Social Media To Increase Your Business At The Regional Chamber Of Commerce Prince William


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  • Distinctive Qualities of Social Media: Listening Participation Transparency Two–way Conversation Building a sense of community Connection Word of Mouse (WoM) – David Meerman Scott
  • User-generated content ( UGC ) refers to various kinds of media content that is produced or primarily influenced by end-users ; as opposed to traditional media outlets. Consumer-generated media (CGM) describes word-of-mouth behavior that exists on the Internet. Typically, consumer-generated media encompasses opinions, experiences, advice and commentary about products, brands, companies and services—usually informed by personal experience —that exist in consumer-created postings on Internet discussion boards, forums, Usenet newsgroups and blogs.
  • Gets Your Business Noticed Helps you find new markets and research Find people to fill job positions Promote your product or service Keeps you connected with customers Builds Your Professional Network
  • Now that you have signed up for some of these social network sites, now is not the time to sit and hope people come to you. You need to add value to the network and create relevancy. The result is that you will be promoting you and your business without really trying. That is the key to success in this social media world.
  • Tweet company news in short, manageable pieces – an effective strategy for reaching multi-tasking customers with ever shortening attention spans. Tweet special offers or discounts for your Twitter “followers” to drive sales. Some companies do this to unload excess inventory. Be sure to create separate Twitter accounts for sales- generating activities and general company or employee news. This way, your customers know exactly what to expect when they agree to follow you. Tweet from company and industry events to provide real time updates. Tweet questions or ideas about your business to get immediate feedback from customers following you. Seek out customers tweeting about good and bad experiences with your company. Thank your happy customers and try to resolve negative issues. Tweet about things that interest you, and have fun with it! Your customers might appreciate getting to know you as a real person, not just a brand.
  • Did you know that you can use blogs to start conversations, as well as win new customers? Hard to imagine the same tool can do both, but it can. Attend this one-hour learning lunch and discover the basics of blogs.   Participants will learn all about blogs, including basic styles and proper blogging etiquette and rules, and how they are used to increase visibility with current and potential customers. This learning lunch will also discuss what Network Solutions is doing with Solutions Are Power and the new Women Grown Business blog, and how specific individuals in the organization are currently blogging.
  • General Blog Business Blog Corporate Blog External Blog (Brand Blogs) Internal Blog (i.e. HR Blogs) CEO Blog NetSol is between business and corporate blogs
  • Follows up the sharing from Tip 3
  • Social media is about conversations and relationships Customers are in control, but not total control because you CAN participate People do not want to me marketed to; they want to be heard and can relate more to another human than a banner ad It’s not just about great content, it’s about relationships Chances are there is a conversation going on online about your products or services, or even the business itself. Are you going to participate, or let someone else?
  • Social Media To Increase Your Business At The Regional Chamber Of Commerce Prince William

    1. 1. Using Social Media to grow your business Shashi Bellamkonda
    2. 2. About Network Solutions <ul><li>Domains </li></ul><ul><li>Find-a-domain services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Certified Offer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Backorder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Premium Domains </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Domain Web Forwarding </li></ul><ul><li>Private Registration </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Business E-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Secure E-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Sell Online </li></ul><ul><li>E-commerce website packages </li></ul><ul><li>E-commerce Tools Merchant Account </li></ul><ul><li>Do It For Me E-Commerce Website Design Service </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Search Engine Optimization </li></ul><ul><li>Pay Per Click Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Optimized Press Releases </li></ul><ul><li>Directory Services: Monster Marketplace & ThinkLocal </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced Business Listings </li></ul><ul><li>Link Building </li></ul><ul><li>Content Creation </li></ul><ul><li>Security </li></ul><ul><li>SSL Certificate </li></ul><ul><li>PC Security </li></ul>Small Business Lifecycle <ul><li>Websites </li></ul><ul><li>Website Hosting </li></ul><ul><li>Statistics and Website tools </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Website Design Services </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Logo Design Services </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile Websites </li></ul>PR Measurement Summit June 2009 <ul><li>We service over 3 million SMB customers and manage 7.5 million domain names. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Hi ! I am Shashi Bellamkonda (@shashib) <ul><li>Director: Social Media Strategy at Network Solutions ( Employees gave me business card title Social Media Swami) </li></ul><ul><li>My team is the Network Solutions listening post in the Social Media </li></ul><ul><li>Helped Network Solutions win </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2008 SNCR Excellence in New Communications Award for Online Reputation Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2009 a Gold Quill Award of Excellence in Social Media from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).   Speaker - `How to Sell Social Media to Your Boss' and 'Social Media Tools for Small Business at SXSW, IABC, Affiliate summit and others </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Welcome <ul><li>Outline: </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media 101 </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networks and Communities </li></ul><ul><li>Getting Started on Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Blogging Basics </li></ul>
