Archive | September, 2011

10 Reasons Why Every Small Business Should be Using Social Media!

28 Sep

Since Facebook has reached over 700 million users it is no wonder why social media has become such a hot topic in the business world. Businesses both large and small are trying to maximize their social presence, and as a small business you must be wondering if social media is a good investment of your time. I assure you that a social media campaign is well worth your time and have compiled a Top 10 list of how social media helps small businesses.

1. Social Media Creates a Personal Connection

Instead of cold calling people or purchasing leads, you can now establish a rapport with your fans, something a business of almost any size can do with social media. On Facebook, businesses and pages can update statuses, upload photos and comment just as much as a personal page. By updating often and engaging your fans your company develops a personality that customers want to do business with.

2. Social Media connects to customers with ease

Instead of having to set up support pages and forums (which you probably should still do), customers can post questions on your Facebook wall or tweet them. Not only will your response feel more personal, but other people perusing your Facebook or Twitter can see that you’ve answered these questions, showing that you care.

3. Social Media turns your customers into advertisers

 

Whenever a customer comments on your Facebook page, ‘Likes’ your status, retweets/mentions you, or even comments on your blog you are getting free publicity from real people. This is the best type of advertisement; because it is genuine and personal, and it doesn’t cost a dime. Your customers are literally creating ad content for you and by catering to those people they will spread your message like wildfire.

4. Social Media gives you incredible amounts of data

 

Back in the day you would either have to cold call people or buy expensive leads from other companies in order to find customers. With social media, this need is nonexistent: Facebook has over 700 million users and continues to grow and LinkedIn has over 100 million users. All of these websites are already populated with vast amounts of information about people, information that will make you contacting them much easier.

5. Social Media encourages lead generation

Cold calling and buying leads is frowned upon, because they are considered to be invasive, but customers thrive on interactions in social media. Not only is it ok to connect to people with whom you haven’t talked in years or people you’ve never talked to at all, it’s encouraged. For small businesses the challenge is getting your name out and this has never been easier!

6. Social Media capitalizes on a SMBs adaptability

 

While this is not specifically about social media, it is involved: the web is changing at an astonishing rate. You, as the owner of a small business will be able to better adapt to the changing climate when the next ‘Facebook’ arrives instead of having to march up a chain of bureaucracy.

7. Social Media is cheaper than websites

 

Using social media can save you a lot of hassle in arranging your online presence. Instead of relying solely on a website for which you have to pay to design and to host, you can let Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn do the hosting for you. Design is also not much of a problem because you can’t generally change the way these sites look, although you could use an excellent tool like Wix.com to create custom Facebook tabs, which offers hundreds of templates so that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. This will be significantly cheaper than hiring a web designer. Also, Google fully indexes pages on social sites, so your business becomes searchable through social media.

8. Social Media provides cheaper ads

 

Along the line of a cheaper bar of entry, TV ads are now possible, but for a fraction of the price. I’m talking of YouTube, the second largest search engine after Google. With a Flip video camera you can create ads showing off your product, or tutorials on using your product that have the potential to be viewed hundreds of millions of times (did I mention that it’s free to post on YouTube?).

9. Social Media Puts the Customer in Charge&Strengthens Relationships

 

While this might be a scary idea for the business owners, the reality is that the tide is flowing that way, regardless of industry. Yelp is a good example of the people being in charge, where they are in charge of rating businesses. A customer is more likely to be interested in your product if other customers have said it’s good instead of just you telling them that it is. Good reviews become free publicity for your business, and bad reviews give you immediate insight into aspects of your business that need fine tuning.

10. Social Media Widens Your Influence

 

Advertising on a national level can be very expensive, but with websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, location becomes less important. This is especially useful for businesses that can ship their products anywhere or whose products consist of downloads.

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Tips to Increase your Business’ Facebook Presence

12 Sep

I had the pleasure of attending a webinar today presented by Social Media Examiner entitled “9 Companies Doing Social Media Right and What You Need to Know”.  Guest speakers Mari Smith and Michael Stelzner provide indepth examinations of 9 companies Facebook profiles.  These companies ranged from B2B to B2C companies and small business to large brands.

Following is a list of points and tips that I took from this webinar.  These hints will help you to boost your existing Facebook presence and engage your existing Facebook fan base.  Also, these tips will allow you to gain new connections via Facebook.

  • Send to a friend app
  • Be bigger than your brand
  • Compelling content
  • Use creative photos
  • Encourage fans to upload their own photos-good way to share and provide social proof
  • Short posts (80 or less words)
  • Effective questions in status posts
  • Post regularly
  • Timing of posts important
  • Download a coupon
  • Interactive welcome page with creative use of hot spots
  • Use video to instruct and inspire Facebook comment plug in app
  • Integrate blog
  • Manual blog posts to Facebook
  • Ask poll questions
  • Donations for likes
  • Avatar and photo strip
  • Refer or tell friends app
  • Draw attention to tabs
  • Use avatar to reinforce campaigns
  • Integrate retail store in Facebook site
  • Rules of posting (what your business will post and how fans should interact)
  • Give reason to like your page (contents, news and coupons)
  • Facebook places to check in
  • Have fun with your brand
  • Add join our mailing list tab
  • Fan of the week
  • Integrate with website
  • Speak in first person when writing status updates
  • Mix manual posts with automated posts
  • Take advantage of photo strips
  • Cross promote on Facebook like button
  • Cross promote by sending email campaigns and reminders to “like” your page
  • 500-1000 fans is the amount of fans where you start to see most interaction
  • Sponsored stories (paid product) can help gain likes by 40%
You can view this hour long webinar by following this link http://www.whitepapersource.com/slides/ .  For more information on how to implement any of the above ideas into your existing Facebook page contact Jessica Sala at Sala Social Marketing.  We have many different strategic social media marketing plans at a variety of price points.