Dec 05 2011
Most small to medium businesses (SMB) feel that social media is a time drain and they don’t have time to do it. The other question is the return on investment of time. Most marketers would tell you that you don’t have time not to do it. Most SMB’s wear a lot of hats and now they are expected to somehow integrate social media into all the other job responsibilities
Below is a quick to do list of what any SMB can do right now to become part of that conversation. There will always be a learning curve, but we have to start somewhere and then build from that.
- Email – Choose the email account you are going to link all your social media together. I have found it is worthwhile to set up a special email (gmail or other) account just for social media.
- Avatar – Pick a consistent image or avatar across all Social Media platforms
- Build a profile and like your Avatar be consistent in your message.
- Open up a twitter account if you don’t already have one.
- Learn how to use it to your advantage.
Because you want to be able to monitor and listen to conversations about you, your product, your company, your industry, your customers and your competition.
- How do you do that?
Use a third party application like TweetDeck (or HootSuite) this allows you to organize your twitter streams into categories.
- What is the advantage?
If you don’t want to have conversations you can mine valuable information or data. You don’t have to sit there and wait for information to unfold. You can peel back the tweets and the information that interests you.
Time: Less than an hour to set up and even less if you already an account. You will want to build your profile and add an avatar.
Facebook business page
- You can have unique url’s or a “vanity url”
- a great opportunity to grow your business using the basic Facebook features
- Take your customer base and start connecting with them on Facebook. At the least it allows you to promote offers, ask questions and engage your customers.
Time: Minimal set up is about an hour.
LinkedIn profile and or Company Profile:
LinkedIn has some unique features and it is made especially for businesses. LinkedIn is marketing Business 2 Business at its best. LinkedIn features allow you to network with like minded professionals, look for new resources and partners, connect with current and past work colleagues and maybe look for a new job.
- Build a company profile page.
This is much the same as your facebook business page
a. What do you put on here:
Blog posts, twitter feed, press releases, video’s
Check out the questions and answers sections on LinkedIn and Groups
Time: Setup may be a little longer two hours.
- create a profile and a business page.
- Why because it is google and it is more fuel for google to know more about you and index your information correctly
- Beware: Something is public on G+ it will be on the search engines.
Time: Set up hour for both
Link your social media together.
- Twitter account to facebook
- facebook account to twitter
- Link your twitter updates to LinkedIn
- If you should have a blog link your blog posts to all sources.
All your updates are flowing across each network and you don’t have to re-post to each of your accounts separately.
Time: One hour
Involve your Website
- Add the links or icons to these social media sites to your website.
- Make them prominent so that people know where you are
- Those who may be looking for you and what you offer can find them.
- The point is we want to make sure that we are providing as many ways as we can for customers and prospects to talk to us.
- Your clients or customer base are your lifeblood and they are using social networks with or without you.
Time: One hour
Get into the stream of social media
Even if you are not a content machine or a great writer you can still carve out a niche for you and your company.
Here are a few of the rationale why a local small to medium business should engage in social media. These are comments from various people polled on twitter.
@swanny_s engage with local business, community, opportunity to maximise local search (google place page, google +) x-marketing opps, links
@MediaPA_NZ cause it’s cheap, it’s direct, targeted, it’s not pushy, more people are reading social media than newspapers or magazines
@JadedTLC smb social media = relationship building. Competition means be different. Best Buy can’t do that.
I will hire a small biz if I think they care. Walmart doesnt care. Make your SMB care thru social media. #loyaltyStillExists
@KevinEkmark the biggest question is whether they know how to and if they have the time to do so. They all should though
**This is an excerpt from a talk I gave to a local business networking group.