    5. 5. Online Tools Used by Small Business <ul><li>Network Solutions – University of Maryland Small Business Success index </li></ul>
    6. 6. <ul><li>I: Social Media 101: The Basics </li></ul>
    7. 7. Social Media 101: Definition and Application <ul><li>Social media describes the online tools that establish human connections to share opinions, experiences, and perspectives with each other. </li></ul><ul><li>A few prominent examples of social media applications are: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wikipedia (reference) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook (social networking) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube (video sharing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digg (news sharing) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flickr (photo sharing) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These sites typically use technologies such as blogs, wikis, message boards, podcasts, and wikis to allow users to engage and interact with each other. </li></ul>Photo by: Sean McColgan
    8. 8. Social Media for Small Business <ul><li>Small Business can utilize social media to level the playing field against bigger, stronger competitors. </li></ul><ul><li>Out of the Gate, Small Businesses can use social media to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create connections and build relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve search engine rankings which generates website traffic, inbound links and leads </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish you and your team as thought leaders and innovators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage your brand and reputation online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grow smarter and faster than your competitors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In order to achieve this, you must stay relevant and engage in the conversation and contribute to the community. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Social Media 101: Who will you reach? Audience Segments Customers Prospects Mainstream Media (Print and Broadcast) Social Media (blogs, forums and social networks) Employees Committee Members Suppliers/vendors/affiliates There are many you can reach as a business. Here are a few: Key Questions Their goals and aspirations? Their problems? How do they get their answers? How can you reach them? What’s important to them? What words and phrases do they use? What sort of images and multimedia appeals to them?
    10. 10. Social Media 101: Ways to Use Social Media Listening - using social media as “real time” research and gaining insights from listening to customers Talking - using conversations with customers to promote products or services Energizing - building brand stewardship; and identifying enthusiastic customers and using them to persuade others Supporting - making it possible for customers to help each other Embracing - turning customers into a resource for innovation
    11. 11. Social Media Tip #1 – Optimize Your Content to Go Everywhere <ul><li>Optimizing content is not just about making changes to a site.  You should have content that can be portable (such as PDFs, video, podcasts). </li></ul><ul><li>Submitting them to relevant sites will help your content travel further, and ultimately drive links back to your site </li></ul><ul><li>RSS – allow others to subscribe to your content   </li></ul>The end goal is to achieve Omnipresence
    12. 12. Social Media Tip #2 – Create Google Alerts to Monitor Your Brand <ul><li>Google News Alerts </li></ul><ul><li>Allows you to keep a pulse on your online brand with email alerts from Google </li></ul><ul><li>Create alerts on keywords: </li></ul><ul><li>Company Name </li></ul><ul><li>Key Executives </li></ul><ul><li>Priority Keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Competitors </li></ul><ul><li>Events </li></ul><ul><li>Product/Service </li></ul>
    13. 13. <ul><li>II: Leveraging Social Networks and </li></ul><ul><li>Online Communities </li></ul>
    14. 14. Social Networks: Explained <ul><li>Social Networks You Know: </li></ul><ul><li>Chambers </li></ul><ul><li>Network Groups </li></ul><ul><li>Religious </li></ul><ul><li>Charities </li></ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul><ul><li>Industry Clubs </li></ul>Social Networks leverage the concept of “Six Degrees of Separation” and use technology to connect people. <ul><li>Online Business Social Networks: </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>MySpace (Artists and Musicians) </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Upcoming </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul><ul><li>LinkedIn </li></ul><ul><li>Digg </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Flickr </li></ul>
    15. 15. Social Networks: Why they work <ul><li>Function like normal networks </li></ul><ul><li>Fast and inexpensive </li></ul><ul><li>Require no travel to connect with tons of people </li></ul><ul><li>Help you stay in contact & up to date </li></ul><ul><li>Could generate leads and referrals at a very low cost </li></ul><ul><li>Create likeminded groups and communities </li></ul>
    16. 16. Social Networks: Facebook for Small Business <ul><li>300 Million Active Users </li></ul><ul><li>Largest Social Networking site in the world </li></ul><ul><li>Largest Growing Demographic is >35 </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to interact with community and gain customers </li></ul>Even Chips have their own Facebook page !
