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For a small business owner, knowing the ins-and-outs of social media can be an overwhelming task. Most businesses can benefit from having a presence on both Twitter and Facebook, but one thing to consider is to what extent and how you will use the platforms. The exact position title of the person who would manage your social media strategy and presence would be a Community Manager. Where are you in your social media strategy: just starting out, building community, advanced, etc.? Depending on how you answer the questions above, it should give you a better feel of whether or not you will need to bring someone in to help you manage.
For Twitter, paid advertising would be in the form of Twitter’s Promoted Tweets, Accounts and Trends. If you don’t have a budget for advertising, another way to get people to find your business is to use local publications to do coverage of your business and to include notes within the publication on where they can learn more. What questions do you have about social media do you have that you would like us to answer in Part 2?
This entry was posted in Loyalty and tagged advice, common social media questions, Marketing, small business owners on May 25, 2012 by Yu-kai Chou. Even in 2015, I regularly encounter small business people, consultants, and independent service providers who are new to and inexperienced with social media. They’ve been told over and over again by well-meaning friends, clients, and vendors that they should “do” social media. As a content marketing professional with clients all over the country, I get to work from all my favorite local coffee shops and anywhere with free wifi.
I have come to expect a certain line of follow-up questions when I divulge that I get paid to do social media. Nowadays, the question has morphed into grudging acceptance with a strong reluctance to expand. If I don’t interrupt quickly, a palpable sense of rising panic takes hold and they start dropping OMG-bombs. Which suite of services might you emphasize first to subsidize your new social media expenses? Do you want to give your users a community where they can support each other & reinforce your brand? Do you want to develop an interconnected network to whom you can market your digital downloads and other passive income stream items? In terms of “doing” social media for your small business, we’re talking about social media marketing.
Let’s use digital marketing as the umbrella term for anything that doesn’t get printed on paper or vinyl, that doesn’t get written in the sky, spelled out on a cake, or mown into a crop circle. And, as we know from our friends the lemmings, as more people do it, more people are gonna do it. Suzanne Hoenig is a strategist and writer helping small businesses, nonprofits, and private practitioners craft their marketing copy, grow their online and offline community, and navigate the changing tides of social media and digital content marketing. March 31, 2010 by Tara Jacobsen Social Media Marketing and Social Networking ARE different and how you approach them are going to determine your success or failure. When I started talking about the new marketing tools like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn a while ago, everyone was calling it Social Networking. Social media marketing is deliberately promoting a product or service that your company or business sells. Twitter – having keyword targeted twitter accounts which are geared towards gaining followers who are interested in your product or service and may want to buy from you. Facebook Fan Pages – having a company focused page that is somewhat salesy, while still providing great information and value to your Fans.
Twitter Personal – This kind of twitter account is more friendly and tells more about you as a person, sort of chronicling your daily life and interests. While I like Facebook and talk with my friends, sharing pictures and a bit about my life, Social Networking is SO not for me.
Tara’s “tell it like it is” personality combined with her 100 miles per hour presentations have earned her the title “The Queen of Marketing Ahhh’s” from her raving fans.
HootSuite is a popular app that helps you manage all of your social media accounts from within one application.
For companies that use a website (and you should be), its important to know what kind of traffic your website is getting.
MailChimp has grown to be a recognizable and reputable email marketing service for small businesses. If your small business is quickly growing into something that you can’t manage on your own, than you can use Main Street Hub to help you organize all of your social media content. Adam Post is a Los Angeles Social Media Strategist and Founder of Bright Age Digital Creative Agency. Subscribe to Social Media DataGet the latest updates about all Social Media News and Tools. For small business owners who are new to Social Media, it can be hard to decide where to start with your social media marketing strategy. Many small businesses make the mistake of rushing into social media too quickly, without any real plan or understanding of the marketing tools their respective social media channels provide. When in doubt, its usually best to start your social strategy slowly, sticking with The Big Three: Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. You can often find inspiration and guidance by evaluating your competitors to see how and where they’re performing on social media networks. 93% of the Inc 500 use at least one social media platform or tool based on research by University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
As the fastest-growing private companies in the US, the Inc 500 collectively demonstrate how businesses leverage evolving marketing tools and trends cost-effectively to drive profitable revenues.
