Social Media Networking for Small Business: Part 5 Engage Your Audience

Once you’ve determined where they are, how do you engage your audience? Here are some DO’s and DONT’s for the “Big Three,” Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Continuing a series of blogs on Social Media Networking for Small Business! Recently, I presented a webinar for the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership. You can watch it here. In case you’d rather read than watch the webinar, I’ve broken it down into a series of blogs:

For Part 1 – Goals, click here.
For Part 2 – Target Your Audience, click here.
For Part 3 – Find Your Promoters, click here.
For Part 4 – Develop Your Strategy, click here.

Engage Your Audience

In social media, marketers often forget Rule #1 – It’s social. In traditional advertising, it is a “Push” medium. Meaning, commercials on television or the radio interrupt what you are doing to send you a message. In social media, it is a “Pull” medium. People seek out the info they want or need and often rely upon trusted or respected sources to help make their consumer choice. That could mean asking a friend, posting a question on a message board, reviewing comments on a blog or reading an article from a trusted source.

So, how do you provide them the information they are seeking?

 

FACEBOOK DO’S & DON’T’S

DO:

 

  • Inform – This is where you can talk about fun or interesting things going on with you or your business. Or, give tips or helpful advice related to your industry.
  • Post Regularly – Fans will periodically check in to see what you are up to. If they get the same info as before and you have neglected to update, they will neglect to come back.
  • Upload photos! Business Insider published an article on 16 Heatmaps That Reveal Exactly Where People Look. As you can see here in this facebook heatmap, photos get the most eyeballs.

DON’T: Continue reading

Update: Targeting Your Social Media Audience

You may have read my blog Social Media Networking for Small Business: Part 2 Target Audience. There, I talked about how to figure out where your target social media audience would most likely be residing online and, therefore, give you best shot at reaching them.

Who has time to waste engaging the wrong crowd? Not me.

I came across these updated stats recently and wanted to share. Where do women and men hang the most online? Who does more online gaming? What about newer platforms like Pinterest? The answers may surprise you…  Continue reading

Social Media Networking for Small Business: Part 4 Develop Your Strategy

Social Media takes time! What is the most effective strategy to make sure you are winning the battle of engaging your audience?

Continuing a series of blogs on Social Media Networking for Small Business! Last month, I presented a webinar for the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership. You can watch it here. In case you’d rather read than watch the webinar, I’ve broken it down into a series of blogs:

For Part 1 – Goals, click here.
For Part 2 – Target Your Audience, click here.
For Part 3 – Find Your Promoters, click here.

Develop Your Social Media Strategy

Once you’ve got your goals and know who you want to target, it is time to figure out when to reach them. Planning your time is key. Aliza Sherman created the following diagram based on a concept by author Beth Kanter. I see no reason to reinvent the wheel and give her full credit. 

If you are anything like me, you are doing the math in your head and coming up with 15-20+ hours per week in just your social media efforts alone! Don’t sweat it. To start, I don’t recommend spending that much time if you are a sole proprietor. If you have a staff, I suggest you divide and conquer.

However, I do like this strategy. You ought to be spending time daily doing the following things: Listening, Promoting and Engaging. Continue reading

Social Media Networking for Small Business: Part 3 Find Your Promoters

I presented a webinar on Social Media Networking for Small Business last month. You can watch it here. Here are the highlights…

For Part 1 – Goals, click here.
For Part 2 – Target Your Audience, click here.

FIND YOUR PROMOTERS

Social Media networking is all about engaging your customers, not selling to them. Nothing will turn off someone faster than selling a company, product or service where people like to relax and be entertained. However, people are less likely to be turned off if someone they know, like and trust is doing the recommending.

Who do you know who will do this for you? Your promoters!

When I was working on customer loyalty with Bloomingdale’s, we switched over from the traditional customer satisfaction survey to the “Net Promoter Score.” Based on Fred Reichheld’s book, “The Ultimate Question,” (how likely is it you would recommend this company to a friend or colleague?) it broke down customers in to three categories:

Promoters – Loyal enthusiasts who keep buying from a company and urge their friends to do the same

Passives – Satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who can be easily wooed by the competition

Detractors – Your classic unhappy customers. In the past, it was universally believed every unhappy customer told ten friends. Now, in the digital age, unhappy customers can tell 10,000 “friends.”

The author goes on to say, two conditions must be satisfied before customers make a personal referral: Continue reading

Social Media Networking for Small Business: Part 2 Target Audience

Building a Social Media presence takes time and effort. Who has time and effort to waste? That is why you need to make sure you are speaking the same language in the same country. Do you know where is your target audience?

I presented a webinar on Social Media Networking for Small Business last month. You can watch it here. Here are the highlights…

For Part 1 – Goals, click here.

In this blog, we’ll cover Part 2 – Target Your Audience 

Where is your audience? What medium do they use? How do you find them?