    17. 17. Social Networks: Facebook Buzzwords <ul><li>Friend: Connect with someone on Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Wall message: Write, draw or post something on someone’s wall </li></ul><ul><li>Tag: Add names to photos or videos </li></ul><ul><li>Status update: What are you doing? </li></ul><ul><li>Public timeline: List of recent activity </li></ul>Source: Ogilvy Twitter Webinar Profile Page
    18. 18. Social Networks: LinkedIn for Small Business 50 Million Worldwide Users Focused on Business Users Connect to your connections’ connections Taps the power of second and third degree of “six degrees of separation” Eliminates cold calling Applications bring in other web content
    19. 19. Social Networks: LinkedIn Buzzwords <ul><li>Connections: needs approval to become a connection </li></ul><ul><li>Applications: Fun widgets / tools to interact and promote brand </li></ul><ul><li>Answers: Space to ask / answer questions and polls </li></ul><ul><li>Groups: Common Topics </li></ul><ul><li>Contact Settings: You can customize what messages you want to receive </li></ul>Source: Ogilvy Twitter Webinar
    20. 20. Social Networking Tip #1 – Your Profile is a First Impression <ul><li>Share content from your other online presence </li></ul><ul><li>Upload pics and videos related to you and your business </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t put anything up there you wouldn’t be comfortable with </li></ul><ul><li>Add your Web links </li></ul><ul><li>Be fun and interesting </li></ul><ul><li>Promote activities and events </li></ul>
    21. 21. Social Networking Tip #2 – Be a Connector <ul><li>Connectors are the people that introduce you to others </li></ul><ul><li>Most powerful in a social network </li></ul><ul><li>Give without expecting to receive anything back </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t just promote you, promote others and they will promote you which is MUCH MORE powerful </li></ul>
    22. 22. Social Networking Tip #3 – Go Where Your Audience Is Already <ul><li>Your audience is already online </li></ul><ul><li>Many are on niche focused networks as well </li></ul><ul><li>The minute a business gets a website they are global </li></ul>
    23. 23. Social Networking Tip #4 – Add Value <ul><li>Do you have any materials like the following?: </li></ul><ul><li>Company information, brochures, web site, sales sheets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Put it here: LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook Group Page, Blog </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Photos and videos related to sales, training and products </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Put it here: YouTube, Viddler, Blip.TV, Facebook, Flickr, Blog </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Articles, news and press releases, events, newsletters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Put it here: Blog, Newsvine, Digg, Facebook, Fast PItch </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Presentations for training, marketing, sales and service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Put it here: Slideshare, YouTube </li></ul></ul>
    24. 24. <ul><li>III: Getting Started on Twitter </li></ul>
    25. 25. Using Twitter: What the Heck is Twitter? <ul><li>Interesting Twitter Facts: </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter has 27M+ users (as of Aug 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter has 6 million UMVs, 27% of Twitter traffic are daily active visitors. </li></ul><ul><li>Usage is 40% in the United States and of the remaining 60%, 39% of that is in Japan </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter's largest age demographic is 35-to-44-year-olds who make up 25.9% of its users. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: (This is from a March 2009 Nielsen report) </li></ul></ul>Twitter is a microblogging platform to exchange short messages with your followers and the world
    26. 26. Using Twitter: Effective Business Uses <ul><li>Company news in short, manageable pieces. </li></ul><ul><li>Special offers or discounts for your Twitter “followers” to drive sales. </li></ul><ul><li>Events to provide real time updates. </li></ul><ul><li>Questions or ideas about your business & get immediate feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Seek out customers tweeting about good and bad experiences with your company. </li></ul><ul><li>Thank your happy customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Your customers might appreciate getting to know you as a real person, not just a brand. </li></ul>Share Your Experiences… And Make a Sale…
    27. 27. Using Twitter: Effective Business Uses <ul><li>Other Ways: </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Relations </li></ul><ul><li>Crisis Management </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate Reputation Management </li></ul><ul><li>Event Activation </li></ul><ul><li>Issue Advocacy </li></ul><ul><li>Product Promotion and Sales </li></ul><ul><li>Internal Communication </li></ul>
