Growing a small business in today’s digital world requires more than a website. Social media sites factor in prominently because search result algorithms now include them. These days you need a larger online presence to stay on the first page of search results. To keep up with the competition, your marketing strategy must integrate social networking into the mix.
The top five social media sites used by small businesses are:
· Facebook – 70%
· Twitter – 46%
· LinkedIn – 37%
· YouTube – 25%
· Google+ – 11%
(Fall 2011 Attitudes and Outlook Survey, Constant Contact)
For best results, begin with one social media site and concentrate your efforts there before adding another. Check out competitors’ pages to see what they’re doing and how they’re doing it before building your page. To help develop your social networking strategy, search the other social media sites for your industry and product/service to learn who their followers are and what they’re talking about. Below are overviews of the top social media sites to help you choose which to use first and how to use it effectively.
Over the last six years, Facebook has become the largest social media site with 800 million users worldwide. It’s easy to see why 96% of businesses doing social media marketing have a Facebook account (Survey).
Add comments every day to your page and gain the viral advantage of your page being seen by all of your friends, and their friends, and their friends’ friends…thousands of people!
Take advantage of the many business features available, such as business polls, contacts forms, and exclusive offers for users who “like” your page to grow your following.
Twitter is quickly gaining in popularity – 76% of businesses now have Twitter sites, up from 60% in spring 2011 (Survey). Twitter is an excellent tool for conversations, building community and finding the latest industry news.
“Retweet” and comment on all tweets you receive, and find other Twitter pages to comment on, to build your following and their trust in you.
Engage people with more personal than business messages. Twitter isn’t selling, it’s chatting. But 60% of business executives using Twitter found it effective for marketing their business (Survey).
LinkedIn describes itself as “an online service helping professionals find and connect with one another more effectively.” With nearly 50 million users, LinkedIn is a great place to network, to learn who knows whom and make introductions – 55% of small businesses find LinkedIn an effective form of marketing (Survey).
Ask for and give “recommendations” to fellow LinkedIn connections – these lend credibility to you and your business.
Launch a group and lead discussions on topics related to your business, or join in other group conversations, to help establish yourself as a knowledgeable professional.
Those small businesses already having some experience and ability with social media marketing experience and creating an online community presence can upshift their marketing by adding videos. YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine with over 3,000,000,000 views per day. And 25% of businesses are experiencing the advantages (Survey)!
You don’t need to be a professional videographer or buy expensive equipment: the most popular videos are often just a person in front of a camera talking about what they know best.
Promote your videos by embedding them in your blog, posting them in all your social media sites and website, and sending an email to everyone you know when you post a new video. Be sure to ask them to share the link!
Google+ launched in July 2011 and is the fastest growing social media site in history. With over 40 million users in October and continuing to grow, what better time to catch the wave and be a part of this increasingly popular platform? Importantly, small business Google+ users will gain an advantage over competitors in Google search results.
To gain the most business presence online, create a business profile and a personal profile with as much information as possible.
Engage your customers and prospects in an open video sharing session that is visible to the circles or individuals you’d like to have drop by for a chat with Hangouts, unique to Google+.
Social media marketing is today’s traditional marketing. It’s where people go to research and shop. You need to be there if you want to grow your business. For successful social networking, you need to:
· Brand social media properties to match all existing materials.
· Implement strategies to increase followers.
· Create compelling content generated to populate the social media space with new material.
· Keep followers engaged.
To learn strategies to put these technologies to work, local Phoenix, Arizona, business owners are invited to attend Social Network Arizona meetings. To integrate social media into your marketing plan, contact the experts at seen BEST Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona. seenBEST helps companies brand social properties and manages them, using the latest tools and analytics, to ensure your business will be seen. Contact seenBest for a free consultation today!