Social Media for Small Business – How to Get Started

When it comes to owning a small business and having less than 20 employees, we often put marketing on the back burner. When it comes to Social Media Marketing we definitely do not have the time. But, should we make the time? Businesses have found (both small and large) that social media marketing is something that everyone should be paying attention to. This gives you a direct line to your clients and customers. More then 50% of the population will have a profile on a social network. More and more of our customers and clients are coming to us through digital means. Posting on a regular basis to social media sites and updating your blog holds great value to business and even greater value to small business. Informing clients and customers about sales, specials, and other promotions helps to promote customer loyalty. It also gives a cool new way for the best marketing tool there is to bolster your business (Word of Mouth Marketing). Customers can easily share your information with friends and followers giving you a direct line to new prospects.

So, how much time is enough? Well that really depends on you. Many experts say that you should devote five to ten hours a week to social media marketing. I say, if you need to, start off slow. Devote at least two hours a week to posting on social media sites and/or updating your blog. You can post information that you have found on other websites that you think will be helpful to your customers on Facebook or Twitter even if you don’t have an article or something else to post yourself. Once you start, you will get the hang of it. You do not have to have complete articles for each post. You can even post a favorite quote or an answer to a question that you recently received from a customer. This creates a dialogue between you and your customers. This also shows how involved you are with your customers and that you are dedicated to making sure that they receive the level of service they deserve.

Social media will not be immediately beneficial for everyone. It takes time and dedication to see a result from using social media as a marketing tool for most. It really depends on the services or products that your company offers. Do not use social media to Sell Sell Sell! It should be used to inform and keep in contact with your customers and prospects. You will find that an open dialogue will go a long way with future sales and customer loyalty.

Is Using Social Media Really That Important?

For years running a business was relatively simple – you had a store or office, went to work each day, kept everything running, printed flyers or brochures to promote your business and used your profits to pay your employees and expenses.

“To do business in the 90’s you needed a Fax machine and a newspaper ad, to do business in the 2000’s you needed a website and a mobile phone. To do business in this decade you need a Blog and Social Media.” Matt Adams, Social Media Expert.

With the advent of computers and the internet things have changed dramatically and if you want to build a presence online then social media really is that important.

Today’s Businesses
These days it’s very easy to start a business. In some cases (depending on the type of business it is), you can be up and running on the net in a couple of hours and many of today’s businesses are run solely online. For many small business owners, an online business is a fantastic way to build their business, while keeping overheads low. E-stores for example, allow people to store all their stock at home and employ maybe one or two people to arrange packaging and postage – far cheaper than renting a warehouse and an office for admin staff.

In today’s tech-savvy world it pays to use as many outlets as you can to build an online presence. Whether you want to believe it or not, the majority of your customers, clients and competitors are online and unless you’re there too, you’re losing money.

Why You Need Social Media
Social media networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube give you the opportunity to reach a greater audience and to connect with your customers and clients in ways that simply weren’t possible ten years ago.

We all know that creating and maintain relationships with customers is the key to a successful business but prior to now we had only distant tools to maintain and build these relationships. In the past we’ve had the phone, recently email and text messaging but these are one-to-one communication mediums. With Social Media we can still have this one-to-one conversations but now we INVOLVE others in the same conversation. This is very powerful from a marketing perspective.

We know that we are more likely to purchase something if it’s recommended by a friend rather than if we simply saw an ad on TV or in the newspaper. Now, you have recommendations in so many different ways.
By combining your website with a Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube Channel, Blog and information-rich articles, you can not only increase the number of people who know about your business but provide them with information, discounts and promotions that you can’t do with print media. And with Social Media the cost is simply your time, unless you’d like to run Pay Per Click marketing campaigns (which you should).

You can connect with customers and clients all over the world from promoting your business and selling products to finding new clients, new media can put the world in your hands with the click of a button. And sites such as Facebook allow your customers and clients an opportunity to communicate with you, no matter where you are.

The Time Is Now
If you’ve been putting off using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or a Blog, you are reducing the opportunities you have to reach your customers and clients. There are still many businesses without websites, which not only makes it difficult for people to find them but drives people to their competitors. By creating an online presence you will increase your availability to your customers and be a greater competitor to your competition.