Unlike past years, there’s a significant difference between LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter usage and other social media networks. Let’s examine the top performing social media platforms on UMass Dartmouth’s research to determine whether it makes sense for your business to use them.
When using Facebook to achieve business objectives, remember that most participants are active to find out about their family and friends, not your business.
Facebook requires skill to use effectively and consistently especially in light of its ever-changing algorithms.
Most businesses need to support their Facebook presence with advertising to stay top of mind. Twitter can help broaden your message’s reach, especially if you’re active in one or more Twitter chats. The downside of Twitter for a business is gaining sufficient traction to attract a following, combined with the extremely short life of a tweet. While the decline in blogging reported by the Inc 500 research initially surprised me, it does makes sense. Blogging requires resources and time to provide useful, quality content that builds an audience. Blogging creates a social media home base, a place where you have control over your brand and your content. Many businesses regardless of size undervalue the power of YouTube, not only as a video platform but also as the second largest search engine after Google.
Further as we’ve said elsewhere, 2015 is the year of video both for social media and for content marketing. Businesses feel that their videos must look professional and the reality is that video can be hard to do. Pinterest tends to be underutilized by B2B organizations because it’s considered a female haven for clothing, home decor, cooking and DIY interests. Furthermore Pinterest was the fastest growing social media platform globally in 2014 according to Global Web Index. While social media can seem overwhelming and time consuming for a small business, here are 5 actionable tips to help you improve your social media results.

As the leading edge of American industry, the Inc 500 are pushing the limits of social media. At a minimum, be available via LinkedIn and monitor what’s being said about your products, brand and company as well as your employees and competitors. Social media can be an invaluable tool when looking for a new job, or even when trying to boost your skills for your current role.
Subscribe to receive notice of each new actionable marketing post delivered free, directly to your inbox. Tags Blogging, Copyblogger, Facebook, Inc 500, Jon Loomer, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube. Couldn't make it to Social Media Marketing World 2016?Get all the sessions with the SMMW16 Virtual Pass.
The Actionable Marketing Guide participates in the following affiliate marketing programs to bring you great products and services. The majority of the study’s participants were either small business owners or marketers working for small businesses.
Get ideas from their experiences and future plans to help you shape your social marketing strategy when you download the report.
Nearly all survey participants use social media and view it as important for their business or company.
Ninety-three percent of survey respondents indicated using Facebook for social media marketing.
Twitter is gaining on Facebook, however, and with its new advertising opportunities, will be an interesting property to watch over the next year or so.
Those in the B2B space give LinkedIn the majority of their attention, but use Facebook and Twitter too, at respectable rates.
Thirty-five percent of marketers have no idea whether their Facebook efforts are effective. Facebook’s domination of social media marketing despite the fact that most marketers are uncertain of its impact should concern small businesses. On the other hand, 44% of survey respondents have been using social media for two years or less. The Social Media Marketing Industry Report also found that, again, despite the cloudiness surrounding Facebook’s effectiveness, 62% plan to increase activities on it. Sixty-eight percent of survey participants indicated they want to learn more about using Facebook for marketing.
Because of the crush of responsibilities they have, small business owners worry about the time it takes to keep an audience engaged on social channels.
Thirty-three percent of study respondents report that they devote 1 to 5 hours weekly to social media marketing; however, a robust 25% spend 6 to 10 hours each week.
One in three respondents spend 5 hours or less on social media, but 63% spend more than that. As shown in the chart below, solopreneurs and businesses with 2 to 10 people fall mostly in the 1 to 5 or 6 to 10 hours per week category.
Most small businesses spend 6 hours per week or more on social media activities, but a significant amount also spend 11 to 20 hours per week. Whether through social channel engagement, referral source data from Google Analytics or customers sharing in person or by phone how they found the business on social media, business owners and marketers believe social media gets them in front of more and wider audiences.
A business may want to use Facebook to share photos, deals and news (Naked Pizza is the example shown) while using Twitter to engage with users relevant to their business or as a customer service tool.
In some instances, such as when the business has no consumer facing interface, only one of the social media platforms may fit.
