5 Small Business Strategies for Social Media


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  • WORKSHEET AVAILABLE FOR THIS ACTIVITY Allow the business owners to write down their ideas about social media. This way you can find out what they know or think. This knowledge will help you to direct the course in a way that draws attention to the points that are a concern to them or that they need a little help understanding. BREAK IT DOWN FOR THEM Let the attendees know that as the class progresses they will begin to form different opinions on the answers to these questions. There is no cookie cutter answer. And if there was would they really expect it to be SOCIAL?! They must learn to expect the unordinary to be a social media marketer! Also, be honest with them and let them know that because social media is so new there are truly NO experts. There are those people who are involved heavily in social media, but with the media changing and advancing every day – no one is an expert on every option of social media. Your best advice that you can give them is to take a chance (if social media is truly right for their business in any way). Small Business owners are risk takers in general, but may have apprehension about social media and the stigma that is sometimes reflected through mainstream media. This is certainly not a time to give the “answers” you have to these questions away. That’s what this course is about – taking each part of social media and breaking it down to answer these questions on a person by person basis.
  • You have to know what social media is not before you begin. This is just as vital as learning what social media is. SEO is still a vital part of your small business website and understanding this will take you further. While the search engines change their algorithms that calculate your ranking extremely often…it still is best to keep your website up to date with what we currently see as a beneficial way to gain “points” with the search engines. Ultimately your social media resources should lead the relationships that can be Before diving in to social media, you MUST commit or you cannot expect fabulous results. This is a learning experience for EVERYONE involved. So it may not be easy! There may not be an answer for every question or a guide for every situation. Excitement and common business sense are the two best assets you can have when embarking on the social media endeavor. NUMBER ONE RULE: You must be honest when taking part in social media. A great quote that I heard was – If you are not transparent, people will see right through you. There is no need to embellish who you are or what your company brings to the table. Say what you will do for those listening to you – no more or no less. While it might be a little unsettling to open yourself up to the world of social media, you must or you will be left behind. You can either be a participant or a bystander and from the looks of things if you are a bystander you will be in a heap of trouble in the future. Even if you are not taking part in social media other people are talking about your business be it good or bad – don’t you want to be there to manage it? There are no promises that social media will be successful for your small business. Social media, like any other marketing effort, amounts to what you put into it. You must be certain that all your bases are covered. The five strategies in this session will give you a greater understanding of what is expected of you to succeed at social media marketing.
  • Fun sites: http://Popacular.com/gigatweethttp://www.checkfacebook.comFacebook: 50% of active users log onto Facebook daily – People spend over 700 billion minutes on Facebook per monthThere are more than 200 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices. Those folks are twice as active as nonmobile users.
  • Small business owners are instinctively on the lookout for the next best thing….and to most, social media is the new horizon! With budgets tight, it seems like social media could be the answer to the small business owners need for fulfillment in marketing, interaction, and research. Social media seems to be a way to level the field for small businesses. While you may not have as much human capital to direct at social media, you have some. Take what you have and do the best you can. The staying still holds true in social media that a mediocre marketing plan is better than no plan at all!
  • Social Media is Not an Ad or Sales Campaign! Social Media is truly based on your interaction with the world around your business not only about interaction with your customers, but also the information that you can gain as an expert in the industry. With the help of social media you can gather and share information with customers and clients as well as others in your industry. Give the example of information gathered on social media. Herb and Nancy post, email, and tweet social media articles to one another. No matter how hard you try to read and understand every new article about social media – you won’t be able to! By accessing the benefits of social media you can certainly engage your customers in conversation through the knowledge that you have and the assistance that your small business can give your current or potential customer. Remember no matter what kind of marketing you are involved in you are always looking to solve a problem for your customer. It is not “me marketing”!