Don’t let your competition take away your business. Use social media to its fullest to create an impact online and increase your presence to customers old and new. If you want your business to survive in today’s technological world you need to be where your customers are – online and on social media networking sites. Increase your presence and your business, and start your social media marketing campaign today.

Five Tips to Improve Your Facebook Fan Page Exposure

In the past creating a website provided you with an online presence. While it’s still an important part of promoting and marketing your business, it’s no longer enough. When social media came into play it became one of the most effective ways to reach your clientele and was quickly included in many organizations’ marketing plans.

Thinking it would be a passing fad, many hesitated getting involved with social media, but once they realized the potential increased exposure, ability to establish your brand and connect to your clients directly, it soon became one of the best options for businesses of all sizes and shapes.

I consider the top four social media platforms to be Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and an active blog.

Originally established as a way to connect on a personal level only, Facebook is considered a leader in social media. As it has continued to grow and seen the benefits for marketing a business, the Facebook Fan Page provided a way for businesses to promote, market and brand themselves.

This allowed Facebook a great way to allow you to maintain a personal connection with family and friends, while allowing businesses to keep a more professional and controlled image of their products and services, making the Facebook Fan Page an excellent choice for business.

Business Facebook Fan Pages have many of the same features as personal pages. You can still share articles, photos, videos, and applications, but all of the content is related to your business.

Here are my five tips to improve your Fan Page exposure:

Be a resource

Consider the information your customers need to make an informed decision. Posting articles and links to useful information on your wall helps showcase you as an expert and allows you to introduce new products, special promotions and other business details that will entice sales and get your clients to return again and again.

Connections

Facebook’s tools allow you to interact with customers. Be sure to respond promptly to comments, discuss product benefits and link new customers to your website for more information. Increase client loyalty by targeting your offers without being spammy.

Give it a Human Touch

To increase the level of connection with your clients, as long as you keep it professional, pictures and personal information put a face on you and your company. This is a great way to get followers.

Make Frequent and Timely Updates

Keep your profile, articles, photos and video content up-to-date and current. It’s not enough to throw up a page and ignore it. Make sure to respond to customers who become fans. Create a group for your business and encourage participation. You should also be involved, answer questions and share expertise related to your business, in groups that connect you with your target marked.

Be An Innovator

Facebook moves fast. Don’t be afraid to try the latest thing. Explore webinars, and other interactive media as options to improve business relationships.

Creating a Facebook Fan Page is great way to integrate social media into your business marketing plan. Don’t forget to provide links from your website and/or blog to your Fan Page. Connect through other social media and continue to grow your network. In no time your Fan Page will be an integral part of your successful online marketing campaign.

Facebook for Your Business: Why You Should Create a Facebook Page

Should you start using Facebook for your business promotion needs? The answer is pretty much a no-brainer, especially if your business is largely based online. And if you don’t have a website but feel the need to create an online presence for your company, a Facebook page is the perfect alternative.

Let’s talk a little bit about the benefits your company or website will enjoy when you use Facebook for your business. First of all, since Facebook is free to use, you don’t have to invest in a domain name and web hosting if you don’t want to. Some companies use their Facebook page solely for the purpose of acting as their official website. Some even employ Facebook add-ons to add full-page graphics to their Facebook walls. These are often click-able, and can direct viewers to a special promotion on your website or to a product you are selling.

Next, Facebook offers probably the best way to find out who likes your company. With just a simple click of the “Like” button, your fans can subscribe to all of your updates, post comments on your statuses, write on your Facebook wall and more. The more interaction you allow on your page (which can be edited in the page settings area), the more you’ll encourage your followers to pay attention to what you say when you post an update.

You can use your platform on Facebook to notify fans of changes to your website, sales and promotions, special offers and more. If you really want to start getting personal, upload pictures of employees hanging out in the office, making new products, designing site layouts or whatever else comes to mind. Since Facebook is all about socializing, the more you get personal, the better you’ll connect with your fans.

