Small Businesses don’t have a bajillion advertising dollars to spend; thus, Small Businesses are always seeking cost-effective ways to market their services. And lucky for those in this group, there is a definite way to reach the masses at a low, low price — Social Media!
We all hear about it and talk about it — Social Media — but do people really understand how to interconnect and use Social Media to their full advantage? Well, just in case you’re trying to figure it out, here’s a short How-to-Guide on Marketing your Small Business through Social Media.
Get on Facebook and Twitter!
If you own a business but you are not on the Two Major and Most Popular Networks for Social Interaction, then you’re considered to be living in the stone age. Seriously, people “Google” a business just as much as they “Facebook” or “Twitter” search one. In other words, take Step #1 very seriously and keep your Business’ Social Networks filled with status updates and current information.
Your Company Needs to Blog.
You may ask, “Why Blog?” The reason is simple: People like Current Information, Updates and Live-Connections — similar to the world of Facebook and Twitter Status Updates — but your Blog is Centered on your business. And you don’t have to be a Pro-writer to blog! Simply post event updates or new projects you’re working on; Images, Videos, and Exterior Links always make blog posts more interesting. You may also post Articles that you find interesting and would concern and intrigued your target market. Also, it’s important to post comments and follow the current information in other blogs that fall-in-line with your same industry.
LinkedIn. Yelp. Foursquare. YouTube.
All of these Social Giants are here to help you grow, so Use Them! LinkedIn connects you in a serious business platform — don’t ignore it — LinkedIn may not be as “Big” as Facebook and Twitter, but it is a definite way that you’ll be researched on by your prospective clients. Yelp connects you publishes tons of reviews on local businesses — review your competitors and make sure you have positive reviews — if not, take note of your company flaws and make changes asap. Foursquare allows you to “check-in” and lets your Social Network followers know where your Business is geo-located — it’s a nifty tool and highly recommended. Lastly, YouTube is your multimedia guru, so create videos to show your customers what you have to offer — YouTube has a lot to offer and Billions of viewers, so brainstorm your ideas for videos and get to work!
Your New Best Friend: Google.
With free online tracking programs like Google Alerts and Google Analytics, you don’t want to miss out on the benefits. Google Alerts sends you email updates from Google search results about topics you’re interested in tracking — i.e. your business’ name, your competitors, and keywords for your business. Google Analytics tracks your website traffic and tells you which sites and/or social platforms are bringing in hits to your webpage — so you can focus attention and budget on the ones that do work, and you can revamp or cut out the ones that don’t.
The final piece of information is to integrate all of your Social Media Marketing Efforts. For one, it saves you time instead of updating a bunch of networks. Second, it keeps you current on all platforms — and that’s one of the most important details for a Small Business to keep their potential clients engaged. The Social Media, Tech and Business blog, Mashable, offers three suggestions to cross-market your efforts:
First, connect your Twitter account to Facebook so that your tweets will appear in your public updates on Facebook. This will let you leverage your time on Twitter to also update your Facebook fans.
Second, connect your LinkedIn profile to your WordPress blog. LinkedIn allows you to publish, in your profile, synopses of the most recent blog posts on your blog. This application will automatically update your LinkedIn profile with your most recent blog posts.
Third, integrate Twitter tools into your blog. I like and use the TweetMeme retweet button on my blogs to make it easier for users to tweet about the blog posts. I also use the ShareThis tool to enable readers to quickly share content on multiple social networks.
*Although my opinions are incorporated in this post, I stumbled upon the details seen here. For more information and links to the tools that will help get your Small Business started, read the entire article at Mashable.com