Social media is great, but it can have its pitfalls, too. There’s a very specific etiquette that comes with social media (especially as it pertains to business), and if you don’t follow it, you could find yourself banned in such a way that you even hurt your business. Therefore, while the casual atmosphere of social media is certainly great for business, there are some things you should be aware of so that you can be careful, too when getting started with social media.
When it comes to social media for small business, the world is literally your oyster. What does that mean? It means that your customer base has the potential to be worldwide, depending on what you’re selling. Because social networking is so pervasive and can literally reach to every corner of the globe, you have the opportunity to find and target your customers specifically, thus potentially increasing your sales exponentially.
The retail experience is changing daily. The days of one way, push advertising are being transformed with social media so that the user has a greater degree of control and basically opts in for what they want, when they want it. This is very important for retailers because developing a deeper bond with customers will pay big dividends. Keep an eye out next time you go shopping. You will begin to notice the many opportunities for retailers to layer in social media marketing to their relationship building activities. Here are just a few that you will begin to notice in the New Year and many may apply to your business too:
- Reward customers for checking in on Foursquare while shopping
- Tweet the latest coupons to customers
- Provide details about a private client event on Facebook
- Invite customers to become guest bloggers on the blog
- Make shoppers feel special by providing them free product sample offers via Twitter
- Record and post short videos of new product releases via YouTube
- Incentivize store visitors to become Facebook Fans
- Make it easy to rate, review and share store information
There are so many things to communicate via social media. Here is a short list, be sure to add your own:
- Job opportunities
- Promote a contest
- Open house or after hours party
- New product launch
- Store employee of the month or shopper of the month
- Highlight satisfied customers and testimonials
This is just a start. Integrate these social media marketing strategies into your marketing mix and watch your client list grow and profits as well. To learn more about how to use social media marketing in your business, watch a complimentary webinar on Thursday at 1 PM Eastern at www.businesscaseforsocialmedia.com, provided by Social Media Training, Inc.
2010 will be remembered as the year that business professionals took Social Media seriously. For more than 5 years, social media growth was fueled by personal users and businesses that were early adopters. This past year, the “Tipping Point” was reached and businesses got on board the social media train.
Here are some of the mind boggling metrics we witnessed this year:
- Facebook has over 600 million members and is heading towards the 1 Billion mark
- The average Facebook user spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook
- 20 million Facebook users become fans of Pages per day
- 60 million status updates are made per day on Facebook
- Twitter has 190 million users, generating 65 million tweets a day and handling over 800,000 search queries per day
- LinkedIn now has almost 100 million professionals on board
- Over 2 billion videos are streamed every day on YouTube
- Foursquare, the mobile social network, is up to 5 million users with 25,000 new recruits every day. Foursquare is averaging 2 million check-ins daily, as the average user checks in three to four times daily.
- Nearly 4 out of 5 web users visit a social networking site on a monthly basis
- 73% of US companies use social media tools for marketing purposes
- Internet users worldwide spend more hours per week with social media than any other online activity
- 46% of Internet users worldwide interact with social media on a daily basis
The killer question in 2010 was “Where are you?” and this is evidenced by the amazing growth of rivals Foursquare and Gowalla. The process of checking in at your favorite restaurant or retail store is rewriting the rulebook of marketing for small businesses. They can leverage customer’s friends, followers and network connections by providing incentives for people to check in at their location. 2011 will surely bring some national players off the fence and into the location based social networking services.
Your personal brand and influence is easier to build than ever before. Purchasing behaviors are changing, as are the ways people find and take in content. The way we use the Internet has changed, and social media is simply a reflection of these changes. In 2011, be sure that you are educated as the social media frenzy picks up additional speed and that you are taking part in the social media revolution or you’ll get left behind.
Sources: Wikipedia, PEW Charitable Trust, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Foursquare
The Top 5 Winning Headline Strategies That Deliver Results
Nobody will read your content if your headlines are not compelling. The average attention span these days will give you 3-5 seconds to catch your reader. On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest. With all of the new social media platforms, the competition for your customer’s time is intense. You need to grab the reader’s attention to draw them in or you will be wasting your time writing. In order to accomplish this, you’ll need to communicate that your content will be relevant and helpful to the reader (quickly). Do this and your readers will dive right in and devour your work.
Here are the Top 5 Winning Headline Strategies:
Ask a Killer Question Questions have a way of capturing the readers’ attention because they hit a nerve and personalize the content. It can stop them in their tracks and draw them in. EXAMPLE When your customers search for your products on Google, will you be found first or your competition?
Top Ten List Or Top 3, 5, 7, you get the idea. With a list, you automatically communicate to the reader that you’ll save them time because the information will be easy to absorb and well organized. EXAMPLE Top 5 reasons people buy Mercedes Benz automobiles.
Appeal to Emotion People react to emotions. Strong feelings cause interest so stir up the pot and you’ll draw them in. EXAMPLE Is your fear of public speaking killing your career?
Paint a Picture You can pique your reader’s interest by referring to something that cannot be communicated by text alone. Photos or videos are a great way to draw them into your content. EXAMPLE Video of the new Blackberry tablet on YouTube, before the wire.
