Social Media Strategies for Small Business

by Blair Evan Ball on February 4, 2011

Social Media for small business owners, can be a great tool to increase brand awareness and business sales. Most know they need to have a social media presence yet most are hesitant. It is confusing to navigate through the maze of the numerous platforms that exist. Where do I start? I feel like I’m getting further and further behind. How will I be able to do this?

65% of consumers are now going online to search for products and services. The Yellow Pages are Dead! If you are in business and utilizing social media, you are getting further behind each day, and shortly will reach a point where you will have a mountain to climb to catch up. Time to get in the game today.

Before you jump into social media you MUST have a clear written strategy, and if you are currently involved in social media without one…take time today to figure that out.

1.   Strategy

  • Engagement
  • Content
  • Conversion

2.       Meet your customer where they gather

3.       Create a Facebook Fan Page

The largest social networking site on the planet, rapidly approaching 600 million users. Still many businesses do not have a presence on Facebook. Remember you can only have one profile (personal) which must be set up first before you create a Fan Page (business page).

4.       Open up a Twitter account

The largest microbloging site. You are limited to texting only 140 characters. What will your user name be? What will you tweet? Information, Product, Service? How often?

5.       Set up a profile on LinkedIn

A professional site linked to individuals and companies. Over 200,000 groups. Be sure to complete profile 100%.

6.       Create a YouTube channel

YouTube will serve 75 billion video streams to 375 million unique visitors this year. Short videos help with content for blogs, social media marketing, branding. Think creatively how you can use them to improve business sales. You can embed them into your blog, however get a text version so that the search engines can index them.

7.       Get on Foursquare

  • 3400% growth in 2010
  • 381 Million Check-Ins

Foursquare allows your customers to “check-in” at your place of business by their mobile phone and earn badges. The top badge customers work to earn is “The Mayor” badge. This means you have checked-in more than anyone else at that location. Depending on the merchant they may give them extra perks such as free food, or discounts. This generates exposure for your business, notifies your friends that may want to meet you there.

8. Start a blog

Businesses that have a blog on their website have 55% more traffic to their site than those who do not. Having a blog gives you the opportunity to increase your rankings within Google if you have the appropriate content and keyword strategy. Content must be relevant. Free sites like WordPress and Blogger will get you started.

9. Open up a Flickr account

This is a photo sharing site. Great way to get photographs of your business, staff, events and customers.

10. Open up accounts on all the top social bookmarking sites

Great way to promote your blog content on these sites and increase brand awareness. Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious, Redditt.

11. Get your business listed on Google Places

Google is placing higher optimization value on local businesses. We work with local businesses to get listed and optimized.

12. Get an e-mail marketing program

According to Forrester Research U.S. companies will spend $1.676 billion on email in 2012. They’ll spend $1.649 billion on social media.

I still see several businesses putting together emails in groups on programs such as Outlook, which lacks professionalism. Programs have come down and it is a professional and effective way to tie this into your social media strategies.

13. Keywords

Continually research and analyze your business for the right keywords and longtail keywords using free programs such as Google Adwords tool. There are some paid ones such as Wordtracker that are very good as well.

14. SEO – Search Engine Optimization

With more and more consumers searching online for products and services, you must have a consistent strategy. Without one you’re Google, Bing, and Yahoo rankings will suffer costing you lost sales and business.

We work with businesses on an integrated strategy.

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