand’s information all over the web. Potential viewers could end up seeing your brand in image form, in online videos, in discussions between users and via your company’s website. They will also be able to hear about your brand when they perform an online search. The more that people hear, read or see your brand, the better the chance that it will stick in their minds. This is how you can vastly increase your brand’s recognition factor. Social media also allows your business to directly control its brand’s reputation and repair any damage to it very quickly. 4. Social media marketing increases customer trust and loyalty. One of the best ways to increase your customer’s trust in your company is to speak to them directly, as though you were a friend rather than a business. Social media allows your company to do exactly that. Direct interactions and contact with customers that is engaging, interesting and cooperative both help to build up customer trust and create customer loyalty. Make your customers feel appreciated on a social media platform that they use every day, and you will see an increase in repeat customer transactions! Page 9
  10. 10. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business 5. Social media allows you to create attention for your services and products. Anytime your business offers a new product or service you will want to bring as much attention as possible to it. Social media marketing allows your company to showcase your newest products or services all over the web. It also lets you create a vast network of interested parties, through which you can create this attention. 6. Social media allows you to check out what the competition is up to. Anyone can check out any company or business that advertises via social media. This means that you can easily check out the competition and find out what they are up to. Just make sure that your products, services, deals and promotions are better than your competitors! 7. Social media allows you to interact with your customers. With social media you can do more than just showcase your latest advertisements to your customers. It lets you interact with them. Online users are always bombarded by banners and advertisements, so they want to see something different. Rather than just shoving an advertisement Page 10
  11. 11. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business into their faces, you can use social media to deliver your message in an engaging, interactive and far less aggressive manner. You can have a talk with your customers and they can talk back. You can use social media to find out your customer’s opinions, ideas and desires, and then you can use the information to deliver it to them. Direct interaction with your customer base can help your company in several ways. It can help you determine the effectiveness of your current products and services, what types of changes your customers would like to see, any current problems or concerns your customers may have and what recommendations and suggestions your customers are offering to you. You can also use it to improve your customer relations, build customer trust and develop loyalty. All of this will end up helping your bottom line. 8. Social media is a great way to perform market research. Speaking of interacting with your customers, social media marketing is a great way to get a little market research done. Interactive online media platforms allow you to listen to what your customers have to say when it comes to products and services. You will be able to hear what your customers say, read what they write and track the specific web links they click on. You can then use this information to improve your product or service- then you can use it to tell your customers all about your improvements. Few things offer your business a chance for Page 11
  12. 12. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business such easy insight into your specific market. 9. Social media can help you improve your customer service department. You already know how important quality customer service is to retaining customer loyalty, so you are probably always looking for ways you can improve it. The direct customer interactions offered through social media sites are a great way to track and improve your customer services. You can directly ask for and receive questions and comments from your customers, then you can directly respond to them. This kind of social media customer service is less expensive than over-the-phone service, and customers will appreciate the ability to connect with you via their favorite form of interaction. You can also respond to customer problems in real time, offering answers and corrections almost immediately. This means that you could turn a disgruntled customer back into a loyal customer in a matter of seconds, in plain view of your other customers too! 10. Social media allows your business to establish itself as an expert in Page 12
  13. 13. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business its niche. It is very possible to establish your company as an expert in your specific niche using the various tools created by social media websites. All you have to do is contribute to some blogs, social media posts or online videos and provide the viewer with some helpful information. Not only will the viewer be learning something new about your business’s niche, but they will also be associating your company and your brand as a source of knowledge. People like to use businesses that they can trust. 11.Social media marketing allows you to build a network of loyal followers. Through the process of networking, you can develop a large following of loyal customers. These loyal customers can then use the very same social media processes to share their affection and loyalty for your company, adding to your network. This means that your company could be networking to thousands of people every minute of the day. 12.Social media is a very inexpensive form of business marketing. Unlike other forms of traditional marketing, advertising along a number of social media platforms is inexpensive. You do not have to Page 13
