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“What should I do?” It’s a natural question. What’s the best approach to use when your business is ready to take the plunge and enter one or more social media services? Socialty can guide you in the right direction, whether you’re an “old pro” or a “newbie” using the social media websites. First, consider your reasons for using social media. Is it important to you that (relatively speaking) it isn’t expensive or time consuming? Do you feel like it will be fairly easy to do? Perhaps most importantly, is your existing customer base using it? What about potential customers? Which group(s) do you want to reach out to?
Second, ask yourself to mentally (or even better, in writing) list the goals for your business relating to online presence and social media use:
Third, it’s time to think about the costs. Better than 4 of 10 businesses choose not to budget for social media marketing. However, a majority of businesses spend something – if only a small amount of money – on leveraging social media for their business, which greatly improves the likelihood that it will result in a positive impact on the bottom line. But it need not “break the bank!” Of those businesses spending dollars, more than 1 in 4 spend less than $100. As the old saying goes, a little goes a long way! Socialty can help you stretch those dollars to get the most out of them.
That brings us to another point. Who’s going to do all the work? It isn’t backbreaking, muscle-straining labor, but social media marketing is time intensive and requires thought, planning, and good old-fashioned follow-through. Many businesses don’t employ anyone to run social media efforts, but increasingly (as the benefits become more and more obvious) owners and management are realizing why they should do so. You can try to do it yourself, and sometimes that’s a successful approach.
However, we at Socialty usually hear from our customers that the plan didn’t work out. In one way or another, whether it’s a lack of time to write and post blogs or e-mails, difficulty learning the “ins and outs” of social media systems like Facebook and Twitter, or unexpected occurrences that shift attention away from the necessary upkeep like updating pages and responding to online questions, business owners often find that it’s worth using a service that has the skills needed and that will put in the time to make it work!
The next step is to figure out which social site(s) you want Socialty to target. For many businesses, using Facebook is a great place to start. According to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg the site recently surpassed one billion active users every month! It is a great site for “sowing seeds” to grow your business. Many Facebook users are more likely to buy your products or pay for your services if they choose to receive updates from you via their News Feed. You can “reap the harvest” by using Facebook to increase brand loyalty and to drive repeat business back to you! To complete the circle, promoting online social media is possible through your storefronts and/or through print, radio, television, or virtually any kind of advertising.
Another of the most popular social media services is Twitter. Unofficial estimates are that over 500 million people have Twitter accounts. You can “tweet” a message of 140 or less characters (letters, numbers, symbols) to consumers who choose to “follow” your business. Of course this can be a deceivingly easy process, with a language of its own that can take time to master. What you should write, when you should tweet (and how often) can change how successful or unsuccessful your efforts are. Socialty can help by formulating a plan customized to your business, its goals, and its customers.
Other sites you may want to utilize include YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn. Each of these can have a tremendously positive effect on your business, but each also has its own intricate features, strengths, and risks. For example, you wouldn’t want to post a video on YouTube that acts as a commercial for your business, only for a rival business or disgruntled customer to write hate-filled or obscene comments about it! Socialty can protect your online reputation and also help direct complaints to the appropriate people for resolution.
In short, Socialty is ready to help you today to reach your goals in social media marketing! If you have a plan, we can help you execute it. If you need a plan, we can help you create one.
The best approach is to let Socialty create, update, or take over your social media program. Your business will be in great hands with a professional company, you won’t have to worry anymore, and you can “Keep Social and Carry On!”
Links to the sites Referenced above:
Ninety years ago, radio broadcasting was becoming the most popular way for businesses to reach American consumers. Salesmen touted programming in a wide variety of formats and genres, from classical music to news & weather to dramatic plays, and businesses sponsored many of the popular programs during what is now called the Golden Age of Radio. The Bell Telephone Hour, The Voice of Firestone, The Planters Pickers, and Champion Spark Plug Hour are examples of how sponsorships made corporations and manufacturers into household names in the days before commercial interruptions became commonplace.
Sixty years ago, television began its ascent as a primary medium for informing, educating, entertaining, and again, advertising. Today, 60 minutes of broadcast or cable/satellite television includes about 16 minutes of commercial advertising. It’s an expensive option, but if planned and executed correctly, businesses using the TV medium can reach thousands or even millions of consumers.