Just like email newsletters or Tweets, you need to post updates and reach out to your followers on a regular basis. With social media, this should be perhaps more frequent than you send out your email newsletters. Even if you don’t have much to say, simply showing your fans you care is a good way to keep followers from hitting the “unlike” button. You might think about posting a status daily, or at least a few times a week. Keep your company’s updates flowing through their feeds, but don’t pepper them with too much needless information or spammy posts.

Try to fill up your page with visually interesting media as much as possible. Photos, logos, Facebook wallpapers, and other colorful, eye-catching media are a great start. You might even try to post videos from time to time, even if they only detail seemingly monotonous aspects of your business. You never know what might catch a client’s interest!

You really don’t have anything to lose by using Facebook for your business. Just be sure to promote your page on your website, business cards, ads, commercials and any other medium you use to draw clients to your website or company. The more “likes” you get, the more followers you’ll receive, and that translates to more sales.

Social Media Marketing Tips That Will Brand You As A Leader

Everyone seems to want to know about social media marketing tips. Social media marketing can prove to be very lucrative and beneficial to your website or business. Media sites are not just for teenagers anymore but have allowed businesses to reach out on a more personal level with their customers.

Social networking can help to improve brand loyalty, boosts sales, and even help with lead generation. There are many different ways to get started in social media marketing. Having a company blog is one of the easiest ways to let people know all about what it is that you have to bring to the table. When you start blogging you should do your very best to create the most incredible content known to man.

Generating good content is not enough. When creating content keep it fresh and up to date. These tips will help you generate traffic by keeping folks coming back for more time and time again. Other social media marketing tips on blogging include adding Tweet This and Like This buttons at the bottom of your articles or entries. This can easily be done with Word Press. You should also be sure to include links in your blogs. Spread the love around people.

Another marketing tip is to make it very simple for interested parties to subscribe to your blog via email. Also, be sure to comment on other people’s blogs that are in your niche. By commenting on other blogs, you are sure to get noticed. Other social media marketing tips include posting your blogs on Face Book as soon as you possibly can. If someone leaves a comment on your Face Book page, respond.

Let people know that you are a company that cares.

One of the most important things that you can do with l media sites is to engage in as much activity as you possibly have time for. Devote yourself as much as you can to each activity or project that you begin. The most important part of getting marketing tips to work is to use them to your advantage as best as you can.

When you are trying to get followers on networking sites remember that sometimes quantity is more important than quality. When using Twitter to market your goods or services, be sure to Tweet as often as you can with updates. Submit videos to You Tube that are chocked full of information as well as entertainment.

These few social marketing tips can be just the thing that you need to get your business or website where you want them to be. Using social media marketing is like playing a giant game of “telephone” all across the globe. You promote your product to as many as possible. They love your product so much that they go out and tell a friend. This is the business premise of Face Book and other social media networking sites. Putting these social media marketing tips to good use could prove to be the best decision for your business.

Secrets of Twitter and Social Media in Building a List of Targeted, Hungry Prospects

Twitter is without a doubt a popular platform. Not only does it have millions of subscribers but famous people from all over the world are signed up to this website. With this reason, online sellers have a good chance of reaching their goal in list building with the help of this site along with other social media websites.

Types of sites

There are a lot of social media sites to choose from, there’s Twitter, Facebook, Friendster, MySpace and more. But the main objective of these sites is to bring people closer and provide smooth and instant communication.

It is not a surprise that online marketers have chosen Twitter to promote, sell their products and connect with their target market. Entrepreneurs are able to connect with millions of users from all over the world, making it easier for sellers to populate their list of leads. But there is more to it than just collecting contact information of your potential buyers; it can also help in increasing your sales.

Popularity of sites

Social media sites have been popular for years and they are getting better and better. Sites like Friendster and MySpace may have gone down in popularity rating but they are still around. Do not be too concerned about a social media site closing down, because this almost never happens.

Do not worry about a decrease in your list of subscribers over time, just focus on the present and think of ways to gain subscribers. Don’t be afraid to try new strategies and be-friend fellow social media users. They might be able to offer help and advice on how you can reach your goal in list building and boost your sales.

Relationship building

Social media sites have this unique ability of letting you feel closer and build relationships with your customers. In blogs, the more you post information or experiences that are applicable to other people, the more comments and readers you gain. The same situation applies to “tweets”.

