What is Social Media?
‘Social Media’ is a group of Internet-based applications; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Biznik, Merchant Circle, WordPress (blog), etc. that allow the creation and exchange of social interaction and/or communication. These give you an avenue to build relationships and also allow for inexpensive or FREE advertising for Business.
Why Use Social Media for Business?
Good Business is about Relationships. It has been proven that we tend to do Business with those whom we know and trust. Social Media is a FREE 24/7 Tool that allows you to build those relationships. It is immediate/‘real-time’, 80% of users are using their cell phones, Ipads, etc. to interact regularly with clients & customers. This helps build the relationships as trust and confidence builds in the customer with quicker response times etc. Customer service can be done day or night – any time of day on the Social Media Sites. Each time someone ‘likes’ or mentions you on a social media site – that helps promote YOUR BUSINESS – FREE OF CHARGE.
One of the ‘nifty’ things is that you can also link one form of Social Media to another (post on your Facebook Fan page and it sends the same post to your twitter account, then twitter will send the exact same post to your LinkedIn account etc.) – or you can use an optimizer/Social Media Dashboard such as HootSuite (http://hootsuite.com/) which allows you to make a post and sends it out to all your other social media pages for you.
Which Are Best for Business?
In the Social Media Marketing report produced by Social Media Examiner; (you can download a free copy of the 41 page marketing report at: http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/social-media-marketing-industry-report-2011/) - their survey showed that the top 3 Social Media Sites that had the most ROI (return on investment) were:
Facebook * Twitter * LinkedIn
Facebook: has approximately 500 million active users – half of whom log on daily averaging 55 minutes per user. By having an ACTIVE Facebook Fan Page – you gain tremendous visibility for your Business. You can have an unlimited number of Facebook PAGES (not accounts – only one account per person, then unlimited PAGES linked to that account). Facebook PAGES can have an unlimited number of ‘fans’/Likes (whereas your personal page/account page can have only up to 5000 maximum). Facebook PAGES are PUBLIC – which means ANYONE can find the page and view it whether they are logged into Facebook/have a Facebook Account or not. All content that you post on your Facebook PAGES also gets indexed in Google – which of course boosts your notoriety in SEO (search engine optimization – you get ‘found’ when they search for your Service or Product!).
Facebook Page for RRR Consulting & Publishing:
Twitter: has approximately 200 million active users – with most of the users using Twitter on their Cell Phones – constantly every day.
Twitter Page for RRR Consulting & Publishing:
LinkedIn: has approximately 100 million active users – Allows a very Professional Profile View similar to a Resume.
LinkedIn Page for RRR Consulting & Publishing:
There are several other Social Media sites – two of the more ‘Local’ Sites are: Biznik & Merchant Circle – which also allow you to BLOG directly from your account, and have many LOCAL BUSINESS EVENTS on a regular basis, to help promote Businesses.
Biznik is an award-winning community of entrepreneurs and small businesses dedicated to helping each Other succeed.
RRR Consulting & Publishing Biznik Page:
Merchant Circle: helps small businesses network with other local businesses and reach local customers through free marketing tools and social media features.
RRR Consulting & Publishing Merchant Circle Page:
WordPress (Blog): Wordpress users post about 500,000 posts per day. It allows you to include your Facebook page posts and twitter posts right on your blog page, as well as customized your Blog page.
RRR Consulting & Publishing WordPress Page:
How Do I Get Started?
Each site has it’s own tutorials and help sections if you would like to attempt to create your pages yourself. SocialMediaExaminer.com has a lot of good FREE information, advice & tips for those who would like to learn and do it yourself. If you do not have the time, patience, or do not feel that you are technical enough to create your own pages you can;
A. Hire A Social Media Manager such as Robin R. Robbins of RRR Consulting & Publishing (or someone similar) – I teach/train you in setting up your pages for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Biznik, Merchant Circle, Social Media Etiquette (do’s & don’ts), Linking Pages etc. one-on-one – or I can create & manage your page(s) for you on a continual basis (monthly fee) as your Social Media Manager.
B. Attend local Social Networking Classes such as Kieran & Sherry Murray’s Extreme Networking 101 Class for FACEBOOK– they hold them LOCALLY on a regular basis and can be found on Facebook at; http://www.facebook.com/ExtremeNetworking .
C. Check online or your local Community College for Social Networking Classes.
Facebook is currently the number one online Marketing tool for Business – with 92% of Businesses using it. It is highly advisable that you, at the very least, create and regularly use a Facebook Fan Page for your Business.
With Twitter & LinkedIn running close ‘seconds’ at this time – it would also be advisable to have pages set up on those to promote your Business.
The rest is up to you – our experience has been that the majority of customers are coming from Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn.
It should be noted that Google+ is taking steps to compete – so keep an eye on that Social Media Platform as well.