5 Social Media Marketing Strategies For Beginners...
5 Social Media Marketing Strategies For Beginners...
A Question For You...? <ul>In traditional business would you hand your rival a clear advantage by ignoring a route to market? A new report from office and business service specialists Regus suggests by ignoring social media for your company, you could be doing just that. The report found that whereas 33% of companies successfully gained customers through social networking activity in 2010, a year on that percentage had risen even further to 41%. A no-brainer? The study of 17,000 managers and business owners across 80 countries, revealed it to be a global trend too, so whatever your market, if you ignore social media you will probably be left behind. In the UK one in three social network users are a fan, follower or friend of a company page or profile, meaning those not focused on building a social media following are missing out on a third of business if not more, and that figure is growing day by day. Do you want to give your competitors a clear advantage? If not, get ahead of the game and get your business into social media marketing. </ul>
Where To Start? <ul>A healthy number of small businesses say they’ll expand, explore, or maintain their social media marketing presence in 2011. 40% of small businesses say they plan to explore social media or maintain their current presence. Another 34% indicated that they plan to expand their use of social media this year. The question we are so often asked is, “but where do we start?!”. With so many of us having personal profiles on the various social networking sites, Twitter, Facebook etc, it's really easy to jump straight in and create a business Fanpage for example just like the ones we all see on a daily basis whilst online. Many clients of ours came to us having done just that, they scratch their head and wonder why they weren’t getting any results from their online efforts. Owners start promoting their businesses online for different reasons, but most, no matter their industry or reason for getting online, fail to do one simple, time and money saving thing... ...create an online marketing strategy </ul>
Plan, Plan, Plan <ul>Planning, sitting down and devising some sort of strategy can be a big pain in the bum for some small business owners. Especially when it comes to something so exciting as promoting your company, your baby, your pride and joy online and on the various social media networks. Over the next 5 pages we will be offering a quick intro into the simplest, but most effective, tried and tested marketing strategies to help newbies who wish to plan, and ultimately get the most out of their social marketing efforts. All of the strategies shown here are tried and tested, used on the daily basis by our Social Media team, from Social Media @ The Atkins Biz Network . </ul>
Facebook <ul>Facebook offers exceptional, low cost marketing opportunities for small business. Facebook's user numbers are growing by the day, but it has over 300 million active users, which is....loads. It's so powerful and slowly taking over the world, if you’re not already active on Facebook; you should get started right away. Okay great, so you’ve signed up with your personal account what next...? Oh yes, we're planning aren't we! And as such, with any good strategy, you need to do research. Search for your competitors and evaluate their Facebook presence. What types of Pages have they built? How many fans or “friends” do they have? Spend 15 minutes (per competitor) looking at their posts, photos and/or videos to understand how they’re using Facebook. This gives you a great idea as to what's hot or not, and what works and what sucks. After you've gone about researching every competitor, both locally and nationally, set about creating your very own sexy Fan Page, just like the ones you've seen elsewhere. Once this is set-up, you're ready to start PROMOTING your Fan Page. The easiest way to do this is to share the link to it via all your friends on Facebook or through your email contact list. A good incentive to get people clicking "like" and becoming a fan is to have a competition or give-away, hey, who doesn't like free stuff? </ul>If you need help designing a really sleek Facebook Fan Page, we can help. Email us: email@example.com or call: 01424 755 574
Twitter <ul>Twitter is MASSIVE - as big as FB, no, but it's getting there. If you haven’t signed up on Twitter yet, you should sign up today and reserve an account in the name of your business, ours for example is Atkins_Biz. While you might ultimately tweet in your own name (mine is liamatkins79), you’ll want to have the option to tweet from a business account. More importantly, you don’t want your competitors to register your business name. Next, you should spend 15-30 minutes on Twitter’s homepage, doing basic searches to become familiar with the type of content available on the service. For example, if you are operating a small gift basket business, do some searches for various terms and phrases such as “gift basket,” “gifts,” “gift basket business,” etc. You should also search for the names of your competitors to see whether they’re on Twitter and if they are, how they’re using it. For small businesses which are often location based, the best thing you can do is follow those in your local area. Local businesses & tweeters. These are all people who could be your customers, they could easily spot one of your tweets and remember they need to get their great Aunt a birthday present, they will come to you. Remember too, that marketing is about taking your product to where others are socialising, which is why following those local to you is a must on Twitter. </ul>If you need help setting up your account, profile colours, background etc, we can help. Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01424 755 574
