A Beginner’s Social Media Guide for Small Businesses

social media how to Are you ready to connect with a wider audience?

Want to know the best ways to leverage social media for your small business?

If you haven’t used social media to market your products and services, you’re going to love how easy it is to get started.

In this article, I’ll show you seven steps you can take to make social media marketing work for you.

Why Social Media for Small Businesses?

As a startup or small business owner, you know there’s a lot to accomplish with limited resources.

Traditional marketing can be a drain on your funds. Social media marketing, on the other hand, is pretty low-cost and gives you a direct line to current and prospective customers.

istock keyboard image

Social media offers small businesses a cost-effective way to reach their customers. Image source: iStockPhoto.com.

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How to Get Employees to Embrace Social Media

social media how toAre you struggling to get your social media activities off the ground?

Do you want to get more people inside your organization to support your social media activities?

If so, you’re not alone. Small businesses to Fortune 500 companies find themselves facing these challenges.

In this article, I’ll show you how to create an internal social media structure that will help you develop an effective long-term social media presence.

#1: Define the End Goal

First, identify how and why social media will be used to meet specific business and brand goals.

For example, a business goal is to increase revenue by 10%, whereas a brand goal is to create deeper relationships with your existing clients.

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26 Tips for Overcoming Bloggers Block

social media how toDo you create written content?

Have you struggled getting that blog idea written?

While most of us aren’t immune to writer’s block, there are ways to work through the block until the words flow again.

In this article, we’ll discuss 26 Tips, an A-Z guide for bloggers to overcome writer’s block and generate new ideas.

#1: Add Alerts to Find Fresh Content

Google indexes thousands of articles every day and it’s a safe bet that at least one of them has information relevant to your business.

Sign up for Google Alerts and you can add and delete alert topics at any time based on projects you’re working on.

Include keywords relevant to your blogging goals in your alerts and the updates you receive will point you to content you might not otherwise come across on your own.

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How to Setup a Social Media Business Strategy

social media how toDoes your business have a social media strategy?

According to research conducted by Constant Contact, over 50% of small businesses need help with social media.

While many businesses have a social media presence, many are not engaging on those platforms and thus not meeting their goals.

With planning, your small business can use social media effectively.

Here are seven steps to a social media strategy for your business.

#1: Determine Your Business Objectives for Social Media

How do you want to use social media to help your business? What goals do you want to achieve?

Make your goals as concrete, measurable and achievable as possible. For example, if you currently get five new leads a month, setting a goal to get 100 new leads in the next 12 months is more realistic than setting a goal to get 5,000 new leads.

goals

Define clear goals for your social media marketing. Image source: iStockPhoto.

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7 Tips for Creating a Social Media Plan for Your Business

social media how toDo you have social media plan?

Are you looking for an easy to follow guide to formulate a plan for your business?

Keep reading for seven tips to help your business develop a social plan…

Why Businesses Fail With Social Media

Businesses often fail in their social media efforts for the same reason New Year’s resolutions fail: It’s a good idea, but there’s no structure or commitment.

Then, when there are no immediate results, or the goal ends up being more difficult to attain than previously thought, it goes by the wayside.

Has this happened to your business’s social media presence? You aren’t alone. Very few people can simply choose to be active in social media and stick with it.

For the rest of us, we need something to keep us honest. That’s why I advocate you create a social media plan—a checklist, if you will—complete with daily maintenance, recurring tasks and milestone projects.

These seven tips will help you design a social media plan that will keep you on track, active and moving forward.

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Can Social Media Actually Make You Money?

social media book reviewsIf you’ve ever asked the question, “Can I make money with social media?“, you might have heard a variety of answers such as, “No!”, “Maybe” or “It depends.”

Rarely (if at all) have you heard the confident and unwavering response, “Yes, you can!

In their book, How to Make Money with Social Media—An Insider’s Guide on Using New and Emerging Media to Grow Your Business, Jamie Turner and Reshma Shah explain that there’s a big difference between people who make money with social media and people who don’t.

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4 Steps to Selling With Social Media

social media how toAre you wondering why your social media efforts aren’t working?

Social media success sometimes appears arbitrary.

Perhaps you’ve wondered, “Why does company X generate leads and business from their social activity while my company wastes resources on blogs that don’t get read and tweets that go unanswered?”

Social media is so new, sometimes the path to success is unclear and it’s easy to lose your way.

If you want to demystify the experience and improve your ROI (return on investment), you need to make sure that your marketing and campaigns include these four essential components:

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6 Ways to Measure Your Social Media Results

social media researchHow much time are you spending on social media? Can you tell if it’s helping sales?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a framework for measuring the impact of your social media efforts?

That’s where Susan Etlinger’s new research for the Altimeter Group comes into play. Susan did qualitative research with 60 social media marketers and vendors to understand how businesses currently measure their social media performance.

Her goal: to develop a framework for tying social media performance to business goals.

NOTE: Because Susan’s original research targeted enterprise-level companies, I interviewed her to add some small business insights. The following comments combine results of the research and that interview.

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Is Your Business Ready for the Now Revolution?

social media interviewsI recently interviewed Jay Baer, co-author of the brand-new book The Now Revolution and founder of the popular blog ConvinceandConvert.com.

In this interview, we talk about social media marketing, Jay’s experience writing the book and about where this crazy, fast-moving industry is headed.

Mike: Jay, what’s the single most important thing that marketers or business owners need to know to be successful right now?

Jay: It’s a terrific question. One of the things that we talked about a lot in the book is the fact that you have to act quickly as an organization. The example that we use to kick off the book is if you’re at a hotel and you’re having a bad hotel experience—it’s dirty or gross or whatever—historically, you might go down to the front desk, or call the 1-800 number or write a letter.

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