Fifteen years ago, Internet marketing became a crucial part of advertising strategy. Banner images on web sites and the often-maligned pop-up ads were early methods of using the Internet to grow your business.
During the last decade, and especially in the last few years, social media has become the cutting edge for business advertising. Social media blends the technology that many consumers have at their fingertips with social interaction. Consumer-generated “buzz” – including reviews, rumors, and reactions to official news announcements – will usually result in more traffic to company web sites, and can drive sales, increase utilization of services, and expand brand recognition and loyalty.
Social media has exploded as a business promotional tool because, unlike traditional media (newspapers, radio, television, film) social media advertising is relatively inexpensive and very accessible to almost everyone.
Which brings us to SOCIALTY. We have a simple, yet elegant, mission: helping small businesses manage their social media campaigns and online reputations. Socialty creates dynamic content, manages your presence and engages users to create word of mouth buzz. We use an online approach that focuses on sites such as, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. We also create blogs and email marketing campaigns that delivers your brand directly to users via email. Socialty can help a company take its brand to social media sites, paralleling a company’s existing media outlets. The ultimate benefit in optimizing social media is keeping the fans and followers of your small business interested in your products and services, and ultimately, attracting new fans and followers, and transforming them into loyal customers.
A primary concern of most small businesses is cost; “How will this decision help or hurt my bottom line?” Socialty not only understands this, but can help guide you through the decision-making process, developing a plan that fits your needs and goals.
Let’s take a look at a couple of great examples of companies that use social media to expand their online presence, reported by MP Mueller, a blogger for The New York Times.
Mueller writes that a three-year-old luxury watch e-retailer named Melrose Jewelers rolled out its Facebook page, YouTube channel, and a blog to great success. “The company has seen a 71-percent increase in year-over-year sales (and collected more than 100,000 Facebook “likes”).” This result might be better than average for many social media ventures, but a couple of things stand out in this report.
First, the marketing director of Melrose Jewelers recognized an obvious divide between groups of its customers. Facebook is great for reaching younger, technologically inclined people. For older, more wary customers, the Facebook page and its posts and comments lent credibility to the business. Even those concerned with making a high-end purchase online can be affected by the positive discussions about the business via social media!
Second, the online jeweler also used a Facebook application it commissioned from a third-party programmer to promote some of its products. Through developing a quiz that users could take, it drove buyers toward a certain item based on answers. This kind of personal tailoring is still a huge attraction to consumers, no different than the traditional sales tactic of matching a customer to a product “just right for” that person.
Nellie Alkalp, a small business owner and blogger on Mashable.com, made a couple of points that are important to remember. Just having your social media presence established isn’t enough. In a lot of cases, stated Alkalp, “a neglected social media presence will reflect poorly on your business. It’s actually better to not have an account if you don’t have the time and resources to actively manage it and participate.”
Along the same line of thinking, Alkalp also wrote that social media isn’t free. That is to say that even if building a Facebook page or creating a YouTube video doesn’t cost your business, the time and effort to build up and then maintain it will take its toll on your resources. Whether you’re a one-woman LLC, a small chain of stores, or a large corporation, working on social media takes capable people, numerous hours per month, and in general requires planning and execution to succeed.
That’s where Socialty can help you. Whether you need to take those first steps onto the social media scene, or you possess established pages that aren’t utilized enough, we will work with you to reach your goals. By understanding your needs as a small business, developing a plan for your social media can make an insurmountable task suddenly seem less difficult. By building, then maintaining your social media presence, Socialty can make your professional life easier. The goal is to get your business to where you want it, with speed, professionalism, and flair.
Socialty Inc.’s motto is “Keep Social and Carry On!” Like the old verbiage from the British Government at the beginning of World War II, Keep Calm and Carry On, we wanted a tag line that would convey just that… We’ll keep our clients social (“Keep Social”): blogging, Tweeting, Facebook-ing, and keeping them current for search engines. Meanwhile, you can “Carry On” with making your business succeed. We will Facebook, Tweet and blog clear, concise and coherent posts for the world to view.
Over the years, the media has changed dramatically. But that doesn’t mean your business has to suffer dramatically! Get the service you need. Solve your social media problems. Maximize the ways social media can help your business. Contact Socialty today and get started!
Links to the blogs Referenced above: