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17 Feb 2016


social media

Are you a small business owner researching ways to grow your business? Do you want to attract more leads to your organization, or have heard about Social internet marketing, and now want to try it?

Being a small business owner you face many challenges - limited capital, minimal support staff and having too much to do in what seems like short amount of time. So, how do you increase your small business without heavy investment in marketing and advertising? Answer - by making use of technology. Web 2.0 offers you various tools and techniques that help you to generate leads while increasing the exposure of one's home-based business. Social media is a such tool. Here's everything you should know as a small business owner to start increasing revenues using social websites.

What is Social Media?
Social media marketing is a category of online media where individuals are talking, participating, sharing, networking, and bookmarking online. Examples include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, GooglePlus, and MySpace.

Precisely what is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is utilizing the above mentioned platforms to achieve a new audience of shoppers and create product brand awareness. By spreading word of the product from user to user, Social Media Marketing strives to gain greater legitimacy for the message because it is shared between trusted "friends."

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Which Social networking Channels are most widely used?
Studies show that Facebook & Twitter are most favored social media channels followed closely by YouTube and LinkedIn, GooglePlus.

How is it that Social Media Marketing Interest me?
If you believe this kind of Marketing is just not for you, think again. These platforms provide a large bundle of advantages to small business owners. Here are several reasons why you should consider using Social media marketing for your business.

Exposure: As being a small business owner you rely largely on mlm to channel results in your business - which, consequently relies on your interaction with people. This is the core perception of what Social Media is! But Social media marketing offers virtually unlimited opportunities to interact with people - an incredible number of them! With this interesting way of marketing, your business is no more limited to local leads; you will find leads coming in from a diversified geographic market!

Zero-cost: While other marketing media will be expensive, this type of marketing is fairly free, or requires negligible monetary investment. It's a great low-cost way to get your message across.

Improved online presence: Being on popular social websites platforms strengthens your web presence. The more people mention you on Facebook or Twitter, the greater are the chances of your business being found on relevant web searches such as Google, Yahoo!, or Bing.

Direct experience of prospects: These platforms put you in touch with your customers directly. You will get one-on-one contact with them, know what they really want.

Go viral: Such marketing gives you the opportunity to go viral along with your marketing. Think about this. You set up a video about your business on YouTube. 10 people want it, and five of them share it making use of their friends, who in-turn share it with 20 the best way to. This is known as "viral marketing," therefore it may be a very effective strategy to increase your lead generation.

Just what is a Social Media "game plan" and thinking about have one?
A social networking game plan is a process which includes a few simple steps that can help you achieve your social media objectives. The social media arena is large and you may get lost in it if you don't play by the rules. There's a lot of competition and you have to have a clear plan if you want to stand out of the crowd and obtain noticed.

Your ideal Social networking game plan
A typical idea for your business should include these four steps

 Build your network
 Propagate your presence
 Remain connected
 Monitor

Step 1 - construct your network: The first step is usually to search for and add those users in your network whom you think belong to your target audience segment. When placing a request to add users to your network, it is always better to accompany such requests with a personalized message. You can even look for and join groups that have to your line of business. As an example, if you are a business selling Health drinks and also other health-related products, you could join groups where topics such as nutrition, diet or health are discussed. Bring in more business provide you audience for your products you have to offer. However, when in a group, do remember to include VALUE. Answer questions that you will be equipped to answer, actively engage in discussions, be subtle and aggressively "push" your products.

Step 2-propagate: The next step is to announce your Social Media presence. You can do this with the addition of links to your social websites pages on your website, e-mail signature line or newsletter, for those who have one. You are around with your business-announce it!

Step 3-stay connected:The next step is to stay connected with your fans and group members. Social media initiative is easy to start, but requires effort to keep. And like many networking efforts, email address details are usually not immediate. Acquire permission from group members and others on your network to send e-mails. You can then e-mail relevant content to people on your network. The key here is to send RELEVANT, VALUE ADDING content-not an advertisement of your products/services. If you are a health-drink selling company who is also a part of the nutrition and diet group, you can send links like '10 Best Anti-Oxidant Rich Fruits' and then perhaps add a graphic and some information about your product or service, encouraging people to call you if they're interested. This process will be better-received than just sending the prospects an e-mail flyer totally committed to your product.

