3 Simple Steps to Maximizing Social Media for Your Small Business
Today I have a very sincere message for every business owner out there that is using social media to promote and market their business…
Stop having one night stands on your social media channels.
If you really want to utilize this medium to grow your business, then start getting married, instead.
Let me explain my thoughts further.
A short time back, I had marketing expert and world-renowned speaker, David Meerman Scott on the VBL Podcast. I’m a massive fan of David’s and literally read everything he puts out. The guy is my marketing Yoda, plain and simple.
The one thing that he mentioned that stood out, more than anything else, was that people have got to stop pitching and start engaging more, to be able to make social media work for them in business.
So, in reverse order, here are three quick and easy tips to start utilizing social media to help grow your business faster than you thought possible… The RIGHT way.
Tip #3 – Fill Up Your Social Media Calendar
At the beginning of February I had the opportunity to fly over to Phuket, Thailand and speak in front of 160 passionate entrepreneurs on the subject of boosting traditional / brick ‘n mortar success, by engaging the online world of business.
Throughout the course of the 3-day conference many successful business owners, myself included (duh!) presented their pearls of wisdom to the highly energetic crowd. One session was on the subject of getting your social media strategy in place – for the entire year!
The strategy is to post something, across all your channels every day of the week.
Its better to try and automate as much of this as possible, so you just have to focus on the interaction side of things, once people start replying, commenting and RT’ing your posts.
It included things like:
- Video clips.
- Links to blog posts.
- Famous quotes.
- Useful resources.
Perhaps I’ll go into this strategy a little more in the near future, but the big eye-opener for almost all in attendance was that, with a little planning and execution, you can be everywhere, be engaging, helpful, resourceful and reap massive rewards through social media, in a non-spammy / sales-pitchy way.
So, get creative, plan your posting schedule (in the same way you would as a blogger), and then put it all on autopilot. Following this, all you have to do is pay attention and engage.
Tip #2 – The Twitter Tactic that has Transformed My Businesses
The one thing that I love about social media is that it’s instant.
Sometime last year I had issues with my hosting provider – our sites went down. I quickly went onto Twitter and discovered that there were a lot of people in the same boat, all using the same provider, just by doing a quick search.
This got me thinking. Surely if people were using the micro-blogging site to bitch and moan about problems they were experiencing, then they MUST be using it to find solutions, too.
I was bang on, right!
So, I immediately started stalking search.twitter.com, searching for people that needed help and support in my niche, and started reaching out – without pitching my company or services. I figured that if I helped them out willingly, that they would go ahead and visit my profile, click on my links and check out what I had to offer – when they were good and ready.
I was bang on, right – again!
Nowadays, I don’t do this searching myself. I leave it up to my VA, who manages all the searches via TweetDeck, and sends out pre-written responses that I produced in the course of my experimenting myself, as well as other types of interaction that she handles herself, too.
She does this with her own Twitter account, some company ones, and even sometimes using MY account, too! So, people think that they are chatting with me, as a thought leader in our niche, before they actually DO start talking to me. Smart so-and-so, aren’t I…?!!
For me, it works… Check out the tweets below, showing social proof.
Tip #1 – My Number One ‘Social Media for Business’ Tip
This is simple, yet so many people overlook it.
It’s time to minimize and simplify.
Having a presence on the major social media channels, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn is important (click at random to interact with me on these channels). However, being actively involved on them all is just unrealistic – especially if you want to make a major difference in your business and more importantly, genuinely help your customers and prospective customers.
So, stop chasing the social media dragon and start getting smart.
Pick ONE channel that you enjoy using more than any other, and then GO FOR IT in a major way. That doesn’t mean that you won’t utilize the other channels frequently (or even have a virtual assistant manage them for you), it simply means that this one channel will become your social media focus.
For me, it’s Twitter. I like to tweet because it’s quick, easy and very mobile (thanks to my iPhone4 and iPad). It also enables me to add images, videos and links to other cool and helpful resources for my list of over 40,000+ followers.
For my aforementioned buddy, Pat Flynn – it’s Facebook. Pat’s fan page is ridiculous – in a good way! The engagement he has with his fans is unlike any other Facebook page that I have seen. Why? Because he decided a long time ago, that this was the way he wanted to answer fan questions, help, support and interact with them, away from his blog. He does a great job of it, too.
I’ll leave you with this…
10 People Doing it RIGHT!
There are LOTS of people doing things right already. However, here’s a list of ten of them that I see using social media in the right way (consistently), as discussed above, to engage, motivate, inspire and educate (as well as promote their businesses!).
Check ’em out on Twitter, and emulate, people.
- Chris Brogan
- Deb Ng
- David Meerman Scott
- Pat Flynn
- Srinivas Rao
- Corbett Barr
- David Risley
- Francisco Rosales
- Gary Vaynerchuk
- Marcus Sheridan
What are YOU Doing Right… or Wrong?!
What experiences have you had with social media in regards to utilizing it for building your brand and promoting / marketing your business?
I’d love to hear about the good, the bad AND the ugly in the comment section below.
Quick Request: If you liked this post and found it even remotely helpful, I’d really appreciate a quick share of it on your favorite social media channel. Here’s the URL, so you can copy and paste it quickly. Thanks in advance! – http://bit.ly/ygb0dO