  • As a small business owner you don’t have time to sit down and read a book or wait for a report on your industry. And most of the time the market research that is available is extremely expensive. Now through information from the ASBTDC Market Research team and through the power of Google you have access to up to date industry information at your fingertips. Connect – Social media allows for relationships to be strengthened and formed through Listening is the number one skill necessary in social media. Listening to your clients, listening to your peers, and listening to the economic reports of your business industry. Listening to your customers helps to address any problems they might have or reward them for spreading the good news of your business. By listening you also can learn what your target market is looking for….there may be things that you haven’t thought of! Outreach – while many of your connections online will come from those that you already have a base relationship with, you will find that many newcomers who are interested in your business or industry seek you out. As you become more and more active in your social media endeavors you will see this grow. It will allow you to show your expertise and benefit from your knowledge. This outreach can also be seen as a Public Relations tool. More and more we see media outlets looking for what is going on around town through social networking Exp – Herb’s TV Stations showing up to seminars because he tweeted about them! Push Sales – While I wouldn’t suggest using your social marketing just as a sales tool, I certainly don’t think its wrong to help yourself out! After you have built a following and you want to reward your loyal customers by giving them a coupon, go ahead! Just don’t over do it! They aren’t on social networks for commercials – so be gentle with your sales prodding! Research – Let your fingers do the walking! Find out the new best thing through digging through the social media sites available. Some sites will have information that you can seek out just for your industry. While you must be careful what you take of each article, it never hurts to read and form your own opinion.
  • Not just a webpage, but a work page Social media sites work much differently than your traditional webpage. While you must change content on your traditional webpage and be certain that it has been optimized for search engines, the work involved can be somewhat minimal after the initial outlay of the website. If you have produced an exquisite page that includes all the meta tags, headers and alternative text required of the web spiders to ping your page the addition of a few different items and changes on your page can be as simple as a copy and paste. While many business owners who are wholly online based require more attention to their sites. Assurance People are looking for assurance from you and their peers. The stats certainly spell it out for you 20% of people trust ads 60% of people trust editorials 80% of people trust word of mouth PersonalizationNot only can you personalize your social media for your business, but it can and should contain a certain bit of who you are as a person. You should let your personality show your passion and knowledge about your small business.Brand Management If you aren’t on social media – the comments – GOOD and BAD – will continue. The question is will you be there to manage what they say? You have the chance!
  • With over 72 of every 100 people being active internet users in the United States you must break down to your target market. Working through social media in a way that is not attractive to your target market will only lead to lackluster results. Just as you don’t want to waste your hard cold cash on ineffective marketing efforts, you certainly don’t want to waste your time and human capital on social media marketing that is not beneficial for your business.
  • Locating your target market is key… you most likely already have a really good idea of who your target market is, but just in case you aren’t exactly sure there is a lot that can be done. First and foremost the ASBTDC and our team of consultants - which many of you already work with - can help you determine exactly who you should be marketing to. Show them the benefits the ASBTDC market research can offer them. The market research which is available through the ASBTDC can help you determine who your target market is and where they are located. While we can offer an abundance of information and guidance on your target market. There is also information on the web that can help you research who is using certain social media applications and why they are using them. Unfortunately, because the art of social media is rather new…sifting through the information can be rather time consuming, but I will share a few websites that I find to be trustworthy and have relevant information that you are looking for.
  • While you may hear how many people worldwide are on a social network, don’t worry – you don’t have to reach everyone. You can narrow down your target market by the information that you present to the social networking sites or they will narrow down to you. You can choose to seek out people in your area that you know are interested or are current customers in your business….try to get permission first or lead them to you through your email marketing which I know you are using *wink wink* and if you aren’t using an email marketing service to lead your clients to what you are doing you should be – Inbox Impact Wednesday, Feb 10th. Don’t be a stalker! Exp. There is a company that continually tries to befriend me on Facebook….unfortunately, I choose not be a fan of their business because it not something that I am personally interested in and now they have just made me angry by continually messaging me. Facebook has now implemented a way for you to not be bothered by these pesky repeat stalkers with more privacy settings and a question process after you ignore a request.
  • Here are some stats that shows the popularity of a few of the social networks by generation. This information gives you a greater idea of what sites might bring you a little more traffic or popularity in reference to your target market. You should certainly research each site before taking this graph as gold. The data changes and should always be confirmed through research.
  • When you are looking at who your target market is you must also address what they are looking for. This “what” can certainly determine where you will find your customer as well. Your customers may not be looking for just your product or service, but could be looking for what you know about the environment they live in. Exp: A family photographer that I use sends out emails each month to her clients. The emails contain only (about 25%) snippet of information regarding her services and then covers a range of family activities according to the season (75%). She knows that her client base is predominately family based and is looking to solve a problem for them. Since people usually don’t get pictures taken too often, it is a way for her to stay in contact with her clients without being over bearing or sales pushy. Exp: A client in Conway who owns a children’s boutique often markets with a photography studio in the same shopping center to offer discounts and deals in both shops. By offering a supplement to their initial interest they can bring in more clients.