  14. 14. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business cover the costs associated with creating and distributing promotional advertisements, nor do you have to pay for paper, ink and shipping costs. Almost all of the social media sites are free to join and maintain as well, so you will only have to spend time and effort on your social media campaigns. This form of online marketing is also very eco-friendly, because it does not use physical paper advertisements. 13. Social media marketing can help with your SEO campaigns. Your business should have a search engine optimization or SEO campaign in effect, to make sure that your company’s website shows up at the very top of the results of major search engines like Google and Bing. Marketing through social media sites can increase your company’s web visibility in the eyes of search engines, which will increase your relevancy rankings. You can also increase the amount of links connected to your website through social media connections, YouTube videos, blog comments and more. The more links the higher the relevancy rankings. 14.Social media marketing will drive traffic to your website. Page 14
  15. 15. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business The more you are able to interact with your customers via social media sites, the more likely it is they will visit your company’s website. In-bound links and suggestions are great ways to help online viewers locate your site. 15. Social media marketing is great for niche marketing. If your company’s services and products are very niche specific, social media marketing will allow you to market directly within your niche. This can help you to reach that very specific field of customers who will appreciate your individual product. You can also help generate interest for your specific niche, which can help you gain new customers and new followers. Social media marketing can be both broad-based and specific niche-based at the same time, which gives your business the best possible chance of reaching the most amounts of customers. 16.Social marketing is already popular. You won’t have to wait to begin drumming up interest in your social media marketing campaign because social media is already outrageously popular. Online viewers already know how to use these social sites and Page 15
  16. 16. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business already expect to interact with businesses on them. This means that your newly implemented social media marketing campaign could begin producing results right off the bat! As you can see, there are a large number of benefits associated with social media marketing techniques. These tactics already use a popular customer medium, and they increase your business’s visibility, its reputation, its search engine ranking relevancy and its ability to reach a large audience. It is also very cheap, but extremely effective. Page 16
  17. 17. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business How to Cr eate a Social Media Mar keting Campaign It is actually very easy to begin creating a social media marketing strategy for your small business. It will not cost a large amount of money to begin this process. All you will need is time and effort to implement your tactics, and of course, a plan. Before you begin creating a social media marketing plan for your business you will want to create a list of objectives. This list of objective should be relatively similar for all types of businesses, and it could also include some niche-specific goals. Here are some of the objectives you will want to determine before you get your social media marketing plan going: • What do you want your company identity and reputation to look like in the online world? • Which online users do you want to develop interactions with? All users, some user or specific users? • What associations do you want for your business? These can be peers, trade organizations, other groups, competitors, companies in different niches, specific people, bloggers and more. Page 17
  18. 18. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business • What message do you want to present to the online world? • How many social media mediums do you want to use? The good news is that there is no specific way that you must use social media for marketing purposes. Any way that you can make your company more visible, promote customer interactions and reflect positivley on your brand will be successful. There are many different ways that you can use social media to market your company, as long as you are consistent with your brand and your message. There is no set in stone way to conduct a social media marketing campaign. The next step in creating your business’s new social media marketing campaign is to familiarize yourself with the most popular forms of social media. You will want to spread out your marketing campaign across numerous media fronts, including both the most popular forms and some more niche-specific outlets. There are a few social media sites that you will absolutely want your business to be marketing on. These sites include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus. Here is a short rundown of the most popular social media sites. Facebook Facebook is one of the most highly used and widely recognized of Page 18
  19. 19. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business the social media sites. It has more than 1.06 billion users and more people are joining it every day. It is very easy to create a Facebook account for your business. The easiest way to get started is to go to Facebook’s homepage and click on the ‘create an account’ icon. You will want to make sure that your business’s Facebook name is consistent with your other social media names and that your brand is always portrayed in a consistent manner. Once you have successfully created a Facebook account for your business you can upload messages, videos, images, updates, RSS feeds and a host of other features onto it. Always keep your Facebook content fresh and new and try to offer something of value to the viewer. Add status updates to encourage new viewers to your page. Facebook also offers a number of tools that can be very helpful for a business that is attempting to market itself. Two examples of these are Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups. Facebook Pages give you the ability to create an identity for your business on Facebook. The pages allow anyone to join your Facebook following and stay current with everything your business is doing on the site. It will be your business’s profile page as well, where the viewer can go to learn about your company and become a fan. Page 19