With “tweets”, it is easier to inform customers about product updates, promotions, and sales. You can even include a promotional code that is only valid for those who have read the promotion from a certain site. People will be more than happy to follow you and read your updates.

List building is not the only benefit in joining Twitter and other social media sites. These sites ensure that you are able to update your customers, and you are updated with what your customers think of your product. It helps improve your relationship with your customers and boost your sales at the same time.

Internet Marketing Success – Why Are You Still Doing This?

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, they’re all great sources of people to show your opportunity to and are great tools for increasing your internet marketing success. But I still see so many people wasting their valuable time doing this in groups.

And not just any group but network marketing groups.

I know that you are excited about your business but please stop posting links to your business opportunity within these groups. I know you heard this all before but let’s think about what you are doing for one second.

You are posting in groups where everyone else is doing exactly the same thing as you, so what makes you so different?

Your nice pink shine website?

Your product?

How about your comp plan?

It’s none of these things because the truth is you are no different to anybody else. You are trying to sell people on a problem they already have, that they can’t make any money in their own opportunity.

You have to stand out from the crowd and do something complete different from everyone else, offer something that most people know nothing about and build a business with them.

The truth is I love all this spam in groups, it’s a great opportunity for me to help others. In fact it’s a gold mine of opportunity if you know how to play the game.

So how can you turn it into opportunity?

Simply by offering your help. If somebody is doing this in one of your groups send them a message kindly asking them to stop and that you would like to show them a more profitable way of building their business.

You don’t have to get angry or fall out with them but use the situation as an opportunity to get to know them. Most of not all will be so happy that somebody has taken the time to show them something that actually works they will jump at the chance.

You will get the odd one or two who will claim they are millionaires and extremely successful, and that’s great because the only people they are kidding is themselves.

Your internet marketing success will come down to the relationships that you build online and offline. Those people who help others are the ones that will enjoy the success they deserve.

So take the time to build those relationships and if you’re not sure what to post in groups or how to make that great content find somebody the does. Just look for the people post blog content, educational videos and articles and connect with them.

Ask for their help and they will give it to you. They will show you exactly what to do and how to do it.

How to Embed YouTube Videos on Your Wall on Facebook

One of the most popular items you’ll see posted onto a Facebook wall are videos. Videos have a profound appeal because they entertain us, they inform us, and they are easy to digest – much like Facebook. In a fast-paced world where we want our information quick, informative and adaptable, videos are often the answer. This is just as true for social media platforms as it is anywhere else.

So let’s say you’ve discovered a great YouTube video that you want to share. Perhaps it’s not already going viral (spreading wildly), or maybe you’ve created the video yourself. YouTube makes sharing the video easy and quick if you follow these steps.

1. Open YouTube in your web browser, and locate the video that you want to share.

2. Click on the image or title link for that video, and when it starts to play, pause the video.

3. Under the pause button you’ll see a horizontal row of buttons – “Like,” “Dislike,” “Add to,” and “Share.”

4. Click the “Share” button. When you do, a drop-down box will open.

5. You’ll see a hyperlink that allows you to “Link to this Video” and you’ll see a Facebook icon. (You’ll also see Twitter, Google+, and a “More” option if you want to share the video on other sites, too.)

6. The easiest option is to select the Facebook icon, click on it, and when you do, a window will open on your monitor with a preview of the video, and a box for you to say something about the video before you post it. If you have linked your YouTube account to your Facebook account, you will be all set to post to your own wall without ever leaving the YouTube site. All you have to do is decide what you want to say before you post it, and click “Share Link.”

Note: If you’re not logged in already, you may be asked to log in to Facebook on that window, but the log in is secure and easy. Once you’ve logged in, you’re ready to share.

7. You can also copy the hyperlink and manually go to your Facebook wall. Once there, select “Update Status,” and paste the link into your Status feed, then “Post.” However, this will only paste the link onto your wall, and not the video image preview. Most people prefer to see the image, so they know what they’re getting into before they click on your link, so this is a “2nd choice” option.

While this sounds more detailed than you might think, it’s actually very simple to do and a whole new world can open up to you with your new social media sharing skills!