Yes, it’s great to be able to say you have 1,000 followers on Twitter, but what matters is the engagement level of your community. If you have a physical business location, such as a restaurant, use a combination of in-store signage and employees telling customers where they can find you online.
Through Facebook’s ad platform, you will be able to create and customize advertising campaigns to fit your target audience. To figure out what type would fit your business best, consult Twitter’s advertising guide. For example, in the local newspaper there was a feature article on a local bakery and how they made their special cupcakes.
They’ve fought the good fight, swam upstream, and resisted peer pressure like the good little critical thinkers that they are. As my fellow coffeeshoppers and I get to know each other, we play the “So, what do you do?” game.
They’ve crystallized, like a college professor who’s given the same lecture to many successive freshman classes. It’s not yet a cost of doing business, like having a business card or letterhead or an ad in the phonebook.
I’m not one of those breathless chest-pounding social media gurus selling so much snake oil.
Instead of listing the myriad ways that different small businesses and service providers succeed with social media, here are those few who may still remain exempt, if they choose. A gregarious person in any of these fields who digs social sharing has the green-field advantage, like a cornerback with no defenders between him and the goal. While I am not an ABC kind of gal (always be closing), I am definitely focused on my business and driving traffic to my web properties and sales. You gather a group of people with like interests and talk among yourselves for the good of the common whole.
It is about making connections with people and getting opportunities by asking a friend of a friend to introduce you to someone of influence. Not to say that you can never sell on this kind of account BUT you are going to be WAY less salesy. I think this is why LinkedIn seems so difficult for me since I AM interested in people’s companies and what they are doing work wise and the setup is to slide into that sideways rather than asking outright.
Check out her marketing courses and products at the Marketing Artfully Shop or visit her Etsy Store, Paperly People. Unlike the rules that come with big business, small business can give you the advantage of calling your own shots and making your own rules.
Whether you are trying to make a new status, upload a new picture, or inform your customers of a new deal, you can do all of these and more to all of your social media accounts from within one application. Having a large and growing email list for your business will help you get information out to your customers in a more direct way and MailChimp will help you maximize those efforts.
Main Street Hub starts by doing a social media evaluation of your company, and then provides you with information that is pertinent to the success of your company. However in today’s day of technologically important resources, using social media is an invaluable part of any small business. One of the first major decisions to make when launching your social campaigns is determining which social media channels are best suited for your brand.
For example, over 90% of Instagram users are under the age of 35, while the majority of Facebook users are between the ages of 33 and 54, according to Business Insider and International Business Times. These brands often find themselves becoming overwhelmed, inundated with mass amounts of data and profile housekeeping, all the while trying to adapt and learn new digital environments.
Limiting yourself to these primary networks will help you focus on achieving realistic, manageable goals with your social campaigns. By definition, these businesses are trendsetters who continue to improve their reach by pushing the limits of new methods. Being present on LinkedIn with a complete profile including strong photographs and recommendations gives you legitimacy. Every business regardless of size needs to be visible to other businesses including your suppliers, distributors, customers, potential employees and influencers.
Even better, help every employee be present on LinkedIn with a professional photograph (no kids or spouses please) and strong keyword-rich descriptions that attract the business you want. This enables you to position yourself and your business as well as to gather information from peers.

This means most businesses, regardless of focus need to consider using Facebook, although it’s more effective for B2C and not-for-profit organizations. While a blog can be a low cost, easy-to-update website that acts like as social media home base, it requires work and resources and it may not yield adequate benefits. Your blog content faces stiffer competition than in the past due to the expansion of content marketing. Curate your own content that you’ve posted on other social media sites on your blog including photographs, video and audio. This is particularly important for businesses where employees don’t feel comfortable writing.
Instead of spending hours on social media checking out things that attract your interest, set specific times for scheduling and sharing content as well as checking in and engaging.
I'm back from San Diego where I presented a workshop session on Blogging at Social Media Marketing World 2016. It’s much the same story for Instagram and Pinterest, both of which doubled their traffic from 2014 to 2015.
