Social Media allow people and businesses to interact and learn from each other. You can draw in target prospects, move people to your website, and potentially secure customers and sales.
Before you start Social Media:
- Complete a simple marketing plan. Do I understand my target market(s)? What product/service/experience will I offer? What actual need/want does it satisfy from the customer’s perspective? How do I know that?
- Will I sell upscale value or low cost value? How big is/are my target market(s)? How do I know that? How many target markets will I pursue?
- How will I sell? Direct sales, distributors, sales reps, Website, etc. What target markets will buy through what channels?
- Websites are a prime selling channel and helpful marketing for other selling methods.
- Before you start Social Media, have your Website running. Social Media and website should use the same key words.
- Some people use Social Media as their initial and/or primary marketing tool. If you start without a Website you can still get a website Domain name that prospects can Google and be automatically redirected to your Social Media. And you can have an e-m address based off this Domain. When you are ready to create your Website use this Domain.
Adding Social Media
Social Media needs to offer value to your target customers. Know (or find out) what is of value to them and make it available. This builds awareness of your business and can engage customers/prospects enough so they want to subscribe to your social media, your blog or your em service. Be aware that obtaining and using prospect contact info is regulated. These subscriptions can become customer lists, leads to follow and hopefully customers.
Six useful Social Media Platforms for Business:
- Facebook is for business to consumers (b2c) and business to business (b2b).
- YouTube is for b2b and b2c (good for search results)
- Twitter is for b2b and b2c (good for quick response)
- Instagram is for b2c and b2b (good for pictures)
- Pinterest is for b2c and b2b (to plan life events, research purchases)
- LinkedIn is best for b2b
Pick one platform to start. What platform is a good match for your business, for your prospects? If you are unsure start with: LinkedIn for b2b or Facebook for b2c. Add another platform if/when you are ready to support it.
A Google search for “Facebook Business” takes you to pages offering step by step guidance to build a Facebook page and an Ad directed to your target prospects.
LinkedIn provides for individual and company profiles. One person companies can and should do both. Use professional headshot photo, logo, keywords and complete contact info. Join and participate in relevant groups, endorse and recommend others, share useful information and answer questions.
Initially creating and running your own Social Media provides experience to hire a marketing contractor later. You can begin implementing Social Media yourself IF you have the inclination and the time and can meet your other business demands. Remember there is ongoing updating required to develop and keep your Social Media drawing attention and involvement.
You can hire a marketing contractor to guide you to get started for a nominal fee (about $35 to $50 per month). To hand off a substantial portion of the online marketing workload later fees could run from a few hundred/mo to more than a thousand/mo
Content ideas: press releases, articles, blogs, podcasts, and videos. Aim each of these to interests, needs and wants of your target customers.
When not to use Social Media
When you don't have time to design/update/respond sufficiently or the money to hire a pro to assist you sufficiently. Or when you are skeptical that your business needs this. You may be confident that word of mouth is adequate to grow your business to your satisfaction.
Local SCORE Workshops and National SCORE Business Learning Center
Your local SCORE has Social Media and Website live workshops. Google SCORE Business Learning Center, create an account and sign in, go to Catalog, then choose “Online Marketing for Small Business” for a series of short, practical interactive webinars.
If you would like to request a Cincinnati SCORE counselor please click here.
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