Small Business Social Media Blocking and Tackling 101

Take advantage of social media to generate visibility and sales.

 

Marketing with social media can help you increase sales, drive traffic to your site or store, learn about your competitors and find potential partners.

Before getting started in social media, list your goals. What do you hope to achieve?

Marketing with Facebook

The biggest social network, Facebook appeals to a wide age range and is a good marketing tool for consumer-oriented businesses with products that inspire “fans.”

1. Create a Facebook page for business.

You might already have a personal Facebook page. A business page is different. Start with basic information such as the name of your business, your address, website and contact phone numbers.

2. Develop a 360º strategy.

Integrate your Facebook efforts with your other social media and marketing programs. Your Facebook page should link to your Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and your website.

3. Update your status regularly.

Keep users interested by posting consistently. Vary your posts, including text, photos and videos. Ask questions, hold contests or conduct surveys.

4. Use APPS. Facebook offers thousands of applications (apps) to help users connect; visit the Facebook “Applications Directory” to learn more.

5. Keep learning.

Facebook is constantly evolving. Visit Facebook’s “Ads and Business Solutions” section to learn about new tools for business.

Visit these key Facebook links to get started.

  • Create a Page: www.facebook.com/pages/create.php
  • Ads and Business Solutions: www.facebook.com/business
  • Facebook Apps: www.facebook.com/apps
  • User Help: www.facebook.com/help

Marketing with LinkedIn

LinkedIn is more business-oriented than Facebook, making it a great marketing tool for business-to-business companies. You can use LinkedIn to find prospective customers, promote yourself as an expert and survey user groups.

1. Create a profile.

Create a LinkedIn profile for yourself and a separate company profile for your business.

2. Add contacts.

Import contacts from your business email, Gmail and any other email sources. You can also add personal contacts—you never know who will be a source of new business.

3. Get and give recommendations.

Ask business associates, partners and other business contacts for recommendations, and offer to recommend people you know. Whenever you finish a project, ask the client for a recommendation.

4. Ask and answer questions.

Use LinkedIn Answers to pose and answer questions, establishing your expertise.

5. Join a group.  

There are thousands of groups on LinkedIn, so you’re sure to find dozens in your industry to choose from. Also join groups your clients or prospects might be in.

Marketing with Twitter

Twitter is a great marketing tool for both business-to-business and consumer-focused companies to spread the word about timely news and deals, attract mobile users and build brand awareness.

Here’s how to get started.

1. Follow other users:

Begin by importing contacts from your address book, searching for key customers, and following big names or thought leaders in your industry. Then see who the people you follow are following.

2. Engage:

Comment on or retweet others’ tweets; ask questions; or share useful links, articles or blog posts.

Next- Twitter 3-5 Social media resources and time management