If you are in any type of role that involves marketing, you are doing or exploring how to utilize Social Media in your organization. Most of us have heard the buzzword “Social Media” and have probably seen the icons on websites and in print for places like Facebook and Twitter.
Two primary things a small business needs to look a first before diving into Social Media – first, it is about having a conversation with people and second, you need to have outposts where those people are located. I was inspired by Heidi Rosen’s check list on social media so to help you get moving along, we put together this amended check list to get your business found using social media.
First, Ask Yourself if Your Business is best able to use social media
Heidi Rosen’s social media checklist has some great advice that is worth listing and we will condense some that along with adding some of our own experiences.
- Find the things that connect with their profession, passions and hobbies – Many companies who try social media thinking this will be a channel to pump out their press releases and information in robot-like format have got it all wrong. If you are selling cars, connect with people’s love of cars not with the corporate mumbo-jumbo. People want you to have a personal face in social media. Heidi mentions that “from a social media marketing perspective, this translates to ways that people can share their hobbies and special interests using photographs, videos, and blogs.”
- Share content that people find useful and want to share with others – Beyond articles that talk about a topic, this includes photos, videos and audio. For example, wedding photographers can show their portfolio from other weddings. Other ideas are fishing guides who put up some videos on fishing tips or bakeries that show their finished products and cool projects off.
- Look for ways to demonstrate thought leadership – If you an expert in something, you need to show people this so they know that and would consider engaging you. Heidi says that “this can work very well for professionals like lawyers and accountants. Leverage videos, presentations, and Webinars giving how-to tips to explain wills or budgeting.“
- Look for niche communities where your prospects and customers are already – For the independent Firefly/Serenity sci-fi film for charity that I am producing, there is an existing community of Firefly/Serenity fans that love the universe that it is set in.
- If there are existing outposts, consider contributing to them to engage If so, actively comment and add to the conversation. Offer to create guest posts to share your knowledge and broaden your audience. This means adding real value to the conversation.
Second, understand what your measurements of success are with Social Media
Everybody loves metrics but so few know what should really be measured. Each business is different and the tools vary to get the numbers you might be looking for in a social media program. Heidi Rosen put together some basic metrics for your small business:
- Revenues. Have sales increased? It’s important to note that it may take time to build up a social media following.
- Expenses. Track actual costs as well as the time involved in participating in social media marketing.
- Prospects and customers. Track the number of people who are engaging with your social media efforts. Often, there’s a 90 percent readers/viewers, 9 percent commenters, and 1 percent active content creators breakout.
- Feedback. Monitor the type, amount, and quality of feedback you’re receiving
Photo: iStockphoto (licensed to Steven Fisher)Google+