  • Demographics – as new social media arrives, the demographics of the social media you are currently using may change. You need to be ready to reevaluate over time to ensure that you are taking advantage of the social media occupied by your target market. **This being said, don’t believe that you need to jump on every social media band wagon that arrives! You can’t and will not successfully manage your social media efforts if you are involved in too many activities. ** Change – While you can’t dwell on the fact that social media is changing, you must know that as technology advances so will social media. Not only the media itself, but the way it is accessed and the way your consumer uses the media. In many cases the new additions will be easily understood and helpful for the user. Remember that these sites want you to use their services and are going to make adjustments as necessary when approached by you – the user. Exp: Currently one of the new trends in social media is geotagging or the process of adding geographical identification to various media. This could be helpful targeting location specific information.Transparency – Remember: If you aren’t transparent they will see right through you! Exp: Customers and coworkers will bust you out! If you call in sick, it’s probably not appropriate to post on your Facebook page that you are out shopping or going to work out! Exp: JP Morgan Chase recently ran a social media campaign that allowed its Facebook fans to vote for their favorite charities. Unfortunately, Chase didn’t finish their program as planned. The problems – Chase chose not to support some charities. They changed rules in the final days of the campaign. They had not - at the time this was written - published anything in regards to the final tallied votes for the charities.
  • When looking for information regarding social media you must be certain that you are considering the source. These are two very reputable websites with information that can be useful to the small business owner. These websites offer information free of charge and should be considered a resource in your online research.
  • Now that you have an idea of what social media is and how to find out if your target market is taking part in social media, let’s look and see how to begin working on your social media presence. While this may be the part that strikes fear in you as a business owner, you don’t want to be left behind. Even if you take baby steps, at least your taking steps!
  • While beginning the process of social media can be a little overwhelming, as you begin taking part in the everyday activities the comfort level will come. By establishing your presence you will feel confidence in your place online and you will strengthen your business in the long run. Where – Are all the sites right for you? What – How much info do you display?When – All at once or a little at a time?
  • While we are talking about your social media presence….maybe we should take a quick step back and make sure you have a basic internet presence on the available search engines. This site will let you know if you are listed for FREE with the search engines – Google, Yahoo, Bing, Best of the Web. If you find that your business is not listed, take the time to register your business with these sites. No matter what your business is someone is searching for it online. I have heard many misconceptions about everything from drycleaners to zoos being researched on the internet.SHOW THEM! – Go to getlisted.org and ask for a volunteer to see if they are listed on the search engines that are viewed by the site. Remind them there are other sites to view as well like the others listed on this page. By adding their business to these sites they are gaining traffic to their business name and website. **Remind them to put as much information and accurate information as possible!** Exp. - I Lived in 3 States in 2 years….no house phone which means no phone book….I only located businesses and entertainment activities from the internet. My biggest problem was not being able to find local businesses. Worked for small family owned business and now ASBTDC – I want to be able to find local businesses.
  • You should google your industry and target market to see if there is a specific social network or medium preferred.Connection – is your target market looking for product info or industry info? Specific Site Examples: Mom’s Like Me NibbleDish – social network for people who love food! Artween – Artists and art lovers SocialPicks – Investors and finance interested individuals
  • Bookmarking– Bookmarking sites allow for organization of content that you have found rewarding for you, your business or your consumer. They allow you to connect with other people who are interesting in the same topics that you are and share your information. Not only can I share info with Herb who I know as a colleague, but also through people who are in my industry that are finding information on the topics that I desire information from. Blogging – You can either find blogs that suit your interest as a resource or you can become an expert your self. A blog “rule” is that it takes you blogging at least 3 times a week to have a reader hooked. This said – you have to know what is right for you and your audience. Are they expecting more? Do you have time for more? In blogging you should encourage interaction – commentary and suggestions are great for your readers and allow you to keep the conversation moving. **You should certainly note that not all commentary will be positive and you must be patient with your readers and continue the conversation – remember we are being transparent. Let them know your stance on the subject in a professional way. Blogging businesses experience 126% higher lead growth than non-blogging businesses!! 1/27/2010 – Lily Zhu
  • PULL UP A LARGE COMPANY ON A SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE – Ford, CocaCola, etc.Companies like CocaCola are beginning to abandon their traditional websites to concentrate on social networking.