Dos and Don'ts
While social networking is all about human interaction and should not be strait-jacketed, here are some tips which will come in handy.

What you should do?
Improve the value of your contacts: Always improve the value of your contacts. Always! Provide them valuable information, tips and other interesting facts that they may use. For example, Jane, a home-based company owner sells health drinks and weight-loss products. So, it seems sensible for her to provide her audience with interesting articles on trading of weight loss.

Remain consistent in your online participation: It is not a one-time effort. It's about building a relationship... and relationships require time. Be consistent in your social media marketing communication. Have an interesting tweet/post/update a minimum of every day. In some few cases, multiple postings each day are even better-but don't forget rule#1-add value. Your posts shouldn't sound like pointless ramblings or advertisements of your respective product/service.

Pay attention to what's being discussed: If you have joined a forum or a group, actively be involved in relevant discussions. Use your specific, professional knowledge to assist others. Contribute to add depth and dimension into a discussion.

Conversation is the key: As mentioned before, social media marketing endures relationships. To build a solid relationship with your prospects, you have to engage in a conversation together. Maintain a 2-way communication between both you and your audience. Take genuine fascination with what they have to say and comply with comments or observations that are made.

Thoroughly have in mind the subject you are speaking about: Position yourself as an expert on these platforms. But ensure that you know what you're speaking about. Research if you aren't certain of something. Mistakes on these platforms spread quickly and damage the trustworthiness of your business.

Personalize your interaction: It's better to personalize your interaction along with your audience. Inquire about a celebration or occasion posted over a Wall, such as a recent trip, or "like" the holiday pictures on Facebook.

Portray your individuality: The largest advantage small business owners have over large corporations is the fact that they are much smaller and haven't lost that real-person feel. Let your audience know the person behind the company. Make sure your interactions add a personal side!

Reply to your customers' grievances ASAP: Were you aware that 88% of customers say unanswered complaints on social networking sites deter them from doing repeat business? And deleting customer complaints is a whole lot worse! So make sure you resolve your customer's complaints on social media marketing platforms immediately. Although you may can't resolve them, a minimum of respond so that they know they're being heard. Acknowledge everything.

Mention your Social Media presence: Advertise your profiles. Always provide links in your social media profile in your website, blog, e-mails and even print materials. For websites and blogs, it's best to add Facebook and twitter widgets that provide a live feed of what's happening on your Facebook/twitter page, there on your website or blog. Provide incentives or value adding information such as whitepapers or articles to be able to encourage people to follow you on social media sites!

Monitor & moderate: Monitor your social websites presence. Find out where your name's coming up online and in what context many experts have used. A Google alert is the simplest way to do this, though there are many free tools available on the internet to monitor your web presence. Also stay in-control of your social media pages. Read what others are putting up on your page and respond promptly.

Syndicate your Social websites content: Content creation needs time. So why not make the most of the information you have? Post your posts on all popular social networking sites and don't hesitate to re-use them. Turn your blog post into a link and put it on Facebook. Morph it into a video and help to increase YouTube and Facebook or morph it into a presentation and put it up on SlideShare. The aim is to get maximum exposure on your content.

What you should not do?

DON'T overtly push your products/services: Social media is a platform

where you build relationships, to create value. It is not an advertising venue. Your audience

will shun you if whatever you talk about is the stuff you sell. Think about it, can you talk to your family

and friends about the products you sell continuously? Of course not! Then don't treat your

social media marketing audience any differently.

DON'T spam your contacts with pointless updates: OK, so now you added two services to your line-up. While it's great to share the news, don't spam your contacts with ads. Put up a link to the new range of products; monitor who is interested and share info on a need-to-know basis.

DON'T have grammar and spelling errors within your posts: You are a small company out to create an impact. Don't spoil it through spelling and grammatical errors. Use spelling/grammar checking tools, but never rely solely on them. Proofread your posts before putting them up online. If spelling or grammar is just not your strong suit, have somebody else proofread your hard work before it goes out

DON'T don't respond to requests for aid in your area of expertise: A high level part of a group or forum, seize every possibility to display your expertise. Do not be a wallflower-actively participate in discussions.

DON'T let your profile get stale: Be sure that your profile is frequently updated and you offer something new. One mistake many small enterprises make is creating social media profiles and then disregarding them. Your social media efforts have to be on-going to carry results.


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