How to Use Social Media for Your Business

Using social media as a tool to promote a site is something that is becoming more and more common, as various people have finally worked out that this method allows the promotion of a site to millions of different people. Generally speaking there are three different social media sites that people use in order to increase the amount of exposure that they get, namely Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But what are the relative merits of each of these different social networking hubs?

Facebook

Facebook is the biggest social media site around and therefore it is incredibly important that you use this site to engage with a huge number of different people. Granted, these people are not going to see your updates unless they are your friends or like your page, but this can be accomplished by encouraging all visitors to your site to click on the “like” button on your page and therefore receive all of the news from your business.

It must be remembered when using Facebook though that it is not a site designed for selling – it is a social site designed to facilitate dialog between people. This means that you should ensure that you mix your different updates up, with some being salesy and others being more of an attempt to start a discussion with the people getting the updates. In fact, engaging with friends and those liking your business can even be a great way to push sales forward, as people will be more inclined to buy from a site that they feel part of.

Twitter

Twitter is, in my option, basically a slimmed down version of Facebook that allows you to connect with people but doesn’t involve the endless amounts of groups, game requests and other trash that you are privy to. This means that Twitter is simple – all you have to do is write your Tweet and then post it, usually along with a link.

Twitter is a great tool for internet marketers as it is, like Facebook, completely targeted, but unlike Facebook there are no distractions to make people miss your updates. It is also easy to follow people in Twitter with the same interests as you by searching through the hashtags, meaning that you can get a completely targeted audience when they follow you back.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the new kid on the block and, as such, people don’t fully understand yet about the different aspects that using LinkedIn can provide to a business. What is known is that it connects different professionals together and as such it is a great platform for making working relationships an expanding your business in different ways. It won’t be a good place to make sales though, as people on this site are not interested in this at all.

So, as can be seen, Twitter and Facebook are great ways to engage with potential customers and therefore up the amounts of profit that your website makes. If you want to forge new business relationships and increase your potential, LinkedIn is without doubt the way to go. My advice though? Sign up to all three and get the best of every world!

How to Use Facebook for Business: Five Top Tips

There are a number of ways you can begin learning how to use Facebook for business. Facebook offers a variety of methods, free and paid, that help you gain more exposure for your company. This is especially helpful if you have a brand new website that you need to promote, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money in doing so.

Here are some ways you can start promoting your company using Facebook. Remember, you can start small. You don’t have to use the paid options if you don’t want to.

1. Make a basic Facebook fan page: Just clicking the “Create a page” button on Facebook will launch you on a three-step process that’s very quick and simple to complete. All you have to do is input the name of the website or company (which cannot be changed, by the way, so make it right the first time!), upload a photo or company logo, and add a company bio or description. Voila! Your page is now up and running.

2. Network with your friends: If you don’t want to learn how to use Facebook for business by paying other people to promote your page, than promote it yourself. Ask your Facebook friends to “like” your page, and offer to like one of theirs in return if they have one.

3. Pay for others to get likes for you: Many start-up web developers and freelance consultants offer services on the side that involve collecting Facebook likes on your behalf. Some offer as many as 500 likes, depending upon how much money you pay them and how much time you give them to go out and get those likes. This is generally a fairly inexpensive endeavor. For instance, some people charge just a few dollars to collect 25 to 50 likes.

4. Pay for ads: Advertise your Facebook page by paying Facebook to post your ad alongside others’ profiles. Select an eye-catching photo that will grab their attention, and write a few words of copy. You might even offer a special deal to those who like your page within a certain time frame. Everyone loves getting a deal, and the more deals you offer in return for likes, the more likes and fans you’ll receive.

5. Trade promotions with a similar business: Instead of making your competition your enemy, make them your friend. Offer to promote their page in a status if they’ll do the same for you. Your page will be promoted amongst their followers, and their page will get exposure amongst your followers. You can even “like” each others pages. These likes will show up on the left side of your fan page, so that when fans visit the page, they’ll see that a company has liked yours and may be inclined to like it as well.

These ideas should help you get started in learning how to use Facebook for business. Remember to start off with the free ideas, then move to the paid ones as you see fit.