Small Business Social Media Marketing Plan – First Steps

When deciding how you should approach social media for your small business there are a couple things to make sure you don’t overlook. We are going to cover those ideas in this small business social media article today.

1. Your customers want to connect with people and associate those people first before they will ever care about a brand.

What you want to do is make sure that you have a personality that represents your business and brand. Then include the brand along side of pictures, videos or communication. You can do this naturally through demos of the product or service, case studies or just being on site of your business and telling stories.

What this does is mix the feelings that your target market generates from the relationship they feel they build with the person that is focusing on your marketing through social media.

In our office we call the person that is driving the social media marketing the Social Business Advocate or Advocate for short.

2. What ever the advocate is using as content to connect with your target market has to be congruent with what would entertain, inspire or engage your target market.

One way to make sure you are on target with your communications is to outline or describe your target market in detail.

When you do this consider a few different kinds of people that buy from you. Its IMPORTANT to not to skip this part. The more detail you can put into understanding your target market the more on target your communications will be and the more response you will get from your social media marketing efforts for your small business.

The key thing to remember is to make your goal to establish a trusting relationship and the more fun you can tie into your communications the more you will keep your target markets attention.

Business Social Network – Using It Efficiently In Your Business for Free

Social networking is considered to be very beneficial for business owners who want to take their business to a whole new level without investing much into it. This particular method can help a business rise from the ashes regardless of its size. The main thing that matters here is the kind of service that a business provides. People nowadays are more interested to learn about the quality of products they purchase and if you want them to purchase what you manufacture, then you must take one step forward and establish a proper business social network. A strong network is what your business needs if you want it to rise in the least possible time. Keep on reading how this free of cost method can be put to use in your business for the greater good.

The Internet has given so much to this world and now social networking has swooped in taking over the entire young generation in terms of communication. Gradually, people of almost all age groups are driving themselves into it as it is fun and connects them to the world just through a simple internet platform for which one doesn’t even have to pay a single penny. Several business entrepreneurs have targeted social media in order to set up a strong business social network so that they can advertise about their products for attracting people’s attention. They have greatly benefitted by doing that as it educates them about the fundamentals of online marketing for quicker business expansion.

Earlier, advertising on the internet was a very difficult task as it required lots of clearances for getting through different barriers. Today, with the help of social media business owners can very easily create their own social hub for which they don’t even have to invest anything. The real investment however lies in the creativity and the level up to which the business has to maintain its reputation for the services that it provides. Networking online is highly safe and this is the major reason why business enterprises are targeting it constantly for earning fame. Web marketing is a unique method that will help you make your brand famous in the target society and for that, all you need to do is go online and find the most appropriate networking portal.

There are plenty of portals that can help you in that segment and therefore you need to choose them according to their rankings and reliability. Advertising might get a bit difficult if you go for the highest order social networking hub as you will find a great deal of competition there. It is therefore crucial that you choose a decent portal that is reliable and also gives plenty of options for enhancing the safety. For a better idea, you should visit all the social networking platforms and then make a decision depending upon the given functionalities.

So this was all about using business social network to its fullest potential for taking your business operations to an entirely new level. I hope you get all the attention you need through your business network.

7 Essential Elements of a Business Social Media Networking Strategy

With the rapid proliferation of social media networks and social media tools having a social media networking plan is the key to using them effectively.  A social media networking plan empowers to you simplify your social networking efforts by aligning your social networks with your business goals. A social networking plan will also help you track results – so you can see how effective each network is in achieving your business goals and, if necessary, try other networks. That way you don’t waste time in a social network if it is not meeting your identified goals.

Here are 7 essential elements of an effective social media networking plan.

1. Establish your social networking goals

Hint: Being on the popular social media networking sites because everyone else is on them and you feel left out isn’t a goal. Everyone knows about Twitter, Linked In and Facebook however these are not the only social networks there are.

Is your goal to raise awareness of your brand? Promote your products? Develop leads? Share your expertise? Network with like-minded people? Get referrals? Then choose a social network that matches that goal and you will get greater success than simply choosing one at random. Your goals should be business goals. Articulate them and write them down. Statistics say that people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them. It’s no different in social media networking.

2. Choose your social networking sites carefully

Since there are literally hundreds of social networking sites you will need to do some experimentation to find what fits your business goals. Twitter, Facebook and Linked In are the most well-known (with Twitter being the site of the hour), and while they are excellent sites they are not the only social networking sites by a long shot.

Sticking with just with just these three may mean you are on the popular sites; however take care you’re not missing out on other or additional business networking opportunities.  For example, while building relationships is the bedrock of doing business online or off, some business social networking sites are more open to promotion alongside relationship building while others frown on or prohibit product or service promotion in various degrees.

Here are some business social networking sites worth checking out. For links see my blog post called “There’s more to Social Networking than Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn” where you’ll see I mention Biznik too.

Apsense.com: Promote products and sites on your business profile and get paid revenue for referrals

Entrepreneur Connect.com: Promote your business on Entrepreneur Magazine’s own social network

FastPitchNetworking.com: Take advantage of email marketing and virtual tradeshows

GoBigNetworking.com is a start up community focused on finding expert advice and funding

Marzar.com: Great for businesses, entrepreneurs and professionals to promote their products, services and discover new business relationships and opportunities, find suppliers and stay abreast of new developments

Konnects.com: Are you in the newspaper and magazine industry? This is worth checking out

Xing.com: Create your own subject specific social network

Once you’ve a feel for some of the business social networks out there choose a limited number in which to participate. It’s almost impossible to be fully active in more than three at a time.

3. Decide on your ideal contacts

Who are you looking for?  While you may have hundreds of contacts, if you decide who you want to reach out to and make deeper connections with up front your social networking will be more effective. Are you looking for corporate executives, authors, writers, recruiters? Be clear about who you want to connect with, because that will determine how you connect with them. Focus on finding like-mined people who share your goals and match your target market. Be selective rather than accepting every invite that comes your way.

4. Participate consistently

Once you’ve chosen your social networks, participate regularly by contributing valuable content, sharing your expertise, answering questions, listening and making new connections. You should also show how you can meet an identified need. Drive traffic back to your own sites by including your signature, site and blog links in your posts, articles, videos etc.

5. Plan your time for social networking

It’s important to allocate your time for participation in social networks up-front and this is where having a social networking plan will help. Many businesses jump in with no real plan, find other things take priority and quickly get overwhelmed with the amount of time it takes to participate fully.  Be patient and develop a strong focused network that supports your business goals.

6. Track and measure your results

Small businesses suffer from a lack of time because they are doing everything themselves. Invest time in building solid relationships, but make sure these are relationships that move you towards your goals. If you’ve set success measures for your social networking from the outset you can track how successful you are in meeting them and make changes accordingly. Success measures could be, for example, the number of referrals received, number of times your free offer has been downloaded, number of leads obtained, or followed up, sign-ups to your e-zine or similar. While getting traffic to your blog or site is good, you must tie what you are doing into your financial goals and plan.

7. Review your plan at intervals

How are you maximizing your time on your business social networks?  Are your chosen networks still relevant to your goals 2-3 months later? How does your activity translate into those goals? Do you need to try another network? Review your social networking plan and tweak it as necessary.

In summary

1. Establish your business social networking goals

2. Choose your social networking sites according to those goals

3. Decide on your ideal contacts

4. Participate fully and consistently

5. Plan your time for social networking

6. Measure your results

7. Review your plan at intervals and make changes where necessary.

Follow this 7-step plan and you’re likely to have a more focused business social networking experience.