  20. 20. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business These ‘fans’ also have the ability to share your page with other users. The goal is to create a buzz about your business and capture as many Facebook fans as is possible. Anything that you add to your Facebook Page will automatically be sent out to all of your fans through their mini-feeds. To create a Facebook page you will have to fill out some basic information about your company, some more detailed information and offer some contact information. You will also have to choose a category for your Page, which will automatically be categorized with other similar pages by Facebook. Make sure that you choose a good category for your Facebook Page, so that the most online searchers will locate your page. Facebook Groups are created when several users band together to promote a similar idea. Music bands and performers often have groups of Facebook users. You will not be able to create a group based on your business or brand, but you can join groups that share a similar interest to that of your business. For example: Say your business is active in charity work. You could join a group devoted to a specific kind of charity. Being in a Facebook Group will enhance your brand awareness and help you to gain new followers. The next step is to invite as many friends as possible to your new business Facebook account. Page 20
  21. 21. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business Try to get as many people as possible to “Like’ your page. You can start by having your business’s employees, friends, family members and anyone you can ask to begin ‘liking’ your page. Then you can use a number of tactics to get your existing customers to ‘like’ your page. You can reach out to your existing customers through your other marketing tools, such as through your e-mail newsletters, your company website, through in-store signs and even on your business cards. A lot of businesses will offer their customers a special deal if they ‘Like’ the business on Facebook. The goal is to create a large Facebook Fan following. You will also want to integrate your Facebook account with a number of other social media websites. This will increase your search engine rankings and allow your viewers to find your Facebook page from their Twitter accounts, from videos they watch on YouTube and from all of the other social media sites they use. To integrate your various other social media sites into your Facebook page, go to the settings section of Facebook and find the ‘connect to accounts’ icon. You will also want to embed Facebook’s “Like” button onto other places to enhance your web presence. You can have your website and blog viewers ‘like’ you on Facebook. The embedded ‘Like’ feature is the thumbs-up white icon you have probably seen all over the place. Page 21
  22. 22. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business Facebook allows you to directly advertise to your customers using targeted ads. It also offers various tools for engaging your customers, including the ‘Promote my Page’ icon, its Sponsored Stories product, Facebook Deals and a host of Facebook Apps. Facebook offers its users an Insights page too. This is where you can view the analytics for your specific account. You will want to keep track of your Facebook page- how many people joined your groups, how many people ‘Liked’ your business, who is contributing to your wall or comments section and where your viewers came from. This is vital to constantly updating and altering your social media marketing plan to make it as successful as possible. YouTube YouTube is a social media website that allows people to share videos with one another. Almost anyone can post any kind of video they want to YouTube, as long as it is within the website’s rules and regulations. More than 75% of the population in the United States watches videos on YouTube, making it extremely popular and very helpful for marketing purposes. Hundreds of thousands of online viewers could potentially view your marketing video on YouTube. The site’s users can also share and recommend Page 22
  23. 23. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business your video to their friends, meaning that your own viewers could do a lot of your networking for you. Viewers can also rate your videos and leave comments about them. All of this designed to encourage viewer participation and engagement, which can be very beneficial for your company. YouTube also allows its users to create their own YouTube channel page. This can be a good tool for establishing and sharing a brand’s identity. The first step to marketing your business through YouTube is to create some kind of marketing video. YouTube allows you to be creative and innovative with your marketing techniques. It also allows you to market your business through video, which is a much more dynamic and engaging way to spread your message. There are many different types of marketing videos that you can create. You can put together an informative or educational video to teach something of value to your viewers. You can create ‘how-to’ videos regarding your products or services. You can make a video that showcases your company through client or employee testimonials. You can tell your viewers about your company’s values and its charity work. You can simply create a funny video that captures the attention of the audience, and then slip your brand into it. YouTube videos can be about anything, but they have to be valuable to the viewer, or they will simply click on the next available video. Page 23
  24. 24. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business The keys to producing quality YouTube videos are to keep the videos short (less than 5mins), to make them engaging and to provide something of value to the viewer. This will be the most difficult part of your YouTube marketing strategy. You will need to come up with a video that is unique, interesting and informative about your company. It has to want to make the viewer come back for more, and hopefully, make them remember your brand name. A good marketing video should also encourage the viewer to visit your business’s website or its storefront. It should display your company’s consistent marketing message as well. Once you have created a quality marketing video or set of videos, the next step is to create a YouTube account. Signing into YouTube requires a Google account but the process of signing up is free. This means that you will have to create a Google account specifically for your business. Be careful with using your personal Google accounts for business as YouTube will automatically link your personal Google account to your YouTube channel. It is far better to create an account that is specifically for your business and its marketing plan. You will have to visit Google’s Account Creation page to create an account. Page 24
