Wednesday, June 06, 2012

What A Business Should Know About Social Media


"What should I know about social media marketing and Facebook and Twitter and all that?"

This is a great question! Unfortunately nobody asks it so I am putting it out there.

This is a great question because it starts at the beginning. Many times businesses have already put a website up on the web, maybe they have paddled around on Facebook and started to build their Friend list thinking that this is social marketing ... but not asked this question.

Basic Components For Getting Found Online

Website

It comes to many as a bit of a surprise that a website is a part of social media marketing for local business. I have to say ths seems to be a secret that many "Gurus" don't know either.

The sad reality is that most websites don't work very well.
And there are many things that can be adjusted slightly to make them work
better, without the need for a new website. Indeed, I've seen businesses
replace a website that wasn't effective with a new fancy website with all
the bells and whistles ... that is still not going to be effective.

It may be pretty - and still be useless.

An attractive website is a good thing, and you want your website to be attractive and show your business in a good light. But if nobody finds it, you've done your dough.  If people find it and there is nothing there for them to see that you really know what you're on about then you've wasted that chance to convert their click to your site to a sale.

"Whatever Google Wants ... Google Gets"
Search and how websites are selected by search engines is changing all the time. One constant that you can rely on is this. Google will  always want to see

1) Fresh content
2) Quality Content that is relevant for visitors searching for that topic.

This will never go out of fashion.

Your content needs to be verified that it is yours and original and that what it says was worth saying.

What is content?
Content is articles, blogs, images with good tagging, online discussions and more.

By integrating your effective website with your social media platforms you have the best chance of being found. In search engines - and in the local chit chat that happens online when people are looking for recommendations.

Customers look online now when they want to know about something. As a business owner your job is to give your business the best chance of owning your category in your local market. That means getting your act together and making sure your business is there where it counts.

Facebook
Facebook is not for every business and yet really there are few that can't benefit by having a presence on Facebook and building a local network.  I could probably think of a few but then I could probably give you a very good reason why even those businesses may find it useful. Sometimes those reasons are not obvious to the business owner.

Keep in mind Facebook's agenda is to build Facebook - not your business. You are renting a space there and paying with your time and you do not own that space. You can be evicted any time so remember to spend time on your website and keep that in good order and incorporate your social media profiles with your own property that is your website.

If Facebook goes belly-up - You don't.

Twitter
Twitter can be a great platform to use and you need to understand what it is - and what it isn't. For meeting new people in your local area it can be fantastic and a great way to keep in touch in a casual and sharing way.

Linkedin
For those business owners who think they are too Fine for being on Facebook, Linkedin could be your place of preference. Linkedin is not for pushing out ads it is for many things and connecting to people of influence that you want to meet is just one of them. There are many ways that Linkedin can be used. First and foremost ensure that you have completed your profile and that you look like you know what you are doing. This is where you establish your professional bona fides and this is critical as the first step. While there are many things you can do with Linkedin you need to look the part first. And never, NEVER use Linkedin to spammy sales letters to people in your network!

Blogging
For some the idea of blogging is just such a weird idea that it is beyond comprehension and impossible to consider doing. Well get over it, your blog is your key to keeping your website fresh and the quality content added regularly. Before you start you need to plan what kind of information and content you can use it for. You will be amazed at how much you can do with this blog and once you get into the swing of it, will wonder what you ever did before you had your business blog. This is the key to managing your business information that you want customers to know and to being able to post quality information to your social platforms. Without a blog - what are you going to post? What you had for breakfast? No seriously, nobody with any sense posts that kind of thing to social platforms.

The beauty of the blog for you is that you can package your expertise and reuse that in many different places and contexts. This is what I like to think of as Radical Laziness. Write it once - get to use it over and over. Also sometimes called Increased Productivity.

Your Traditional Marketing
Guess what? This is part of your social marketing too.
When you have a marketing strategy that works, your existing marketing will be aligned with what you are doing online and each of these will support and complement your business.

It's a wild ride but fun too.

And seeing your business become better-known in your market of choice is a great thing to know.

 Related
Develop A Strategy For Social Marketing
Check Your Website For Roadworthiness
Think Social Media Is No Use For Your Business? Think Again.
How To Get Your Local Business Noticed Online
Purpose Then Strategy - Case Study Starting Your Website
  Quick And Dirty Business Review






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