You have to search really hard to find someone who relates social media to small business marketing and does so in an easy-to-understand way. However, Social Media Today has achieved this sharing by assembling a panel of experts who can guide you through the social media maze.
The YouTube video presented above gives great insights into how to use social media to advance the marketing of your small business. They effectively cover Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube and relate these to small business marketing. The information is really well grounded and focused on “how to” information – it does not go into the technicalities of each of the social media sites.
The video covers the practicalities of social media marketing:
- How to use social media to build your small business
- What social media to use for small business marketing
- How to avoid the risks associated with social media
- How to connect with your customers (current and future) through social media
- Ways to measure the effectiveness of social media marketing.
Without this kind of guidnace, you can easily waste time, money and resources on social media and inhibit the success of your small business.
Core messages for small business marketing using social media
After watching the video and related Slideshare presentation, I distilled eight (8) key messages that relate to the use of social media for small business marketing:
- Social media are designed to build community, not to offer a platform for direct marketing (overt marketing can result in account deletion)
- Social media marketing is a form of indirect marketing (unless you use paid advertising on social media sites)
- Your goals should be to build connections and relationships with current and potential customers
- Unless you have a specific strategy when you visit social media sites, you will waste a lot of time for no productive outcome
- The essence of social media is conversation with others and sharing – about yourself, your small business, your interests and information relevant to your niche
- Effective marketing on social media requires content creation on your part – blogging, podcasts, e-books and videos
- It’s important to personalise your business and your staff – profiles and videos help greatly here (you have to present as a real person, with real interests and real staff)
- Profiles are critical – make sure they are relevant to your business, up-to-date and keyword rich (for SEO purposes).
Small business owners can use social media effectively if they follow some basic principles and develop a marketing strategy. The potential of social media is enormous but the realization of this potential requires focus, targeting and discipline.