LinkedIn is an absolutely essential part of any professional's online presence, whether you're the CEO of a multinational corporation or a freelance mommy blogger working in your PJs while keeping one eye on your toddler. That's not the main point of this post, but I'd thought I'd start there just in case you haven't fully committed to the idea yet.
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Social Media Week 2013 has officially wrapped up here in Chicago and I'm happy to say I survived, barely!! It's these conferences and idea sharing sessions that inspire me and get me re-invigorated. I met some wonderful people and I have to say that these people are not just colleagues, but friends! As I reflect back on the week, I wanted to share some statistics...
Before the Jaws theme plays us off the stage and before I fall into a blissful slumber, we wanted to post a short blog about the "Rules of Social Media." Well, really an info graphic about it... Because, well, you know at Socialty, we LOVE, and I mean LOVE, a good info graphic.
As I post this blog, I've been re-reading the info graphic and thinking about the rules listed on the graphic. These are not just "rules," these are solid business practices that are habit. There are no second thoughts about any of the rules below. Remember, they are not suggestions, they're Rules to Live by, when we're still making up the Rules as we go along.
Social Media is a constantly changing beast. What's your favorite rule blow? If you could add a rule,what would it be? We want to hear from you!!
Socialty loves info graphics!! So much so, that we have a whole board dedicated to info graphics on Pinterest!! I recently found this info graphic about social media that I found interesting. Many small business owners know "just enough" when it comes to social media. However, they may miss their target audience by focusing on the wrong social media outlet. The following info graphic may point you to the correct site, but navigating the site and using it properly takes a skilled hand, like Socialty. You all know what we do, right? We handle all your online marketing and reputation management for your small business. When you're ready for the next level, contact us, we know what you need!
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Life isn't always fair, and if you're a business owner we're sure you know that the business world is a lot like life. You have to deal with a lot of different problems, you have to be prepared for a multitude of possibilities, and a business will usually go through a crisis or twelve every year. Socialty wants to relieve some of your stress by helping to expand and maintain your business. Having a website and using social media platforms make the playing field more level for small business owners around the world. Your online presence helps you to foster good relationships with your customers and to spread the word about your brand to new people.
Twenty-five years ago it may have been sufficient for your parents to write down names and numbers in a Rolodex or to input them on an Excel spreadsheet. (Raise your hand if you remember Lotus 1-2-3!)
Social media services like Twitter and Facebook can help you build your clientele, but then it's also critical that your business plan and budget include making the effort to work on the upkeep. Maintaining your existing customers as repeat visitors is usually tied to consistently updating your social media accounts, and that's where Socialty can give you some expert help!
You don't live in your parents' business world and nowadays almost every small business can benefit by using social media. But sometimes it's hard to take that first step. One legitimate concern is “Am I spreading myself too thin?” If you can't find time to utilize Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, perhaps the best choice is to get a pro to do it on your behalf. Sometimes you want to get it done, but it's a matter of money. However, as the old saying goes, you “have to spend it to make it.” And although social media may seem like a waste of time to some people, there are mountains of studies and plenty of evidence that the SMART, WELL-MANAGED and PREPARED business managers are catching up with the rest.
The trick to social media positioning really comes with understanding that customers and clients everywhere are basically alike. They want to be respected, valued and treated like their dollars matter. Using social media is great even if you just post the same boring printable coupon 5 times a month, but it's REALLY awesome if you can have a lively, thought-provoking discussion about your service, or a fun and entertaining blog article for your customers to send along to a friend!
Your business won't necessarily need to set up five social media pages across all the different sites. It's unnecessary and usually it results in less than satisfactory results. Instead you can have Socialty establish a Facebook timeline with a beautiful image gallery, or a popular Twitter feed with a lot of new followers. It takes time to build success and it's worth it to focus on quality, not quantity.
Whether you want Socialty to help you develop business contacts on LinkedIn or to help with attention-grabbing corporate e-mails, it's important as a business for your social media to reflect your values and beliefs. That's the easiest system to build trust and establish real and lasting relationships with customers. Sure, you can see when a longtime client is having a birthday. With Socialty you could also have the ability to rest easier, knowing that every one of the clients who follow your social media will receive a birthday e-mail and a special offer to go with it!
The theme to a long-running sitcom went like this:
“Sometimes you want to go Where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came.”
So make sure your customers feel like that.
And don't just charge ahead without a strong plan for social media positioning. On Google search for “social media foul-up” and you'll get over 20 million results. Stay connected with clients but do so with the confidence that your business won't be fodder for a funny story starting with, “Hey, did you see that tweet they sent out?” Socialty Inc. can help you KEEP SOCIAL AND CARRY ON!
As 2013 approaches, the American small business faces as many challenges as it ever has. Finding the right people, getting fair prices, collecting payments, accessing potential customers, keeping up with demand, finding ways to grow, accessing necessary capital, and affording marketing are all issues that business owners may lose sleep over. However hard it is out there, having a little help can make a big difference! That’s what Socialty is here for. At Socialty we can help you with customer access, leading to new growth, new revenue, and new success! By leveraging social media and letting Socialty help you to manage your company’s online marketing, you can relieve your stress and improve your bottom line.
Perhaps you’ve already set up a Twitter account, a Facebook business page, or maybe you even started a blog. How can you really leverage your Social Media Outlets and make it work for you? How can you use these online tools to attract new customers for your business? Utilizing social media correctly often requires remembering a simple rule of thumb: simply put, your following will mostly include the people who have done business with you. So to encourage repeat business and attract new customers, Socialty can help you set up one, two, or all of the following ideas!
A popular way to leverage social media is an online promotion. Take a product or service and offer a discount to your online fans. Posting a printable 10% off coupon (with the proper maximum value and/or “limited time only” text) could be a great start! Large companies use this kind of incentive to bring customers into their stores and restaurants all the time, and it improves word-of-mouth (“sharing”) advertising from customer to those all-important friends of the customer!
Use your blog or Twitter account to combine a compelling offer with interesting content. If you own a restaurant, for example, you can get Socialty to help you write and publish a weekly message about new menu items. But you could also have an online poll asking for anonymous feedback about a new dish. Or ask followers to suggest improvements, with the best idea tied to a contest or in-store event. Then take pictures and Socialty can “tweet” them to all your online customers.
Always continue to encourage customers to sign up for an e-newsletter or e-mail offers. You can enter the new registrants into a monthly drawing for a free item or discount. Keeping a constant, steady, but unobtrusive amount of information flowing from your business to the social media communities is the key! (And it’s also Socialty’s specialty!) Once established, you want to keep the online relationship active, because whether they’re a daily customer or someone who purchased something once last year, it’s all about the potential return!
Here’s a true story from my own life: as I wrote this blog, I was about to celebrate my birthday. In the back of my mind, I was wondering where my family and I should have a fancy dinner … I logged on to Facebook, and a locally owned restaurant (where I dine infrequently) had announced a menu change. They had shared a .PDF document of their brand-new menu. I viewed it and thought “I’ll have to go back there someday” … but I just went on with my day. A few hours later, I received an e-mail from the same restaurant. It turns out I had filled out my date of birth when I signed up for e-mail offers, and of course, it was an offer for a free entrée! I called my spouse and set up the birthday dinner.
Without these two online social media efforts, would this business be earning money from my family and friends on this occasion? Probably not. It always pays to advertise, and social media can and will provide your business with more and more leads, referrals, and revenue as the years go on.
There are many different methods of using social media to attract people to your business. Contact Socialty and start strengthening your existing online presence today! We help small businesses to utilize all the social media sites and services to improve relationships with customers.