  • Exp: Ann’s Trendy Kidz in Conway featured a sale to its Facebook friends on a Tuesday in relation to a sale that they were advertising ONLY on Facebook. Ann’s saw a 40% increase in sales on Wednesday compared to their usual Wednesday sales. Not only does Ann’s Trendy Kidz take part in Social Media efforts, but they also contact their consumers with email marketing. They have recently implemented a series of scrap booking events to be held at their store to attract their target market. On Facebook they show a few different price points of the scrapbook packages that will be available and allow their customers to respond to them. VRV You Tube Video (Check with Heather)
  • Social Mention An alert tool that allows for real time social media search Google Analytics measures: Overall traffic increases Where your traffic is coming from Most trafficked keyterms or phrases
  • One of the biggest problems with social media is time management. When you begin you may spend a little more time than you would like, but as you become more comfortable with the process and begin using tools to help you manage your time the process will become much more streamlined for you.
  • One of the biggest problems with social media is time management. When you begin you may spend a little more time than you would like, but as you become more comfortable with the process and begin using tools to help you manage your time the process will become much more streamlined for you.
  • When you first dive into the social networking medium of the internet you will be inclined to spend hours connecting and researching, the problem is you are most definitely sacrificing some other part of your small business. While social media will help your marketing – traditional marketing efforts can’t be totally forgotten either. And more importantly neither can the management and face to face contact that you have with customers and potential customers. There is so much to look forward to with social media, but if you begin to overinvest your time and resources you will never see the return on investment Exp: I find it extremely hard at times to pry myself away from my Google Reader. I can’t take in as much information as it gives me, but boy do I try. By looking for more specific articles, I can be more efficient in my research time. I also have a very hard time cutting off a conversation through social media. When you can see an appropriate point to end the conversation you must! Or you will be there forever!
  • Realizing your true reason for using social media can help you determine how much time and what you should be reviewing on a daily basis. Know that you must have a reason for working with social media and YOU MUST recognize this is the reason you are spending your precious time taking part in these marketing activities. If you still aren’t certain what your goals are for accessing social media you most likely need to take a step back. Don’t rush and certainly don’t think you have to do everything at once! Take your time – maybe you want to eventually use social media for all the reasons on this slide, but there is no rule saying you have to do it now! Jumping in could mean you drown – take a little wade through the social media river!
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  • Know that these are not the only tools available – these are just a few that we find useful and user friendly. Possibly bring up one of the tools that you find most helpful and show the attendees that it is about your preference for appearance and the information and social media you are looking to manage.
  • 5 Small Business Strategies for Social Media

    2. 2. SOCIAL MEDIA QUIZ  Who does social media attract?  Why would a small business use social media? © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    3. 3. SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT…  Easy or fast  A reason to abandon SEO Practices  Something you can do without participation  Something you can do in disguise © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    4. 4. FAST FACTS  Facebook  More than one billion monthly active users  More than 42 million Pages  699 million daily active users on average  Twitter  Virtually no gender disparity in usage  Allows for real time moderation © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    5. 5. FAST FACTS  YouTube  1 billion+ unique monthly users  6 billion+ hours of video watched a month  LinkedIn  24% males more likely to use than woman  4 out of 5 members drive business decisions © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    6. 6. FAST FACTS  Pinterest  33% Female vs. 8% Male  18 to 29 year-olds have moved to #1 spot  Instagram  Most popular among 18 to 29 year olds  Appeals more to urban vs. suburban © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    7. 7. STRATEGY 1: BE HUMAN © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    8. 8. BE HUMAN  Social Media is…  Relationship Reliable  Listening Based  Engaging © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    9. 9. BE HUMAN  Connect  Listen  Outreach  Prove Your Expertise © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    10. 10. BE HUMAN  Not just a webpage, but a work page  People are looking for assurance  Allows for personalization  Brand management © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    11. 11. STRATEGY 2: SHUT UP & LISTEN © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    12. 12. SHUT UP & LISTEN  Are you reaching your target market?  Who is your target market?  What are they looking for?  Is your target market using social media? © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    13. 