It is refreshing to see how many small business owners are starting to embrace social media. However, many feel that they don’t have the know-how, skills, or time to start a social media program. We suggest starting small. Get comfortable with one platform before heading onto another. Get comfortable with your new tools and inbound marketing tactics. In social media, there is no rush. The point is to begin creating good content that people enjoy and be yourself.
Below are a few of the most visible social media platforms and what they have to offer your small business in this space:
1. Your Website : Does your contact form on your site work? Do you have working links into your social platforms? Check to be sure that each of these works.
2. Google Places and Local Directories: When people are searching their mobile phones for a product or service, is your local business showing up on the Google map? If not, you are missing out on an important way to be visible. You can check out Google Places at : https://accounts.google.com. There are many additional resources custom-made for local businesses: Yelp – https://biz.yelp.com , The Yellow Pages – https://listings.yellowpages.com/Registration/Login.aspx, Bing – http://www.bing.com/local/, CitySlick.net – http://www.cityslick.net/user.php and Local.com – http://exactmatch.local.com/advertise-with-us/ to name a few.
3. YouTube/Vimeo: YouTube is the number 2 search engine. Period! However, both sites and platforms are very high quality and valid in this space. Video helps your SEO and content ratings in general, plus people are visual and like watching videos over text. We know that people linger longer when video is included in the mix, so what are you waiting for?!
4. Facebook: 845 Million users and growing, Facebook can be seen as a secondary website. It is a powerful way to engage with your existing customers and a positive way to create engagement and interest with potential clients as well. Let your network share your ideas, comment on your musings and participate in promotions and polls. http://www.facebook.com.
5. Twitter: Over 500 Million users, this ranks up there with Facebook in terms of potential reach. Twitter is less formal than Facebook. A powerful way to “listen” and “watch” what your customers, competitors and industry thought leaders are doing. Take a peek at https://business.twitter.com/ to learn more. Watch the tutorials and learn from those who have gone before you. There is no “right” way to do this social platform.
6. LinkedIn: A network geared toward the professional crowd, LinkedIn is a great way to nurture your existing network as well as grow it. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your network’s “network”. You can add products and services, recommendations, employee information, and lots more. http://learn.linkedin.com/company-pages/.
7. Blogs: A central content hub for your business, blogs are a great way to capture and store your insights, white papers and video blogs. Using keywords, titles and tags correctly, you can gain exposure to the 180 million bloggers out there today. Show people who you are, what you think, or what you know today!
This is only the tip of the iceberg, but it is a good list to start with. Remember consistency and follow-up are crucial in the social media world, so don’t take on more work than you can handle. The important thing is to start. The rest will come once you see the power of inbound marketing strategies and tactics.
Maverick Social Media & Consulting takes the confusion and work out of creating, implementing and monitoring your social media business. Take a look at our site for more information or to send us questions: http://www.mavsocialmedia.com