Hey, small business owners! Today’s guest post by Ken Howard is just for you! He has a few tips that will help you structure your social media efforts and put your brand on the map.
If you’re a small business owner, you know that running a business is a lot of work. The fact is you just don’t have the time to do everything unless you put in a 15-hour+ days. Do you ever feel like no matter how much you get done, there’s always more to do? I’m going to give you some tips that will help to simplify part of your day.
In the past few years social media has grown to the juggernaut of Internet Marketing. Facebook has nearly 8.4 million users and continues to grow. As a small business owner, you want to capitalize on that market as well as those on Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.
The first suggestion I give my clients is to be active. But you must not be spammy, which leads in to my second suggestion. Share expert information frequently. By providing expert information, you are informing your audience and gaining their trust. Here are a few tools that will make these two suggestions easy to manage:
- Buffer – Buffer is available for multiple platforms (Web, Chrome, Firefox, Android & iOS). Connect your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. With it, you can spread out your updates to keep your account active. You can also share links to articles you have read.
- Google Reader – Finding relevant news to share with your audience doesn’t have to take hours. With Google Reader you can scan through the headlines of the day for the blogs and news sources in your industry.
- ifttt – “If this, then that” is a your digital assistant. This tool looks for signals in your social media accounts and performs an action based on the rules you configure. Do you want to backup your Instagram photos to Evernote? Ifttt’s best “recipe” is to add starred Google Reader articles to your Twitter or Facebook Buffer queue.
Now that you have a few tools to help your social media efforts, you need to think about what you’re going to share. It’s important that your professional profile stays professional. However tempting it may be, don’t share the daily internet memes. You don’t want to attract the wrong audience.
Let’s say you own a bike shop and want to connect with cyclists. Obviously, you’ll want to share any specials you’re offering or articles you have written. But, you also want to share news stories from around the world, race results, lightweight bike frames, mountain biking YouTube videos, strengthening tips, apparel, tire technology… anything that can establish you or your brand as an expert in bikes.
There’s nothing easy about social media marketing. It takes a lot of work to be successful and is extremely competitive. If you use these simple tips, you can take control and start to develop your own social media strategy. After some time you can identify what type of content works based on how many likes, retweets and comments you receive. Use this newfound knowledge to write your own articles and start your own blog.
What social media challenges have you overcome and what kind of strategy did you employ to achieve your goals? Share your story in the comments.
About the Author
Ken is the Interactive Manager at Turtledove Clemens, an Integrated Marketing Communications firm in Portland, Oregon. He is passionate about Social Media, Search Engine Optimization and intuitive, user friendly web design.