I’m so excited to be here with all of you this afternoon. I know it’s been a long day for some of you, so thanks for coming out. I’m scheduled until 5:30pm, but understand if some of you need to scoot. I’ve prepared material for an hour and want to leave the last half hour for all of your individual questions. Again, this is very informal, so if you have any questions while I’m speaking, just ask… You’re here to learn about social media and how it can help generate exposure for you. I’d like to share with you a little bit about me and my business and what I do, then get to know you all a bit. Then I’ll dive into the topic and spend the rest of our time together answering your specific questions.
I offer a variety of services to primarily small business owners. The majority of my time is spent helping businesses become found online through social media coaching – teaching them how to blog, use FB, Twitter, LinkedIn strategically as well as basic website development. I also help them prepare marketing plans so their social media and website have focus and are in line with their additional marketing tactics. I also do event planning and event promotion.
I’d like to get to know you guys a bit. Perhaps what industries you are in? How long you’ve been doing what you’re doing? Where you’re from?
I’d like take a few minutes and have you turn to your neighbor and talk about what comes to your mind when you hear the words “social media” or “social networking”? What are your first thoughts? What comes to mind? How are you using it in your personal life? In your professional life?
There are a few major reasons why you should be engaging in social media. The first is to: Monitor Your Brand – You and brand are being talked about on the Internet AND social networking sites. But the big questions is, “Are you listening?” You need to be listening so you can respond to both the good and bad comments timely and appropriately. A good way to “listen” to the Internet to see if you are mentioned is to create Google Alerts on key words and phrases. If you weren’t able to get a handout, at the end of my presentation, I'll share a URL with you that will take you to a downloadable .pdf which includes all of these resources I'll be talking about today as well as the full presentation. Another reason why you should be engaging in social media is to Educate your Consumer about what you do – offer them a peek behind the scenes. What is it like in your world? Who are you? Harness your expertise and share information. Stand out in the crowd. Be THAT entity that interacts with their audience so that they know who you are. Let a bit of your personality come through. Answer their questions.
Every April, Michael Stelzner comes out with his annual Social Media Marketing Industry Report sponsored by the Social Media Examiner. This study surveys over 3300 marketers with the goal of understanding how marketers are currently using social media to grow and promote their organizations . I encourage you to read through the entire Social Media Marketing Industry Report which is included in the Resource guide. For now, I'd like to focus on: Top three questions marketers want answered about social media: How do I measure social media return on investment? How do I best manage my time with social media? What are the social media best practices? How do I use these tools?
The number-one benefit of social media marketing is standing out in an increasingly noisy world. A significant 88% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their business. Improving traffic and subscribers was the second major benefit, with 72%. One client I coached had 5 visitors to their website each day. After blogging three times/week for four months and then leveraging Twitter to find an audience for their blog, their traffic improved 1000%. Nearly two-thirds of marketers indicated a rise in search engine rankings was a benefit of social media marketing. After blogging once a week for 4 months, one of my clients went from page 40 to page 1 of Google search results for a specific search term...
Naturally, it takes time to develop relationships that lead to actual business whether that's off-line networking or on-line networking. If you start utilizing social media marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy, you have to stick with it. For example, 72% of marketers who have been using social media for more than three years report it has helped them close business. Whether that’s selling more albums, more pieces of art, landing more gigs…exposure is crucial. You need to get noticed.
58% of marketers are using social media for 6 hours or more each week and 34% for 11 or more hours weekly. For people just beginning, the median weekly time commitment was 1-5 hours per week. However, for people who have been doing this for a few months or longer, the median jumps to 10 hours per week due to the positive results.
The third question marketers wanted the answer to according to the 2011 SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IDUSTRY REPORT, is how to do this correctly. If you’re in the Des Moines area, I could teach you how to do all of this. I prepare a customized strategy for you including a website assessment. I then coach you through incorporating this strategy into your business and into your daily lives. It’s a very holistic and sustainable approach and the six months really gives you time to make social media a part of your daily routine by integrating it slowly…we meet once a week with assigned homework to be completed between coaching sessions. If we're unable to meet face-to-face, coaching via telephone or Skype is definitely appropriate. I like to focus on strategy, tactics (how to use the tools) and time-saving techniques. There are also workshops and presentations put on that you could attend to get your toes wet. Read blogs on how to blog. Mashable.com and the social media examiner are great, free online resources to get you started Tomorrow, my friend Phil James is going to be talking about blogging to help generate exposure at 9am at West End and Katie Miller-Smith of Catchfire Media is going to be talking about Analytics and measuring the ROI of social media at 10:30am at the Partnership. Two presentations you’re not going to want to miss.