    28. 28. Using Twitter: Brand/Customer Monitoring <ul><li>Customer Service </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Customer Outreach </li></ul>@netsolcares Network Solutions started @netsolcares in Sept 2008 to provide a new customer service channel
    29. 29. Using Twitter: Buzzwords <ul><li>Follow: To friend someone (or follow their updates) </li></ul><ul><li>Direct Message (DM): Pseudo-email someone following you </li></ul><ul><li>“ At” reply: Speak to someone directly in the public stream (@shashib) </li></ul><ul><li>Re-tweet (RT): Repost content with credit </li></ul><ul><li>Block: Restrict access to updates </li></ul><ul><li># (hashtags): a kind of tag or description – great for search </li></ul>Source: Ogilvy Twitter Webinar
    30. 30. Twitter Tip #1: Engage the Audience <ul><li>You can engage people on Twitter by doing the following things: </li></ul><ul><li>SEE what other businesses are doing on Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>USE Twitter search engines for keyword searches around brands, products and topic of interest. </li></ul><ul><li>FOLLOW folks with similar interests to establish a brand presence within conversation </li></ul><ul><li>START a conversation </li></ul><ul><li>DEDICATE time to Twitter. Having more than one employee on Twitter will ensure an ongoing company presence. </li></ul><ul><li>ASK questions and get feedback from your followers </li></ul>Source: Ogilvy Twitter Webinar
    31. 31. Twitter Tip #2: Getting Followers the Right Way <ul><li>Retweet content </li></ul><ul><li>Talk directly to people </li></ul><ul><li>Link to outside content </li></ul><ul><li>Live tweet from events </li></ul><ul><li>Use hashtags </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid using ALL CAPS </li></ul>Followers are the people that click the “Follow” button on your page
    32. 32. <ul><li>IV: Blogging Basics </li></ul>
    33. 33. Blogging Basics: ROI of this Module <ul><li>Learn what a blog is </li></ul><ul><li>What business and corporate blogging is </li></ul><ul><li>Who and why people are doing this </li></ul><ul><li>What to write about </li></ul><ul><li>Tips to Great Blogging </li></ul>
    34. 34. Blogging Basics: Definitions, just in case <ul><li>A Journal, usually updated frequently, sometimes categorized </li></ul><ul><li>Usually links to other sites </li></ul><ul><li>Can support comments and some interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Provides ability to subscribe to site so reader gets updates without having to visit page. </li></ul>
    35. 35. Blogging Basics: Reasons to Blog <ul><li>Improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO) </li></ul><ul><li>Gain Visibility as a Thought Leader </li></ul><ul><li>Generate Real Conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Display Brand Personality </li></ul><ul><li>Perform Market Research </li></ul><ul><li>Improve Customer Service </li></ul><ul><li>Share Company Announcements </li></ul>
    36. 36. Blogging Basics: What to Publish <ul><li>Commentary on mainstream media articles, other blogs, news, events and relevant trends </li></ul><ul><li>Company News </li></ul><ul><li>Case Studies </li></ul>Ideal Blog Topics: Photos, Videos and Podcasts Conference notes Business Philosophy Tools, resources, tips, ideas, lists Awards, honors, PR, new employee, new vendor, new system
    37. 37. Blogging Basics: Blog Buzzwords <ul><li>Comment: Respond to blog post </li></ul><ul><li>Link Love: Link to other blogs/sites (online currency) </li></ul><ul><li>Tagging: Adding words to describe blog content </li></ul><ul><li>Troll: Mean commenters (IGNORE THEM!) </li></ul><ul><li>Blogroll: Links to favorite blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Embed: Copy/paste media </li></ul>
    38. 38. Blogging Basics: Getting Started <ul><li>Take 15 minutes a day to write a blog post </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Find a topic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep it around 400 words or less if possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write in short paragraphs. Not more than six lines of text. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Write and embed any content (pictures, videos) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check copyrights and licensing and give attributions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preview Your Post </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publish or Schedule It </li></ul></ul>
    39. 39. Blogging Tip #1 – Increase Linkability <ul><li>Blogging </li></ul><ul><li>White papers </li></ul><ul><li>Thought pieces </li></ul><ul><li>Flash demos </li></ul><ul><li>2-way dialogue </li></ul>Remember, the key is to have content that “engages” others and makes them want to link to your site.
