The FAQ to Social Media for Small Businesses
We know how you feel, several of our clients came on with the same concerns.
When a new outlet for growth comes along, there are always a lot of questions, and we would
like to answer these questions for you. This is our FAQ to Social media for Small Businesses and Marketers.
Why Social Media?
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn make it easy for people to connect with other people. People from all over the world, in your metro area, your
state, or your country.
What Does it Have to do with Business?
As people connect with each other, they share experiences, problems (for you to solve), and
they mention brands and companies.
Once companies realized there was a potential to reach these people already talking about
them and their industries, they started pages and profiles to represent themselves. What
began as a way to connect, quickly became a way for small businesses to interaction with
Why do Businesses want to be present?
At first businesses wanted to be able to stand up for themselves, take care of issues before
they became publicity problems, or provide a level of customer service where their consumers
were already present.
After a short while participating in social media, businesses realized they were able to do
much more than protect their names.
They could also benefit from:
• Searching for consumers who were looking to buy
• Helping consumers research a solution to their problems
• Recommending their products to consumers with related problems
• Better describing the benefits of their products to consumers
• Participating in public chats about their industry
• Following competitors
• Sharing sales with their followers
• Connecting with competitors’ followers
• Building relationships with related businesses
• Nurturing trust and loyalty in consumers
• Allowing fans to share about their company while overseeing the comments
• Working with brand enthusiasts who basically market the brand for free
• Harnessing the vast amount of traffic on social media and bring it to their website
Explanation of the Relationship Aspect
A recent study showed that consumers use social media for relationships with friends, family
and companies. As opposed to traditional advertising methods that bombard consumers.
Social media gives them an opportunity to build a relationship with someone in your company
(or representing your company). They want to trust you, and your abilities to provide the
service or product they need. By building this trust with them, they are up to 80x more likely to
purchase through you.
How did we get here?
As consumers have become increasingly suspicious of traditional marketing efforts, the
internet has spread in popularity and has given consumers the tools to share their thoughts.
Consumers have historically trusted friends and family compared to marketing pieces. Now
they have the opportunity to turn to those relationships before making a purchase, and by
becoming one of those relationships you become an expert they turn to.
The first step in participating is starting accounts on the platforms that are most often used by
your consumer market. At this time (Summer 2012) you will find Facebook and Twitter to be
the most effective platforms.
You can start free accounts on both sites, but you will want a fan page created for Facebook,
in addition to your personal account. If you need assistance with this, feel free to contact us to
set these accounts up for you.
Benefit of Paid Setup:
• Optimization for keyword searches
• Optimization of how to use platform, profile, and bio sections, based on experience
• Save time from setting it up yourself
Components of Successful Social Media Marketing?
Consistency in being active! When you do not login and participate on a daily basis you are
missing the opportunity to:
• Converse with followers
• Answer questions on other fan pages
• Provide links to your solutions (products, services)
• Know what is changing in your industry
• Know what your competitors are doing
• Share authority information with followers
• Entertain visitors
• Participate on community pages
Relationships– building relationships with your consumers encourages them to trust you,
when they trust you, they trust your recommendations, recommendations to your products,
services, tools, etc.
Networking has always been a big part of business, and it is alive and well in social media.
In addition to finding consumers, social media can be used to connect with other people in
your industry, and using these connections to further each of your businesses.
On Facebook you can interact with other fan pages, on LinkedIn connect with other in a
group, and with Twitter, converse with professionals of all industries as long as they have
Conversation- On the public areas of social media, such as groups, in Twitter, and public
updates, anyone can participate in conversations with others. In fact you can go so far as to
monitor these public conversations, and then participate in them.
Compare this to walking by a room of people interested in your industry, and walking in to
chat with them, when you have a few minutes each day.
Benefits of conversation:
• Viral traffic to your profiles & pages
• New followers discovering you in their friends’ conversation
• New connections for business
• New awareness for your brand
Strategy- As with any marketing campaign, if you have no strategy for what to do with people once they come to you, it will not be successful. Consider the thought: Failing to plan is planning to fail!
Once visitors connect with you through social media, what do you want them to do next? How
can you bring them further along the path to purchasing?
Do you have a sales funnel in place? If you aren’t sure, we can help you set this up. Contact us and tell us what you need.
Blogging- The most simple way to profit from social media to your website is through sharing blog posts, and specific links to answer their questions, and help them make the decision to purchase.
A weekly blog post will you the database you need to always have an answer to their
questions, and always have a place to send them to learn more about your business.
Place a call to action in each blog post. Consumers often need to know what to do next, make
it easy for them, ask them to sign up for your newsletter, download a free gift, like you on
another platform, call you, be creative, but make sure you ask, this will definitely increase
Benefits of Social Media Participation?
• Market research
• Loyal fans
• Business Partnerships
• Decreased marketing costs
While getting in on the conversation and presenting a consistent presence is the place to start
in being active in social media, engagement is the next step, and is a very important one at
Engagement is the activity of getting your fans to react to what you post. On Facebook this
means getting them to like, share, comment. On Twitter it is retweet, respond, etc. Every
platform has some kind of response you would want to see. The more people who respond, the better.
Why Do You Want A Response?
In both Edgerank and Klout your effectiveness in social media is measured by how often you
update and the kind of response you get.
On Facebook, engagement is even more important, if you aren’t able to get a response from
your followers, you lose your space in their newsfeed.
To make sure you engage them, you want to provide updates they will respond to. Pictures
and videos they will like, or stating opinions they will agree or disagree with are good ways to
get a response.
On Twitter you want a response from people who will start conversations, or to have your
message shared with your follower’s followers (aka the Retweet).
How Much Time?
The time invested in social media will directly effect how useful it is to your business. There is literally no cap on the amount of time to be invested, with enough man power your company could respond to every industry related update available, it depends largely on your commitment and availability.
Realize that in the Social Media Examiner report, marketers surveyed shared that the more time they invested (over 6 hours per week), the more profit they saw from social media.
Providing the posts we’ve discussed can take as little as a few hours per week but, there is a lot more that can be done:
• Sharing from your newsfeed
• Retweeting posts
• Following new companies
• Providing feedback on posts
• Responding to your visitors
• Having social media parties
• Running contests and giveaways
• Using additional social sites
Social media can be difficult, be sure to check with several websites, research tips and strategies, and ask around if you have questions. we’d be glad to help if you ever have a question, we just like to help.
© 2015, Social Media Consultant. All rights reserved.