I like to show this slide because it is a great visual that brings everything together. Those who you engage with using social media need a place to “land”; typically this is your website. The reason you want people coming to your website is because that’s where you’re going to house your content. You use the social media platforms to drive traffic to your website and to the other social media platforms. For example, your audience might not be aware of your blog, but you can use Twitter Search to find an audience with shared interests and drive them to your blog by mentioning a post you just wrote. Use LinkedIn to post events and workshops to local groups that you're a member of, and drive the traffic to your website to register. One thing I haven’t mentioned yet which I think all organizations can benefit from is an e-newsletter. I write a newsletter 2/month and use MailChimp to deliver it electronically to those who have subscribed. MailChimp is a free service and it's a great way for people to learn more about your business and to “drip” on them with your marketing message. We can’t forget that not everyone is using social media, but most people have an email address. Another social media platform I haven't mentioned is Foursquare. How many of you have heard of Foursquare? Foursquare is a location-based social networking website and also a game. Users &quot;check-in&quot; at locations using their mobile device. They are then awarded points and sometimes &quot;badges.&quot; The person who checks in the most is the “Mayor” and may receive additional benefits from the merchant. These check-ins can be shared on your Facebook and Twitter profiles which is just another way to mention yourselves online...again, the drip-marketing concept... Talk about blogging to create page depth – Women of Worth
With all of these social media platforms, where should you be? I’d like you to refer to this handout while I talk about the next slide. Based upon your marketing strategy, where should you be? Blogging isn’t mentioned on this handout, because, in my opinion, it is required – not only does it build page depth, which Google and Yahoo search engines love, it gives your audience insight into what you are all about…
STRATEGY: When determining where to begin with social media, you need to figure out a STRATEGY (a game plan). What are the outcomes you want to measure? Is it more phone calls? More traffic through your door – to your website? Are you trying to reach a certain demographic? TOOLS – These are the tools in your toolbox. You’ll need to determine which tools to use based on your strategy. Where is your audience? Are they on Facebook? With just over 800 million users, I bet they are. CURRICULUM – what is it that you don’t know about your chosen tools that you need to learn to be able to execute this strategy. Do you need to go to some workshops? Webinars? Read blogs to familiarize yourself with the writing technique of blogging? Read white papers on best practices? One-on-one coaching... TACTICS – How are you going to implement what you’ve learned to achieve your desired outcome? How are you going to use Twitter, for example, to drive your overall strategy? An example of one tactic: After you start blogging, use Twitter Search to find an audience. METRICS – How are you going to know whether you’ve been successful or not? Based upon your strategy, you need to measure your progress. Whether that’s using Google Analytics, Facebook Insights – Are you showing up higher in the search results for a specific search term? What are you going to use to measure success or failure?
Before you get involved in any social media platforms, you need to LISTEN to what’s going on and the conversations that are taking place. If you’re at an face-to-face networking event, and you want to join on a conversation, do you go up to the first group you see and immediately start talking to them, or do you take a few minutes to listen to the conversation, see if you want to get involved and then add your own commentary? This listening first approach applies across all social media platforms. Take 15 minutes a day to listen to the conversations that you’re interested in joining. The first step is to set up listening posts: Use Google Alerts to track your name and your organization’s name and have an email sent to you every time it is mentioned. Every time your keywords are mentioned on websites INCLUDING social media, you are notified via email. This is invaluable because there is no way that you can be monitoring every website all the time. Funnel all of the listening posts into a central repository, such as GoogleReader, so you can monitor the results. You can subscribe to RSS feeds in your Google Reader. RSS, or Real Simple Syndicate is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works, such as blogs and news – in a standardized format. What it does, is it strips away the website's design and just delivers the text to your Google Reader. What’s great is that once you subscribe to an RSS feed, you never have to go back to the website...Every time new content is created, you'll know about it because it is automatically delivered to your Google Reader. Use your well-stocked Google Reader to read everything said about your industry, your community and key areas of interest. Try to make this a DAILY activity to make sure you don’t fall too far behind or miss something that is time sensitive.
After you become comfortable listening to conversations happening online, you can begin Sharing. Most blog sites accept comments. Feel free to join the conversation. It is important at this point that you start to take part in the conversation occurring on-line. This helps you “see and be seen” immediately. Every time you leave a comment on someone else's blog, you’re also leaving your name, email address and website URL behind. Google and Yahoo spiders that crawl websites will see this and further legitimize your website which will cause it to begin to appear higher in search results. A good rule of thumb would be to read 15 blog posts, comment on 5, and write one. Sharing also applies to Twitter. Retweet someone’s message or link if you feel your followers would find it valuable. This not only demonstrates what your interests are, it shows that person whose message you just retweeted that you’re listening to them and are interested in engaging in their conversation.
If you're new to social media in general, I don’t suggest that you get started in all of these platforms at once. The first two I think you should get started with are blogging and Twitter. Again, as this is new, just start with one blog post a week. As you become more comfortable, consider doing two blog posts a week and then adding another platform and make sure you drive traffic amongst them. You need to be visible to your consumer wherever they are. That's why being involved in multiple platforms is so important. Go to them, don’t make them come to you. Some people are on Facebook, NOT Twitter, connect with them there… I hear from a lot of people that social media is a time suck and that they don’t have enough time for social media – it’s a time suck if you have no strategy or measurable results. There are various tools you can use to create and manage content to save a LOT of time. Social media marketing is one of those things where you get out of it what you put into it. Earlier I mentioned that the largest group of marketers in the social media marketing industry report were using social media 1 to 6 hours per week. That’s not bad when you consider the results and the savings when leveraged correctly.
I know this is a lot to take in. Please make good use of the resource guide you'll find when visiting this page on my website. Send me an email if you'd like to talk more about individualized coaching or if you have any questions. For those of you in the Des Moines area I keep office hours to answer questions you might have. And it's FREE!!! I’m at Smokey Row on Thursdays from 9-11am. Take a look on my website when I’ll be there next… Who has the first question?
Crossroads entertainment conference 10 nov11
BACK TO BASICS: SOCIAL MEDIA Suzanne Hull, “Get It Done Girl” Contemporary Business Solutions [email_address] Twitter: @GetItDoneGirlIA
WHAT IS SOCIAL NETWORKING? <ul><li>The use of Internet communities to network and communicate using shared interests, related skills, or geographical location between consumers and businesses </li></ul><ul><li>www.wiktionary.org </li></ul>
Who has the next question? www.contemporary-business-solutions.com/resources Suzanne Hull, Get It Done Girl Contemporary Business Solutions www.contemporary-business-solutions.com [email_address] Twitter: @GetItDoneGirlIA Facebook: ContemporaryBusinessSolutions Free Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/gIRG Phone: 515-250-6366