  25. 25. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business It can be found at the top of Google’s home page, where there will be a ‘Create an Account’ icon or on YouTube’s home page. This Google account will also be helpful for other parts of social media marketing campaign, especially when you start marketing with Google Plus. Create a username and password for your business as part of your account. Make sure that you choose an e-mail account username that is not linked to your personal accounts. Remember that your YouTube channel username cannot be changed once it is created, so pick a good one. You will also have to insert a birth date to prove to YouTube that you are older than 13 years. If you pick the founding date of your business as a birthday and your business is less than 13 years old, the account will be suspended. This suspension cannot be undone. Other things to avoid when choosing your business’s YouTube account name are inappropriate language, anything that violates the trademark of another company or a name that is too similar to another YouTube username. The next step will be to customize your business’s YouTube channel. Click on the account name in the upper right hand corner of the website. Go to the menu and select ‘Channel’. From here you will be able to create a username and a channel for your business. Now you are ready to edit your business’s channel. Make sure to update the channel’s title field, the profile image, the channel description field and channel tag fields. These are important. The channel’s title will automatically default as your username, so you Page 25
  26. 26. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business may wish to alter it. Your channel name can be your business or brand’s name, but it will be the first thing a viewer sees, so make it good. You will also want to make sure that you add a URL link to your company’s website onto your YouTube channel. To do so click on the edit button in the ‘About Your Business’ section of the channel page. You can also add your company’s logo to the channel and tags that will make it easy for search engine users to land on your videos. Once you have created your YouTube account you are ready to begin uploading videos to it. Uploading a video from a computer’s hard drive is very easy, and YouTube provides clear instructions on how to do so. You can also embed your marketing videos directly from YouTube onto your company’s website. This makes it very easy to show videos on your website. Make sure that your marketing videos uploaded onto YouTube remain public, so that they can be viewed by everyone. YouTube offers you the ability to track your marketing videos through Google Analytics. With this tool you can see who is watching your videos, where they are located, how they found your videos and whether or not they are recommending your videos to others. This makes it easy for your marketing team to determine how well your strategy is working and where it needs improvement. You will also want to integrate your marketing videos on YouTube with a number of other social media sites once you have them all set up. To integrate your various social media sites with your YouTube videos you can use the automatic sharing setting under YouTube’s Account settings. Page 26
  27. 27. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business This is listed as the ‘Sharing tab’. Integrating your YouTube videos with other social networks will help increase your web presence, your social media website traffic and your website’s relevancy in the eyes of search engines. It is highly recommended. You can also add to your marketing strategy on YouTube by signing up for AdWords from Google. Twitter Twitter is a newer and interesting form of social media. Twitter allows its users instant and quick communication, through short messages called “Tweets”. These messages are under 140 characters in length and are used to share all kinds of information, from what the user had for breakfast to the release of a new product. Twitter connects people through their mobile phones and through the internet. Users can send out as many messages as they want per day and they can choose to ‘follow’ or subscribe to another person’s Tweets, meaning each time a tweet is sent out they will receive it. Twitter also offers a search engine that lets its users search for certain people or companies. Although it may seem like a social tool, Twitter can also be used as a business marketing tool. Page 27
  28. 28. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business There are several ways that you can use this communication service to generate buzz and connect with your customers. You can use it as a media outlet, as a way to inform your customers about something new going on with your company. This has to be done in a certain way, because Twitter has short messages and a code of ethics. You can also insert links to your website, YouTube video or anything else into your Twitter updates. Another good way to use Twitter as a marketing tool is to encourage your customers to become ‘followers’, and then periodically offer them Tweets with promotions and deals in them. Just be careful about sending out Tweets that are plain advertisementsusers don’t like that. Like YouTube, Twitter marketing requires a little style and content that is unique. It is great place to give your company and your brand some personality and a unique voice. It is also an exceptional way to directly interact with your customers. You can use Twitter to find out what your customers think, why they think this way and you can directly tell them what your company is doing to make it better for them. It can be a very helpful customer service tool. Setting up a Twitter account is quick, easy and free. It can be accomplished on Twitter’s homepage, by creating a Twitter account and profile page. Once you have a business account you can search for people to follow, invite other people to follow you via e-mail and create links to your blog or website. Page 28
  29. 29. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business Embedding the Tweeting button onto your website and blog and connecting your Twitter account to your Facebook account makes it easy for your users to follow your company’s message, and it helps generate more links for SEO purposes. LinkedIn LinkedIn is the web’s largest professional social network. It has more than 200 million members. LinkedIn allows people to directly connect with one another for businessrelated reasons. The idea is to allow people to share ideas, knowledge and professional opportunities with other people from all over the web. It features a variety of tools that can be useful for business and it lets a business create a professional profile. These profiles are often one of the first results to be listed on search engines, which can be very helpful for controlling your business’s reputation. LinkedIn also helps businesses keep in touch with clients and friends, find experts in specific business areas, and locate new business opportunities. It can be a very helpful tool for lead generation as well. LinkedIn can also be used as part of your small business’s marketing plan. Like many of the forms of social media, LinkedIn is free to join and easy to update. It also allows you to link to your other forms of social media, which is a Page 29
