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7 More Tips For Small Businesses Using Social Media

7 More Tips For Small Businesses Using Social Media

local_businesses

Ask and you shall receive!  I’m easy that way.  After I posted 6 Ways Social Media Can Help A Local Business a while back, I got a lot of requests for more tips.  So by request, I bring you more tips on how a small or local business can use social media. I shall share these tips with you in list form. As people like lists and they are fun.

-Change your brand/companies message to fit the social network you are on.  So you may post “@pizza is here to help with  all your pizza needs” on Twitter.  Well that will not fly on say Plurk or youtube. (Always have to work Plurk into a blog post, it is just fun to say.) Make sure you know the basic ins/outs of the site you are on. Think of it as when you travel to a different country. There are different customs in each you should follow. Things you do and things you do not. (This actually is good practice for any size business or brand.)

-Cool it with the cross posting. For those of you do not know let me give you the definition of cross posting. It is when you take the same single message and post it on multiple social networks and forums.  Sure it makes your life easier one post that hits many websites. I get it. The problem is that the same people may follow you on Twitter, Facebook, Plurk, etc. You need to mix it up. I promise you that if you post the same message to all your networks, you will lose people from your community. Also, I think posting a link on Facebook directly looks a lot better then just placing the url.

-Time Shift your messages. So when you want to post about a special going on or a blog post you just wrote, do it on different days at different times.  Some people may be online at 10:00 am others may be on at 4:00 pm. Thus, they maybe more likely to respond and see your message at different times. Play around with it and mix it up. Personally,  I have had a lot of success updating my networks late at night. It allows me to get the attention of people I may never have.

-Do not post the same exact message over and over. Just last week Twitter has begun enforcing the TOS of not allowing recurring Tweets on Twitter Accounts. Why? Its annoying, plain and simple.  Though I do not see why you can not mix up the message and tweak it throughout the day. I have used Tweetlater aka Socialoomph with much success.(No doubt I’m going to get some nasty comments about my thoughts on this one.)

-What is in it for the customer? Part 1 Have online discounts and promotions. I always get clients who say ” I want millions of Twitter followers” or ” I want everyone to join my fanpage.”  My response is ” What is in it for them?”  Why should they follow you  and fan you? You need to give them something back. It can be a coupon code, a special time sensitive discount, or even early bird passes. There needs to be something in it for them.

-What is in it for the customer? Part 2. In reference to the above item, you don’t have to just give specials and discounts. It could be insight to why your company does what it does. Maybe behind the scenes videos, podcasts or blog posts. You can communicate directly to people who follow/fan you, so do it!! Make them know your listening by talking to them. This has value sometimes that is worth more the items in Part 1.

-There is more to social media then Twitter & Facebook. There I said it. Heck this should be a blog post by itself. (Actually I think this will be my next post.) If you targeting people who like wine, find a social network about wine. You want to sell comic books, there is a site for that. Heck.. just check out  Ning you can find anything.

BONUS: So let us say your company is  Ed’s Vacuum Cleaner Repair. Why not start a Fan Page, Twitter Feed, or Ning site about Vacuum cleaners? Create an online community for people you know will have a need/like for your product! Bottom line: If you cant find it online, create it yourself!

October 20, 2009 By : Category : Blog Tags:, , ,
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6 Ways Social Media Can Help A Local Business

6 Ways Social Media Can Help A Local Business

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Someone somewhere once said, “Don’t forget about the little guy.” I guess I could Google the answer, but I am to lazy to bother. It just sounded like a good opening line for this post.

Yesterday, a friend of mine who owns a local main street business here in lovely San Carlos, California. I was preaching, evangelizing , chatting about the benefits of Social Media and how it can help brands gain awareness. He quickly looked at me and said “What about the regular folks? You know the guys like me without a big budget?”  After the shock of having him finally engage me in a conversation about what I do wore off, I told him I would write a blog post with my answer. (Hey anything to get traffic.. right?” So here you go Ed. This one is for you. I would like to share with you my thoughts, in list form, cause people like lists. Here are 5 ways a local business can use social media to gain awareness.

-Have a website and a blog. Simple right? One mistake I see is that companies create the website but not the blog. You need to have a blog. It allows your clients to get more insight into what you do, your background, your history and more. If you make sure to tag your articles, use keywords, etc this will help people stumble across you on google.

-Get on Twitter. Yep, here comes Twitter again, its power can not be denied. You need to get on there and start “Tweeting” posting information, insight, background..(wait it is just like a blog! Yes it is, it is called micro-blogging!) Here is the key for success, make sure to comment back to others and engage in conversation. Shhh, this will be our secret.

-Get a Facebook page. Like you did not see this one coming right? You need to have a fanpage. Are you going to get 100,000 fans? No. Do you need a 100,000 fans? No. Will having conversations with some local people and having local people join help with awareness of you in your community? You bet. The key here is when people comment on your fanpage and you comment back, their friends will see it. It is worth its weight in gold.

-You are the expert.  So what I like to tell people is setup you are website like your the expert. So if you are my friend Ed, you are Ed The Real Estate agent. You are Ed, the most knowledgeable Real Estate Agent in San Carlos. Make sure to blog about Real Estate in our area. Your a local guy, talking about homes in New York is not going to make you money. Talking about Homes here in San Carlos, will make you  money. When that family who needs an agent thinks ” We need a bigger home, Who is that online guy from Facebook?” they think of you. You get the idea, right

-Link Love. Make sure to link to other local businesses on your website. They will return the favor. Plus it helps with your Google Page Rank

-Find ways to use online tools in a different way. Try things out. Maybe take orders via Twitter.  Offer to send pictures of products via email.  Give out coupon codes on Facebook. The possibilities are endless. I am talking about taking chances and thinking outside the box.

Bonus tip: Go to Meetups, Tweetups, mixtures or whatever they are called these days. They are all over the place and local. Get out there.

So what are some of the tips I forgot? There must be a ton.

September 9, 2009 By : Category : Blog Tags:, , , ,
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