Is Your Mind Racing?
Photo by Mitchell Bryant Photography
What do you think about when you hear the words social media?
Does your mind start racing?
Social Media 101 for Small Business
Are you struggling to know how to use Social Media effectively?
Maybe you are wondering?
What social media platform should I be on?
There are so many social media platforms.
And there are only so many hours in the day. There has to be some time to work. Right?
Maybe you are of the mindset that you will just wait and see what happens.
After all, you think, social media may be a fad. Maybe it will go away and there will be something new to learn.
I’ll just wait it out.
But it is becoming more and more clear that social media is not a fad.
Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate, the way we do business, the way we interact with the world.
Let’s briefly focus on 6 social media platforms. Do you need to be on all six platforms? Probably not. My suggestion would be to pick one and master it and then expand to another platform.
With over 1 billion active users, Facebook is a no brainer. You got to be there. If you have a business, you need a Facebook Page.
But setting up your Facebook Page is the easy part. You can quickly learn to set up your Facebook Page.
I was talking to a business owner not too long ago, and she told me she had a Facebook Page for her business. But this business owner could tell any customers were coming her way as a result of her Facebook Page.
When I questioned her more, she explained she had handed the Facebook creation over to a teenager who could set up her Page for her. But the business owner never posted to the Facebook Page, and she didn’t know what was posted or how to get to the Page.
While it is okay to take advantage of the Internet generations’ skills, don’ turn it over to them totally. You’ve got to engage with your customers. You have to update your Facebook Page often. Some say as much as 5 times a day.
Being on Facebook makes you more Likeable.
And we know that all things being equal, people do business with the people they like, know, and trust. All things NOT being equal, people usually do business with the people, they like, know and trust.
Facebook gives you “top of mind” positioning.
And if you listen to your fans, you have a free resource. You have a free research department.
Find out what your fans like so you can offer these products and services.
Twitter can become addictive. Twenty-five percent of Twitter users are active sending several tweets every day.
People tweet about everything.
When I drove through a local fast food restaurant recently and then realized I had no straws for my 5 grandchildren that were riding with me, my first thought was to tweet about it. I didn’t because I like to keep my tweets on the positive side.
But many people do tweet about products, both good and bad. You need to know what your customers are saying.
Twitter is also great for internal communication between employees. If you need to improve internal communication between employees, Twitter can help.
You know it is even being used for internal communication in the home. Parents are tweeting their teens to come home for supper or even to come down the stairs to pick up their clothes. Teenagers text each other when they are in the same room.
With Twitter, you are able to listen to and respond to what people are saying about your brand.
Clear up a Myth
Before we go any further, lets clear up a myth. The myth is that Social Media is free.
Is social media free? No
A Twitter account may be free, but social media marketing is not free.
It takes TIME – your time is not free, is it?
Social media takes a lot of time.
It requires your time or someone else’s time so it is not free.
YouTube grew by 53% last year. It is the 2nd largest search engine.
Of course, like all social media, you have to learn to use it well.
You can’t just put a video up and forget about it. You can’t neglect your channel. You have to log in and respond to comments.
You have to post updates regularly.
Pinterest is much more popular with women than men.
I love Pinterest.
Once upon a time, we would shop for items from catalogues in our mailbox.
I remember how excited I was as a young girl waiting for the J.C. Penny’s Catalog to arrive in our mailbox.
I would sit down and wish and circle one thing on every page that I wanted.
Now we Pin It.
The Average Pinner has 34 boards with close to 3,000 pins.
The most popular categories are My Life, Food and Drink, crafts, and Home decor.
When you as a business begin to pin on Pinterest, you don’t only pin your own products. You create many boards that people are interested in and when they come to your boards, they will also see your products.
On your pins you will put a link to your website or blog. Potential customers will click on the link and be directed to your website to buy your products.
Google+ is integrated with your google email. If you have a Google email it is easy to get started with google+.
Google + is about connecting with people who share your interest.
Everyone seems to want to compare Google+ to Facebook, but they are not the same.
Think of it this way.
Twitter – Instant updates; on the spot happenings.
Facebook – friends, family, and old classmates. Facebook is a great way to keep up with people you already know.
Google+ Ideas and Interests. You follow people who share your like interest. You don’t have to know them. For example, if you are passionate about photography, you circle photographers. If you want to know more about social media, circle social media experts.
LinkedIn – professional networking – think of LinkedIn as your Rolodex on Steroids or as your expanded Business Card.
With Google+ you put people into circles. No one knows what circle you put them in. So you might have a group called optimists and a group called pessimists, and no one will know which group you put them in.
You will be able to filter out what you read based on your circles.
Again as you post articles, your goal is to get people to click on a link that will direct them back to your website or blog which is the hub of your social media.
Over 2 million users worldwide. Growing by 2 members per second.
The average annual income is $86,000.
Seventy-four percent of LinkedIn users have a college degree.
Many groups are on LinkedIn – about 2 million groups.
The average age of a LinkedIn User is 41.
A whopping 98% of college graduates have received at least one interview for a job they applied for on LinkedIn (Jessica Brown).
Small business owners must be on social media. The ROI is being in business in the next three to five years.
Start building your presence with your Facebook Page and then expand your presence to other social media platforms.
You may also be interested in reading?
Guy Kawasaki” Book, “What the Plus!”
What Can We Learn from CNN about Social Media (Martha Giffin)
Business Growth and Social Media (Lauren Simonds)