Social media is an invaluable and free tool that, believe it or not, many small businesses are not utilizing in their marketing efforts. Less than 20% of small businesses actually have websites that link to wildly popular social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. Most of the small business owners who don’t utilize social media say that they simply do not have time. Other small business owners indicate that they have no clue where to even begin to start a social media campaign. The reality is that you cannot afford to ignore the advantages that social media efforts provide.
Before taking advantage of these opportunities, you’ll first need a website. If you don’t have a business website yet, or are looking for new web hosting, check out hostgator.com for reliable and affordable packages. If you are among the owners not currently using social media to grow your business, you may want to consider attending a seminar such as the Ragan Communications’ 2012 Social Media and Community Managers Summit to expand your knowledge. Through attending workshops, you will learn how to manage your web presence, find the best platforms, use tools to measure content, share your company’s point of view in a more visual and engaging manner, and more.
In the meantime, we’ve compiled some helpful tips from the social media experts at Street Fight and Socialnomics to help you start making the most of this free marketing opportunity, increase brand awareness and generate leads.
Tips to Help Your Small Business Dominate Social Media:
- Integrate Social Media into Your Entire Business System: Small business owners should keep track of the traffic their social media networks are directing to their website. By integrating these efforts with such tools as Google Analytics and Omniture, you will clearly see the role social media outlets play in your marketing efforts.
- Get Your Timing Right: Tweeting or posting on Facebook during the optimal time of day is crucial. The perfect timing for a restaurant to send out messages with their lunch specials is around 11 a.m., while Happy Hour deals should be sent around 4-5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays are the best days to post business-related info, as they are not as hectic as Monday or as close to the weekend as Friday.
- Give Deals and Discounts to Loyal Followers: A huge reason customers follow their favorite companies online is so that they can hear about special deals and discounts. Offer special promotions, online deals and exclusive discounts on your social media pages to give customers a reason to follow your company and to help generate sales and leads via this outlet.
- Their Friends Can Become Your Friends: Folks who have pages on Facebook and Twitter have an average of around 250 friends each. When business owners write posts and respond to customers, they promote social sharing to each reader’s network of 250+ people. By engaging with customers in conversation about your products, you can tap into that network for free.
- Check-in Sites are Great for Promotions: Foursquare and other check-in sites can provide an excellent opportunity for cross-promotion and customer acquisitions for your company. Connect with a customer via Twitter or Facebook and thank them for visiting, but also ask them to provide feedback about your company on sites like Google Places and Yelp to get the good word out.
- Track Your Social Media Success: It is crucial for small business owners to know how well their social marketing efforts are working. Keep track of metrics and measure your success over a given period. On Twitter, you should know which tweets are getting the most re-tweets. With Facebook, track which posts receive the most “likes.”
- Choose the Correct Platform for Your Small Business: Each social media site has a distinct style that may work best for a certain type of message or marketing idea. For instance, Facebook is great for posting photos or a new logo, but the same post lacks impact when used on Twitter. Small business owners should experiment to learn which type of content gets the best results on a certain social media site.
Social media can boost business, even with minimal effort. By following these expert tips, you can get your message delivered free to consumers who can help you get the word out about your product or service.
If you own an iPhone 4 and you’re a designer then this article is for you. Getting an iPhone 4 case will not fix the antenua problem but can also protect your Â£700 investment.
We, as designers need a case that do more than just the protection! Why? Because we are creative people and we want to convey this visually. This iPhone 4 case is a piece of art and will make the use of your new iPhone more enjoyable.
Squidoo is a website that allows you to create your own pages on it. Like free website builders, you can put videos, guestbook, images and more on your page without any technical knowledge. So why would you want to use it? One of many benefits is that you can put a page pretty quickly with its easy to use tools. If you know how to write a blog post then you already know how to use Squidoo.
By having your own page on Squidoo will boost your main website’s ranking on the search engines. If your content is compelling you will get many visitors from this high traffic website. The best part is that you can easily update your page on Squidoo with new and fresh contents from anywhere that have Internet access. Which means you can build your page up slowly.
As you probably know, a professional looking website is useless if no one can find it. Your competitors are getting smarter each day, which means if you need to do more and think more in order to survive in today’s competitive market. It’s true that you need to have a professional website, but even more important is that you need to make it search engine optimized. To optimize a website for search engines is not just about putting keywords in as many places as you can to fool the system â€“ those days are gone. You need to do much more and if you do them well your website will add value to your business for a long period of time without spending a dime in advertising.
If you are looking for a website for your business and you found a web designer then you need to give them the right information them so that they produce the results you looking for. The more information you give them, the better they will understand your needs and objectives. They can then advice you on how to approach certain areas on the website.
One thing you need to remember is that you need to have a clear goal of what you want the website to achieve. Do you want the visitors to buy a product from you? Or do you want to inform them about the next big product that you going to launch next month. The web designer should have know this before starting the project because this can affect how he/she make design decisions.
If you have just started al business of your own then it might be a good idea to get a website. Why? With a website, you can have an online resource that can give people more information about your business, including products and services offered, contact information, etc. With it, you can attract more customers and thus, the growth of your business will be imminent.
So once you’ve decided that you want to get web site for your small business you will find the following tips useful.
Having a business without a website is like having a bike with no wheels, you will not get very far with your business. Understandably, many offline businesses have enjoyed much success but the potential for growth with a custom designed website will increase your company’s brand presence.
Promote your business with a website
It will be much easier to promote your business if you have a professional designed website in place. Of course there are many ways to promote your business. One great way is to make business cards and give them out to everyone you meet, even strangers!
To the people who choose to give web designing a try themselves usually begin with a website template. The basic knowldge of html and graphic design will help you to design a more professional website. When designing a website you should focus on the most important element first, the thing that could affect the purpose of the page if removed. In planning your website, you should be aware of all the elements that needs showing on the website and how to use them to communicate the intended message.
Chances are that you probably have thought about quitting your current job and start your own business as a freelance web designer. What holding you back from pursuing this? What type of skills do you need in order to be a successful freelance web designer?
There are far too many people believe that they can just quit their job and start a business as freelance web site designer. Many of them failed and crawled back to their previous job in hopes that they can get their job back. This happens because they had no plans and goals, therefore they had no idea where they were going and how far they are from their goals.
Writing good search engine friendly copy is very important to any business that relies on the Internet to attract customers. By combining search engine optimisation and article writing, you can get highly targeted visitors to your web site from search engines like Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Focus on the keywords that have low competitions at first and then work your way up, this way you can expect a much better ROI on your time and money spent.
There are plenty of SEO article writing services that claim to take your business web site to the number one ranking in a month or so, but the truth is that they use methods that could get your web site banned forever. Therefore itâ€™s important to find out exactly what these SEO services would do before paying for anything.