There are more than 200 social media sites. The big challenge is to narrow this list to social media sites where you know many of your customers participate. To do that, you need to gather some basic information about your customers:

  • Sex
  • Age
  • Income
  • Education
  • Marital Status
  • Children
  • Occupation

If you know this information, you can better target where your audience will be.

Online MBA has provided an interesting graphic which breaks down the demographics of the top social networking sites. The info is a little dated, but is still very valuable for our purposes. Compare the information you know about your audience, and you should be able to determine which sites allow you to best reach your audience with your message.

Keep in mind, this information is merely to help you get started. Once you start participating in each of the social sites, you will judge how effective each one is for creating a dialogue and engaging your target audience. If you aren’t getting the return you were expecting, you can always tweak or try something new. However, having an idea of where your target audience is will give you the best chance at success.

Check back soon for Part 3 – Find Your Promoters.

 

Social Media Networking for Small Business: Part 1 Goals

If you own a small business and don’t feel your social media presence is paying off… don’t give up!

Social Media is an incredibly valuable way of connecting with your target audience. You just need a strategy to start seeing ROI (return on your investment – mostly time).

I presented a webinar on Social Media Networking for Small Business. You can watch it here. However, if you don’t have time to sit through the hour presentation, here are the highlights…

Is Social Media Really Marketing?

I sometimes get asked, “Is social media networking really marketing?” To put it simply, “yes.” However, I might classify it more as guerrilla marketing. Jay Conrad Levison, the famous author and businessman who coined the phrase “Guerrilla Marketing,” once described it as “Achieving conventional goals, such as profits and joy,with unconventional methods, such as investing energy instead of money.”

And, one thing social media can take is energy. Or, perhaps better put, time. In fact, many small business owners and managers tell me they would do more if they just had the time.

Another hang up to social media is, if you aren’t familiar with it or keep up on it, you can find it very intimidating. You may have seen this graphic floating around recently. While it isn’t entirely accurate, the point is, a lot of businesses don’t know where to begin. In this and the next series of blog posts, I will try to give you some pointers on what social media platforms may work for you. Continue reading

7 Keys to an Effective Social Media Strategy for Small Businesses Webinar

Last week, I was asked to present a webinar on Social Media Networking for Small Business by the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL).

During the 60 minute presentation, I suggested seven keys to an effective social media strategy for small businesses. Click below link to watch the presentation:

Social Media Networking for Small Business

(Note: There is silence for the first 10-15 seconds)

Please post your comments below if you found this helpful or have further suggestions to lend!

 

Cash Mob Mentality: Supporting Small Businesses

Cash Mob strikes! Imagine owning a small business and a crowd of people show up all at once. While you may be used to a handful of people at your location, all of the sudden… ten, thirty, even one hundred people come at the same time. And, they all have a $20 bill in their hand, ready to spend with you. You have probably heard of flash mobs, where groups of people ascend on a place for fun, demonstration, or promote an idea. But, have you heard of “cash mobs?”

This Friday, May 25th, will be the second annual International Cash Mob Day. The idea of a Cash Mob is to support local small businesses by organizing a group of people to visit them, with each member willing to spend $20 or more. The goal is for members of the community Continue reading

Mother’s Day Marketing

This Sunday is Mother’s Day (Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers!). “Celebrating Mom” has become big business for many small businesses. While there are many stores and services hoping to bring in shoppers (and I’ll share some of my ideas below), there are some sharp guerrilla marketers looking to “ride the wave” and cash in on all the sentiment.

Build Traffic

You may wonder how you, who may not offer products or services normally associated with Mother’s Day gifts, can benefit from the holiday. The real question is, could your site benefit from more exposure, more traffic? If the answer is “Yes,” start considering ways to chat, blog or share about Mother’s Day.

Perhaps the easiest thing to do is Continue reading

Avengers Assemble Marketing Punch

The Avengers movie, in its first six days internationally, has earned $218 million. Some experts predict it will make $500 million after this weekend and, in doing so, be in the black after just one weekend in America. With reviews being overwhelmingly positive, this just in… The Avengers are hot.

Last week, I covered the topic of what I like to call “Riding the Wave.” (Probably a good idea to read it to better appreciate this blog). Basically, it is latching on to another entity’s popularity and coming along for the ride. I gave a recent example of The Weather Channel shamelessly posting an article online, “The Hunger Games and Weather.” With this weekend’s The Avengers opening most likely surpassing The Hunger Games $152.5 million debut, a new super power has entered the arena.

Doing a search on Google using the term “Avengers,” over 5,000 news articles appeared the night before the movie releases in America (5/04/12). While it seems every single online magazine/newspaper/blog and news source has someone giving a review of the movie, there were plenty of other clever ways to tie-in to Marvel’s blockbuster without paying any royalties or fees.

Here are some of the highlights: Continue reading