    40. 40. Blogging Tip #2 – Reward Inbound Links <ul><li>Who is linking to you and what are they saying? </li></ul><ul><li>Track your inbound links </li></ul><ul><li>Allow display of trackbacks </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight people who write about you </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in conversations on blogs that link to you </li></ul>November 8, 2009
    41. 41. Blogging Tip #3 – Engage Your Readers <ul><ul><li>Write in an authentic, human voice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use meaningful titles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Publish on a regular basis. Target once a week at minimum. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enable and monitor your comments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link to other sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be Passionate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give credit where it’s due (pictures, text quotes) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Syndicate and re-use text </li></ul></ul>
    42. 42. Blogging Tip #4 –Tag and Bookmark <ul><ul><li>Adding quick buttons to &quot;add to“ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making sure pages include a list of relevant tags </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adding tags to pages first on popular social sites </li></ul></ul>A “tag” is just a word(s) that describe content. Tags that describe the content Easy to bookmark and add to Social Media Sites
    43. 43. Blogging Tip #5 – Put Policies in Place <ul><ul><li>Put together some policies and guidelines like the following examples: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Topics in which The Company is involved in litigation or could in the future: (i.e. policy, customer disputes, etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-public information of any kind about The Company, including, but not limited to, policies and strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Illegal or banned substances and narcotics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pornography or other offensive illegal materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defamatory, libelous, offensive or demeaning material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private/Personal matters of yourself or others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disparaging/threatening comments about or related to anyone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal, sensitive or confidential information of any kind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand that when you or someone is talking about your company, not only does this reflect on you but if there are not clear guidelines, you could be at risk . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Great Post on Policies and Guidelines from Raj Malik </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
    44. 44. Final Thoughts <ul><li>Listen first </li></ul><ul><li>Conversation, not publishing or broadcasting </li></ul><ul><li>Be a useful conversationalist </li></ul><ul><li>Build relationships - one at a time </li></ul><ul><li>Take a Leap of Faith and Jump In! </li></ul> Photo Courtesy Fred Dawson on Flickr /
    45. 45. Your Social Media Plan <ul><li>Setup Alerts </li></ul><ul><li>Join and setup profiles in 3 social networks </li></ul><ul><li>15-20 minutes a day tracing the alerts and responding </li></ul><ul><li>Choose 3 blogs on your field to read and comment </li></ul><ul><li>Converse, don’t sell </li></ul><ul><li>Answer questions and become an expert in your niche on LinkedIn </li></ul><ul><li>2 hours a week - Learn and write about the products you promote </li></ul><ul><li>Measure your efforts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How many times were you mentioned </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How many people read your posts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inbounds links </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are your customers evangelizing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Attend one local event a month|Ask for help from the community if you need it </li></ul>
    46. 46. Thank you <ul><li>Shashi Bellamkonda [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter: @shashib </li></ul><ul><li>Small Business Success Index : http:// </li></ul><ul><li>Network Solutions Blog : http:// </li></ul><ul><li>Women Entrepreneurs : </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Blogs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology & Social Media: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital Thoughts: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Restaurant Reviews: </li></ul></ul>