LinkedIn <ul>LinkedIn is a business oriented social network for professionals, and it’s huge, with nearly 50 million users from over 200 countries. You’ll want to at least reserve your business name (or your personal name) so that others can’t use it. Similar to the way you might start exploring Facebook and Twitter, you should look around on LinkedIn to see how your competitors are using the service. You might also look up your customers and connect with them. Encourage your customers, clients or vendors to give you a “recommendation” on your profile. Recommendations are useful because they’ll make you and your business more credible with new customers. If you’re a roofer, for example, ask your customers to recommend you after a successful job. You’ll find such recommendations useful – particularly since your LinkedIn profile will come up high in search engine results. Another strategy involves the many subject matter groups on LinkedIn. Find some groups that have a connection to your small business and become involved in the conversations. Answer questions when you can, and help to establish yourself as knowledgeable about specific topics related to your business. There are many small business and general marketing groups that will be very useful resources for you, and if there isn’t a group that interests you, consider starting one. </ul>If you need help setting up your account, profile colours, background etc, we can help. Email us: email@example.com or call: 01424 755 574
Blogging <ul>Blogs, or often disguised as “news” sections on websites act as one of the number one tools to generating a good search engine rank, because, done properly, there's a constant stream of unique content – which Google loves! SO, you want a company blog, but how do you build an audience for it? It all starts with great, unique, content. Decide on a focus for your blog, and write awesome content that people will enjoy or find really useful. For example, here at The Atkins Biz Network, we started to blog and basically give away FREE marketing advice from our marketing toolbox, stuff which is really useful for our target market. Think about your expertise and more importantly, think about the things that you’re interested in writing about. A blog requires a long term investment of time (and resources), and you don’t want to be stuck writing about things that bore you, write what you know! You’ll also want to consider how you can make it easier for your readers to help promote your content. Have you seen our blog: http://atkinsbiz.com/blog1/ - at the bottom of each post we have included the handy social sharing buttons. A visitor, once they've read your blog post, usually appreciates good content/helpful content, so will automatically want to share it, if there's no simple and easy to use way of doing so they won't bother, and you're missing out on the important "social" and free aspect of social media marketing. We specialise in blogging. We can help set-up your blog, either from scratch, or by integrating it into your current website. Not only that, if you would like a blog but can't find the time to write for it, we can blog on your behalf! Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01424 755 574 </ul>
Final Thoughts <ul>The brief strategies outlined here can take a bit of time to put together, but yet the outcomes can be great, social media can make or break a business, particularly if you're on a budget. Hopefully the tips you read here were useful, it barely scratches the surface but they are all very important. Our last tip before you can unleash your company on the Internet is this... All of your marketing efforts should work together to present consistent brand messages and lead to your ultimate marketing goals. You need to cross-promote your various marketing efforts. For example, feed your blog content to your Twitter and Facebook profiles. Not only does this spread the content around, it saving you from having to think things to say on Twitter or FB on a busy day. Surround your audience with branded experiences and let them select how they want to interact with your business and brand. Give them options and make it easy for them to join the conversation in the way that they choose. The Social Media @ The Atkins Biz Network team helps to promote businesses of all sizes get online and involved in social media marketing on a daily basis. We offer several packages from basic social network set-up and blog design to fully managed social networking maintenance on a daily basis, great for busy firms, enabling you to concentrate on doing your job and running your business. Take a look at our website http://atkinsbiz.com/ for more information or give us a call on: 01424 755 574 to see how we can help you. </ul>