How to Always Wins My personal favorite is the How To strategy where you are explicitly stating to the reader that you will offer up answers that they need with little effort on their part. You have done all of the research for them so this too saves them time. EXAMPLE How to increase your Twitter followers overnight.
By mastering the art of writing compelling headlines, you will be light years ahead of your competition and you’ll beat the odds that are heavily stacked against you. Many people breeze past most of the content out there but instead, you will command a bigger audience by writing show-stopping headlines.
Learn how to get results with Social Media for your business, Join Us for our next “Business Case for Social Media” Webinar every Thursday at 1pm Eastern.
The difference between success and failure when using social media starts with your profile. 2011 is predicted to be The Year of Social Search. The growth of social search (searching on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) has eclipsed the projections in size and speed. This means you need to ensure that you build a strong foundation. Your profile is the basis of how people get to know you in the social media circles. By doing this, it will ensure that you are found when your prospects are looking for you, your business or what your business has to offer.
Think about this for just a moment: Twitter search gets more than 1 billion queries per day — roughly 31 billion per month. That’s more search queries in a month than Yahoo and Bing combined. Oct. 2010
What is a magnetic profile? First you need get found so your profile must be optimized for your keywords and then you need to have a compelling profile that engages prospects and brings them in to get to know you. The ultimate goal is to have these prospects reach out to connect with you so don’t forget to make sure it is easy to connect with you.
Follow These 3 Critical Steps:
First Add your keywords. There are very important locations on the different platforms to add keywords. On LinkedIn in particular, make sure your job titles and specialties include your keywords.
Second You never get a second chance to make a first impression so think twice on which photo to upload. Make it a memorable picture capturing the essence of who you are.
Third Draft an engaging headline. This will be the first thing people see when you are found in social search and will make a huge difference on whether you get offers to connect and do business.
Why is it so important to optimize your profile? Without optimization, you won’t get found. You’ll be just like the hundreds of millions of people out there that do not see the return on investment from their social media activity. Everyone is so busy these days and we are all on overload so it becomes even more important to be found at the top of social search and to stand out with an engaging profile. Building a strong foundation allows you to achieve many other social media goals so invest wisely and get optimized. Then and only then will you have the Power of Magnetic Attraction.
Learn More This Thursday 1 pm Eastern FREE Webinar “The Business Case for Social Media” Grab Your Spot.
Here is a short video I did sharing how to secure your brand identity online.
Are you spending time on Social Media with no defined business plan? It can easily become an obsession that if not addressed with result in no measurable results for your business.
While we all like to network and hang out in the virtual space sharing ideas, opinions, and passions. You can easily get lost even if you are using some of the social media business tools without a well defined social media strategic plan.
Whether it be bookmarked websites you read every day, news sites you comb, your networks status updates, and recent pictures uploads. You can slowly be sucked in everyday going through these areas spending countless non-productive hours on them every day.
So here are five tips to get started:
1. Pick a few strategies you can use that generate results and be sure to track inquiries, traffic increase, status update engagements, brand awareness, and leads brought in by your results.
2. Define a Strategic Social Media Plan after you implement a few strategies for at least 6 to 12 weeks of measuring your results.
3. Monitor Your Industry, Prospects, and Competition LISTEN with free and/ or paid services such as google.com/alerts or Radian6. Then make adjustments to your Strategic Social Media Plan.
4. Secure advice from industry marketing experts who have been successful with social media.
5. Finally, keep in mind that social media is an ingredient to your already existing marketing efforts to bring together an Integrated Marketing approach.
What additional tips would you offer? We welcome your insight.
I will share just a few areas on how you can accomplish this.
1. If you are looking to create a client community on a specific social platform such as LinkedIn. Make the group private by only approving the members you want in the group and list the group as private.
Bonus: Why would you want a private client community? Hello! So you can market to them while there in the social space, increasing customer share.
2. In regards to recommendations, maybe it would be best not to ask some of your key accounts to write you a recommendation for your social platforms. This way your competition can’t farm your profile. Which brings up point number three?
3. Profile settings, you definitely do not want to show your complete profile nor the groups you maybe a member of along with the complete profile viewing ability of your connections profiles from other inquiring eyes.
These are three simple tips that can help keep a clients information confidential and keep your wallet full of cash.
So what are some ways you work to keep your clients information private on the social platforms?
Can you promote your business on twitter? The answer is yes, you can promote your business on twitter and you can actually drive some really nice results with the right strategies.
Here are a few tips to promote & generate engagement for your business on Twitter.
1. Grow your twitter following by using search.twitter.com and twellow to find like minded followers. You can identify your target market and follow them and usually 30% to 60% will follow you back. You can take a look at services such as Hummingbird to automate this process as well.
2. Be human, while you don’t want to be telling people you just took a shower, you can be authentic and bring real engagement.
3. Use Twitter to get past the gatekeeper by contacting corporate twitter accounts through messaging them with twitter to find your contacts.
4. Post your usual qualifying questions you use in your sales process to drive engagement with your target market.
5. Use URL shortners such as bit.ly to save character space and to measure the statistics (click through on status updates) this will allow you to learn how to refine your status updates to get the most click throughs possible.
6. Promote events prior, during, and post so you can possibly engage with your target market.
These are just some starter tips for businesses and professionals, what tips would you offer?