  30. 30. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business helpful part of your SEO strategy. The goal of this social medium is to make as many business-related connections as possible. LinkedIn allows you to add a personal touch to your business through your connections and your profile. It also lets a business create followers with tools like Groups. It also features its own analytical tools so that you can determine who is following your business. The Polls feature is a great way to do market research too. There are many different ways that businesses can use LinkedIn to market themselves. Businesses can directly ask customers questions to find out what it is they want in their products and services. You can also use this online forum to publish all of your print-based marketing materials, like business cards, newsletters and brochures, in order to increase customer knowledge about your company. LinkedIn helps you grow your business network by adding other business-related contacts, not just prospective and existing customers. One of the most useful aspects of this social media service is that you can use it to build up your company’s credibility. Not only can you add to your market research knowledge through it, but you can also gain recommendations from other businesses, get referrals from happy customers, directly respond to your customers via the inbox and develop contacts with experts in your business’s niche. Google Plus Page 30
  31. 31. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business Goggle Plus is a newer version of the search engine, with a complete social network added in. Essentially, it is an amalgamation of many of the most popular social services. It can be found to the left of Google’s top bar, under the icon labeled ‘You+’. If you have already created a Google account for your YouTube page, then you will already have a Google Plus account. Google Plus has many new social features; including automated photo uploads onto your mobile phone for instant sharing, a group message mobile phone app known as Huddles, online video chat services called Hangouts and the ability to have internet content that you are interested automatically brought to you from Sparks. Members can also join Circles, which allow them to connect with people with interests that are similar to theirs. The Stream feature allows the people within these Circles and larger Circles known as Extended Circles to receive instant updates on specific subjects. All of these features are designed to improve upon the current social networking medium. Google Plus has significantly altered the social media landscape. It provides a whole new way to network with other people through the web. It can also be a very valuable marketing tool for a small business. You can use these new features to reach out to customers in a completely different way. For example: Page 31
  32. 32. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business You can break down your clients into Circles, based on the product or service they are most likely to want to hear about. This is a very useful form of targeted marketing, where the customer will only receive promotions, news and updates on things they are interested in. The same can be said of the Stream feature, as it lets you send out updates and information about a product or service to a specific group of people. In turn, the people within these Circles can then share this useful information with others. The goal is to create an almost unending chain of sharable information. The instant uploading of photos from any mobile device is a quick and easy way to share photos relating to your business. A good marketing example of this service would be sharing instant photos of your newest product launch or special event with your interested parties, without having to wait to upload them on a computer. This process allows a business to share and interact with its customers online in ‘real time’. The Sparks tool can be especially helpful for marketing purposes. It allows the user to automatically receive text, content, videos, photos and other things based on their pre-defined interests. This allows a marketer to selectively advertise to very interested parties. You can also use the instant video calls of Huddles to improve your customer service ‘face time’. Google Plus even offers a sharable button, very similar to the “Like” button of Facebook. If an online user likes some of your content and wants to share it Page 32
  33. 33. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business with their friends, all they have to do is to click on the “+1” icon. This can be used as a ‘word of mouth’ stamp of approval and can help generate interest and buzz about your brand. This “+1” stamp also increases your relevancy and credibility with the search engines, which will increase your rankings. As a marketer, you can use Google Plus to directly engage and interact with your customers, both in a one-on-one and in a group fashion, generate buzz about your brand, spy on what the competition is doing and find out exactly what your customers are looking for in your product or service. There are a few things you can do to make sure you are using Google Plus as effectively as possible. First, take the time to create a great Google Plus profile, which includes your business’s information. Next, you will want to add as many relevant people to your profile as possible. This includes all of your Facebook friends. Use the Stream feature to spread the word about your products and services, just don’t overdo it and spam people to death. Use photos and videos as much as you can, and tag as many people as you can. One of the most important aspects of your Google Plus marketing strategy will be to ask for “+1” votes. These will actually represent one vote of approval from your customers and will increase your search engine ranking. Plus, online users associate this vote as a nod of approval from other users, Page 33
