2011 Social Media Event Video:
You can scroll to the following different sections of the video using the bottom navigation of the video:
- Social Media Panel (Facebook, LivingSocial, Yelp)
- San Jose Eats
- Social Media Entrepreneurship
- Intermediate Workshop
- Social Media Toolbox provided to the June 23, 2011 Social Media Event.
- This toolbox provides detailed steps to get your business up and running with social media.
- Access the Social Media Toolbox
- Getting Started with Social Media
If you are looking at options to consider for marketing your business, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of opportunities with social media marketing as well as other contemporary marketing tactics. Consider the following:
Social Media Marketing:
In recent years, there has been a great deal of interest in building business via social networking. MySpace initiated the trend, but it wasn’t the best vehicle for business development. Then came LinkedIn, a powerful career-building tool for professionals. But it was really the growing blogosphere and Facebook that made the greatest impact on marketers, followed by Twitter and then mobile and tablet marketing which has grown and evolved and continues to be a dominating trend.
- If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 3rd largest & 2x the size of US population (2011).
- Twitter gets more than 300k new users everyday(2011).
- Over 50% of Facebook fans & Twitter followers say that they are more likely to buy or recommend than before they followed or liked.
Utilizing social media & mobile marketing is key to today’s successful business. Here are a few strategies you’ll want to consider:
- Choose just a few social networking sites and stick with them – don’t try to be active on all of them or you will find yourself overwhelmed with posts and updates spread too thin across a lot of sites.
- Be sure that if you sign-up, that you will take the time to participate to a certain degree – the more active you are, the more people will get to know you and your business.
- Create a unique profile to grab the attention of customers, prospective customers and strategic partners. Be sure to complete the profile form in detail, emphasizing the strengths of your company and its products and services.
- Post relevant content on your wall: Industry news, tips on using your products/services, testimonial commentary and/or case studies about how your producst/services have helped people, special offers, links to reviews of your product, etc.
- Create a LinkedIn Page for your business, and be sure to complete the profile form thoroughly, providing an overview about your company as well as indicating key differentiators.
- LinkedIn now also enables companies to provide detailed information on products and services – be sure to do this so that potential customers can find out more about your offerings.
- Leverage your LinkedIn business page in your marketing efforts, and ask satisified customers to provide a LinkedIn Recommendation that you can display on your Page.
- Write intelligent and interesting blog posts, focusing on relevant topics. Don’t be afraid to express an opinion – blogs should not just be informative; they should create an emotional response from your readers. By creating an emotional response, you will encourage readers to comment on your blog as well as to share the post with others.
- Share content via social news and bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious, Stumble Upon, Technorati and more. Sharing your content will result in better search engine indexing as well as increased traffic to your site.
- Visit related blogs on other sites and post comments with links back to related articles on your own blog.
- Tweet about business news and events, and share links to blog posts & white papers, keeping your updates fresh, relevant and professional.
- Tweet often enough to keep things fresh and relevant, but not so much that your followers will be annoyed.
- Consider sending an occasional tweet containing a discount/promo code so that your followers can take advantage of offers intended just for them.
- When someone chooses to follow you, consider returning the favor. And spend some time looking for like-minded people and businesses that you would like to follow and reply to.
- Spend some time looking at tweets from competing companies so that you can better target your customers.
- Social media has really moved into the mobile market, as evidenced by the numerous apps available for iPhones, Android phones, iPads and other tablets. Depending on the type of business you have, you may want to consider creating either an app or a mobile version of your website.
- If you have a retail business – especially a restaurant - you may want to offer promos that are txted to customers who opt-in to receive discounts on their mobile device.
While there are many advantages to social networking, it is important to understand that it is just one of several tools in the marketing arsenal. Social networking enables you to cast a wide net for a very low cost, but you may find that more direct marketing efforts – though more costly – may be more effective in generating qualified leads and closing sales. Here are some options you may want to consider:
- Website: No matter what type of business you have, it is important to have a web presence that effectively describes your business as well as your product or service offerings. If you have a small business, you may not need a website with lots of bells and whistles; on the other hand, if your business is established and/or if you hoping to grow your marketshare, you may want a more robust site featuring animation, video etc.
- Print or Digital Advertising: If you have a consumer-oriented retail or service business, you may find it helpful to advertise in local newspapers; if your customers are other businesses (if you are in the B2B space), then you might consider advertising in trade publications popular in your industry. Opportunities for digital ads include placing ads on Facebook, Google AdWords, banner ads on relevant websites, etc.
- Email Blasts: Creating and blasting HTML emails to your customers is a very low-cost, yet effective way to market your products and services. We suggest utilizing a reputable e-blast service that offers convenient e-blast templates that you can customize with your own logo, photos/images, colors, fonts etc. You can create e-newsletters, 1-time promotions, press releases and more, and then send them out and then track which of your customers are opening your blast. You can also see which recipients clicked links in your blast so that you know which of your customers might be most interested in your products or services.
- Direct Mail/Publication Inserts: Depending on the type of business you have, direct mail may be an option to consider, though this is a more costly marketing tactic since you would need to pay to have the piece printed, as well as incur the cost of postage. That said, if you have a retail or service business and would like to target a particular geographic area, a targeted direct mail campaign may be the way to go. Direct mail can be a postcard, brochure, flyer, coupon etc. Another option would be to check with your local paper and/or Chamber of Commerce to find out how much it would cost to insert your company’s flyer/promo into their publication. This would enable your “direct mail piece” to be inserted into a publication that is already going to numerous addresses, and the cost may be a bit less than paying for postage on your own.
- Door Drops/Leave Behinds: Another option that you may want to consider involves legwork but may be worth it. You can print a door drop/leave behind piece and distribute them door-to-door to specific residential neighborhoods that are located near your business, or if you are a B2B company, you can drop them off at local businesses who might need your product or service.
- Coupons: Consider offering a coupon, discount or promo code to customers and prospective customers. You can do this via direct mail and/or via Facebook ads, mobile messaging, or on your website.
Determining which of the above tactics will work best will depend on the type of business as well as the competitive landscape, your marketing goals, and of course your budget. To conserve costs, focus first on social media and HTML blasts, and then consider other options should your budget be more flexible.