Specifically, 71% of businesses with 100+ employees use YouTube, compared to 38% of the self-employed. B2B respondents for this survey report that LinkedIn is their number-one choice for social networking. This makes sense because B2B businesses are looking for the marketing people, facilities managers, buyers and others who rely on LinkedIn for industry connections and news. Without the benefit of a marketing team creating a strategy complete with goals and measurement, small businesses have a harder time evaluating marketing efforts. You’ll see below, too, that 53% plan to increase their ad spend on Facebook this year. Although Facebook has existed since 2006, many small businesses are still figuring out how to use all of its features to grow their customer base, engagement and more. Tools like Hootsuite and Post Planner cut down on time spent, but social media marketing still requires significant time.
At the end of the article, it had a note about how I can watch the full video and also sign-up to their special invite only tasting event on their Facebook page. They’re tired–they’ve got social media fatigue like the rest of us, and they’re not even on it yet! And, you’ll have more and more valid reasons why you should as it continues to become common business practice. 16 Free Marketing Tactics For Promoting Your Business Is Your Small Business Niche a Fit for Social Media? After much research into semantics, I think I have the answer, at least enough for me to sleep at night! Sales and marketing are generally done offline or via private message and are not telegraphed as your goal for connecting. And in today’s world of social media helping us connect with clients in a way never imagined before, it’s easier to gain and retain new customers for life. The best part about HootSuite, is for businesses with multiple departments, they can all access their own part of social media with permissions allowed inside the app. Google Analytics will help you see how many people are coming to your webpage, how long they are staying, where they are coming from and what they are looking at. The fact of the matter is that email still proves to be a valuable resource for many people and one of the top ways to get ahold of people is through the services offered through MailChimp.
Then, as your social media grows, Main Street Hub will help you organize and control all of the new information that you may be coming across.
Consider the options listed here to help you maximize your efforts and get your message out to as many customers as possible. This guide will help you narrow the vast field of social media platforms to select which ones best support your business.
As a small business owner, it is up to you to determine which social media platforms most closely align with your target audience. Post thought leadership and public presentations on SlideShare to expand your business reach. There’s been a diversification of video options such as Vines, Instagram Video and Facebook.
In the coming year, 62% of respondents plan to increase their use of Facebook for marketing purposes.
They may have simply embraced the notion pushed by marketing agencies and media that Facebook is THE place to be, an inexpensive way to market to a targeted audience. These figures give small business owners and marketers a clear idea of the time competitors are investing.
What’s driving this deeper penetration into the “Local” market is two-fold–increasing user adoption of social media in general and Google pushing their Local product. But if they build it and keep building it, they will generate more referrals and more business from their social media presence. HootSuite is more than just a must-have, it is an integral part of any social media campaign.
Google Analytics offers some of the most in-depth details that you would expect from a company like Google.
To compare various social media platform user demographics, check out the Pew Research Internet Project. As a relatively new marketing platform with plenty of buzz, Facebook’s hype could be clouding its true potential for small business.
Instead, social media should be used as a major marketing campaign that helps your company succeed. We’re rewiring our brains, our dopamine systems, our attention spans, our productivity, our sleep, dreams, body clock, and memory. Here are some social media tools for your small business that will help you maximize your brand awareness.
You’re not listing your actual strengths, you’re listing what you think your strengths are. You’re not listing your actual weaknesses, you’re listing what you think your weaknesses are, and so on…That’s why I want to present an alternative approach at writing a business plan. If you’re listing a new product of yours, make sure to mention its main features and characteristics.Depending on the nature of your business, you may just have a single item to offer, which is fine. Surely not anything a small business owner can afford.Besides, not every business has an audience that is so specific. If it turns out that your main audience is actually someone entirely different then nothing bad will happen, but you need to be ready and accept such a situation.Element #3: Why would they buy?What makes your product better or just as good as your competitors’?
Or what’s some other reason someone would want to work with you?Just be honest and not overly promotional. Or just standard marketing methods (which are completely fine, by the way)?Actually, the exact methods are not important here.
No matter what you’re going to end up doing, you need to have a plan for the initial couple of weeks.
Treat it as your getting started approach.Pick a handful of methods that have the most potential in your opinion and start executing them. Chief editor and author at LERAblog, writing useful articles and HOW TOs on various topics. Particularly interested in topics such as Internet, advertising, SEO, web development and business.Do you like this post?

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