It feels like you can’t turn on the TV without hearing someone talking about Facebook, Twitter or blogging. If that all sounds foreign to you, don’t worry, we will catch you up. But how can all these fads help your business? Believe it or not, social media marketing can help your business. BUT, it is possible to waste a lot of time, so make sure you have a plan.
Social media is no longer for teenagers talking about what party they will attend this weekend. Social media has evolved into a new way to talk about you, your company and what you do. The catch is, you have to first establish yourself. If you enter the social media world without first earning the trust of your followers…you just become another “sales” person in cyberspace.
In all honesty, the rules of the game are not all that different from regular business. Think back to networking, isn’t it always better to give a referral before you receive? The more you give the more you receive. The same is true in cyberspace.
To get started, the first site you should setup a profile on is www.LinkedIn.com. The site is completely geared towards business and if you are not on it, sign up as soon as you finish reading this article.
LinkedIn is a great tool for business because you can use it to make new connections (make new friends), learn about people (it is a mini resume), learn who your friends know and show off your expertise.
My favorite experience with LinkedIn is when I used it to find a new connection. I was once introduced to a friend of a friend. Before talking to her on the phone, I went to LinkedIn to see if she had a profile. I found her profile and realized we had a common friend. Once we started the conversation, I broke the ice to ask her if she knew Sara. We spoke about how we knew Sara and we had a warm friendly conversation - a GREAT ice breaker. No longer was the call a “cold call” but a friendly warm conversation. We ended up not being able to do business, but many referrals were sent back and forth.
LinkedIn also has question and answer sections on the site. This is a great way to help others and be able to showcase your expertise on a subject.
Finally, you can use LinkedIn as a tool to introduce friends, you do not have to do anything other than send an email and you get TONS of credit for your efforts.
So get started with social media and join LinkedIn. If you want to get your connections list started, send me a request to connect. You can reach me at http://www.linkedin.com/in/kimalbritton.
Another great tool for business is blogging. Blogging has become the most cost effective and easiest way to stay in front of your clients. In the end, social media is cool, but if it does not do anything to help your business, it is worthless. So, let’s tie blogging to your business.
The most important part of your marketing plan should be consistent interaction with your customers. Blogging is just that! An easy way to stay in front of your clients. It also serves as a way to help keep your website fresh and updated. Since you have all the great content for your blog, find more uses for it. Use your blog articles in your company newsletter, submit to article sites like ezinearticles.com or even submit them to the local paper. Make the most of your content and do not be afraid to reuse material.
Hopefully, you are excited and want to setup your blog. I already know your next question…yes I am psychic. How much is this going to cost?
Well, here is the good news, you can get started for free! Below are some sites to get started:
Once you get your site up (or if you have one already), send me a link – firstname.lastname@example.org.
LinkedIn and blogging are the two places most businesses should make sure they have a presence. Other social networking sites include the popular Facebook and Twitter, but not every business should be on every social site. Believe it or not, there are over 15 different categories of social media, such as photo sharing, podcasts, RSS, video sharing, social networking, micro-blogging, event sharing, article submission, bookmarking, music sharing, document sharing, wikis and more. The possibilities with social media are endless, which is why you must have a plan - or you will end up wasting a lot of time.
I recommend that each business examine the different types of social media and decide on 2-3 different types (or sites) to get started on. Focus on 2-3 types and decide how much time you will dedicate to keeping them updated each week. Go in with a plan and you will be successful.