13. SHUT UP & LISTEN  Social Media sites gather tons of information  Location  Age  Sex  Education  Workplace  Relationship Status © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    14. 14. SHUT UP & LISTEN  What do consumers want?  Information on your product/service  A place to voice their concerns  Knowledge about your growth and advancements © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    15. 15. REMEMBER…  Demographics will change  Social media today is not what it will be next year or even next month  Transparency is Key © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    16. 16. HELPFUL HINTS  QuantCast.com  Statistics regarding the digital media audience  Mashable.com  eMarketer.com  Market research and trend analysis provider © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    17. 17. STRATEGY 3: PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    18. 18. ESTABLISHING YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE  Where to go to gain your presence  What to do to gain presence  When & How to infiltrate the Internet © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    19. 19. ARE YOU LOCAL?  Gain an initial presence on the Local Business Listings of a number of search engines with just one click!  www.getlisted.org  http://listings.yellowpages.com  http://listings.local.yahoo.com/csubmit/index.php © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    20. 20. SOCIAL NETWORKS: WHERE TO BEGIN  Look at Your Target Market  What are their interests?  Is there a site already dedicated to your target market?  What is the best way to connect? © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    21. 21. SOCIAL NETWORKS: WHERE TO BEGIN  Take your time  Practice internet safety  Practice business common sense  Make sure your content is relevant  Posts  Pictures/Videos  Links © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    22. 22. BOOKMARKING AND BLOGS: WHERE TO BEGIN  Bookmarking  Organize  Share  Store  Blogs  Browse  Publish © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    23. 23. TIPS FOR RESEARCHING THE SITES  Think Smart  Read the About page of the website  Review each sites Advertising Link  Wealth of Information!  Look at how large companies and corporations are using the site © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    24. 24. STRATEGY 4: MEASURE YOUR MARKETING PLAN © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    25. 25. WHY MEASURE  You want to see that your efforts have made progress in your business  Helps determine if you are accessing the right media to locate your target market  Shows if there has been a shift in social media  Let’s you know if you are spending too little or too much time © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    26. 26. WHAT TO MEASURE  Define Clear Goals  What do you want to accomplish?  Can your goal be quantitatively measured?  Is your goal realistic?  Develop a baseline for your goal. © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    27. 27. TOOLS TO MEASURE & HELP  Google Analytics  An easy to use tool that helps to give you great insight into you website traffic and marketing effectiveness  Google Alerts  Alerts for your business name, the brands you carry and your competition © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    28. 28. TOOLS TO MEASURE  Addict-o-matic  Real-time search of the latest news, blog posts, videos, and images  Allows for easy search capabilities of your company © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    29. 29. SOCIAL MEDIA ROI © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    30. 30. STRATEGY 5: MANAGE YOUR TIME © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    31. 31. THE OVERINVESTMENT PROBLEM  Conversation and connection can be never ending  Vast amounts of information  New and improved around every corner  It’s FUN! © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    32. 32. MANAGING YOUR TIME  Review your measurements and realize why you use social media  Research  Interaction  Brand Management  Sales & Marketing © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    33. 33. MANAGING YOUR TIME  Create a Schedule  Your purpose for accessing social media can help determine the amount of time necessary to adequately address your social media needs  Have a Plan  Prioritize – Sale, Publications, or Conversation?  Make Notes for the Next Day  Follow Through © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    34. 34. TOOLS TO HELP MANAGE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA  RSS Feed  Feedly, Digg, Flipboard  Allows for all your interests in one place  HootSuite.com  Allows for a one stop shop for social media  Schedule posts, tweets, and info in advance © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    35. 35. TOOLS TO HELP MANAGE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA  TweetDeck  Browser that allows for instant updates for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace  Manage what people are saying about you through searches and alerts © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    36. 36. STRATEGY REVIEW 1. Be Human 2. Shut Up & Listen 3. Put Your Best Foot Forward 4. Measure Your Marketing Plan 5. Manage Your Time © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    37. 37. GET STARTED: THINGS TO DO TODAY  Take the first steps today!  Make sure you are on all search engines at www.getlisted.org  Decide what your intention is for a social media presence in your small business  Take the time today to research at least one social media site that fits your intentions © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved
    38. 38. MY INFORMATION Maradyth McKenzie asbtdc.org mgmckenzie@ualr.edu Facebook.com/ASBTDC Twitter.com/ASBTDC Twitter.com/mgeorgia7 © ASBTDC 2010 All Rights Reserved