  34. 34. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business which will make them much more likely to be interested in your company. Overall, Google Plus has the ability to change your entire online marketing game. If you can integrate your marketing plan into this new form of social media, you will vastly expand your marketing reach. Other social media sites Your small business’s marketing plan should definitely incorporate the major social media sites into it, because these are the sites that will grant you the broadest possible audience. These are also the social media sites that the vast majority of people use. However, one of the most valuable aspects of social media marketing as whole is that it allows a business to reach out to potential customers on both a broad base level and on a more specific level. This means that your marketing strategy should use both broad-based social mediums and more niche-specific ones at the same time. There are a number of smaller, more niche-specific social media websites that you can use. Here are a few of the more well-known of the smaller sites, but you will also want to do a little research in order to find ones that are extremely specific to your business’s niche. Blogger- this is a blog publishing service owned by Google. It allows both private and multi-user blogs to be published in real time. Registration is free. Page 34
  35. 35. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business Orkut- this is another Google-owned social networking site. It allows people find both new and old friends, and is most popular in India and Brazil. It offers 48 different language choices. Delicious- this social media website is a service for locating, discovering, storing and sharing web bookmarks. Exploroo- this is a travel-related social network. Fotolog- this website is a Web 2.0 photo-blog sharing site. It is one of the web’s oldest sharing sites for photos, photo diaries and photo-blogs. MySpace- this social media was once very popular until it was overtaken by Facebook. It offers very similar social media opportunities. Tumblr- this is a social media blogging platform that allows its users to post content and multimedia in short-form blogs. Digg- this is social news website, which offers story sharing submission and widespread voting services. Members can choose to either ‘dig’ a story or ‘bury’ it, depending on whether or not they like it. Pinterest-this is a unique social media website that allows its users to organize anything they find on the web. Then they can share their interests with others. Groupsite- this is a collaboration website for groups of people. It is very helpful for local professionals who are involved with the same industry. It has both free and paid membership features. PartnerUp- this is an online community that focuses on the needs of small business entrepreneurs and owners. It can be very helpful for locating useful Page 35
  36. 36. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business business contacts and is free to join. Social Media Mar keting Best Page 36
  37. 37. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business Pr actices • Don’t overdo it when sharing your business-related information through social media networks. The goal is create a more personalized connection between your business and its customers- not to overwhelm them with promotional ads and commercials. • Always follow the rules and regulations for each social media site. Ignoring these rules and regulations could end up getting your business’s account terminated. • Create a social media marketing plan, but adjust your specific tactics as you go. Be flexible and take the time to find out what works and what doesn’t work. • Always be transparent with your intentions. Don’t lie to your customers or hide the fact that you are advertising to them. • Commit the time and effort to maintain your social media marketing plan. While this form of marketing is relatively inexpensive, it does require time and effort to keep all of your social media content fresh and up-to-date. You will want to constantly update and re-fresh your content across all of your social media. • Don’t intrude on people’s private space. It is one thing to use social media to interact with your customers- it is another to invade their personal online space and banter them. Page 37
  38. 38. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business • Always participate. In the world of social media marketing, you have to give to receive. Be sure to participate in your social media networks and to give something of use. This will ensure that you get back, usually in the form of increased revenue. • Pay attention to social media ethics, and whatever you do- don’t become a spammer! • Support the promotional campaigns of other non-competitive businesses on your social media sites in exchange for their support. • Always use your social media marketing campaigns to promote goodwill and respect, rather than using as a form of negative advertising. • Be prepared to deal with how online users change, alter or use your brand’s message. Have a plan for both good and bad customer feedback. • Pay attention to the metrics and analytics of your campaign. • Listen to your customers through your social media marketing strategies. Then respond accordingly. • Pay attention to trends. Trends are something that appear, disappear and then reappear often in the world of social networking. Keep in touch with the times and alter your campaign to match the most recent trends. Page 38
  39. 39. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business Conclusion Social media marketing has a large number of positive benefits for small businesses. You can use these marketing methods to get your company name known and to increase its reputation in the eyes of your customers. A perfect social media marketing campaign would result in almost everyone who uses Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google knowing your business’s name. The more you can get your business’s identity shared, processed and talked about, the more people will end up visiting your websites and stores. This will undoubtedly result in increased revenues. How you go about generating this interest will depend on your business’s specific marketing goals and strategy. Social media marketing is also inexpensive, although it requires a Page 39
  40. 40. Social Media Marketing for Your Small Business good amount of time and effort. The rewards of this form of marketing far outweigh the amount of time and effort you have to put into it however. So if your business isn’t already spreading its brand and message through the world of social media, you are missing out on almost unlimited leads and potential customers. It is never too late to begin marketing your company through social media! Page 40