Small Business Social Media Marketing Strategies

Being a small business owner requires the ability to wear many hats and become proficient in multiple skills. Long before opening the doors, owners must develop strategic business and marketing plans to ensure required tasks are accomplished.

Perhaps the greatest challenge for small business owners is engaging in effective and affordable marketing strategies. While it is nearly impossible to build brand recognition without substantial marketing efforts, this venue can be cost-prohibitive for companies just starting out.

Social media marketing is a venue that is not only affordable, but can yield powerful results. This technique can be interconnected with other online marketing strategies to obtain maximum online visibility.

Most people are familiar with social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook. Nearly every major consumer brand has implemented a Facebook business page. This venue is effective for interacting with consumers and offering private discounts or sales offers to subscribers.

Social media outlets can be used to promote company websites, blogs, marketing videos, podcasts, digital newsletters, press releases, and informational articles. Business owners can interact with subscribers to obtain feedback, build momentum about a new product release, and share company news.

Social media marketing also encompasses social bookmarking through websites such as StumbleUpon and Digg. Not only can companies promote their own marketing collateral, they can also share resources about other companies. This provides opportunity to build customer relations and expand business connections.

Another form of social marketing is publishing comments to like-minded blogs or websites. Many companies use this strategy to develop relationships with businesses that would be a good marketing partner.

For example, FoodBuzz.com is the #1 online foodie network. It provides a venue where food bloggers can meet other foodies and share recipes. However, FoodBuzz has numerous sponsors who reach out to food bloggers and provide incentives to promote their products. This is a prime example of co-op marketing that not only reduces time, but also costs.

Leaving comments on company websites and blogs is a good strategy for link building online. Link building is essential for boosting search engine rankings. While search engines utilize a variety of techniques to determine where websites rank, inbound links is one of the more important criteria. When hundreds of websites link to a specific website it signals the search engines that it is a popular site and offers information people are looking for.

The primary goals of incorporating social marketing into a small business are to develop customer relations, build brand recognition, and improve online visibility. There are many facets to social media marketing, so it can be beneficial to participate in a marketing training course to learn about available strategies and how to capitalize on each.

Small business owners often find it advantageous to outsource marketing projects to an online marketing company. Working with professionals eases burdens for entrepreneurs and frees up time for them to attend to business management.

Those who are new to operating a small business may find it helpful to visit the Small Business Association website at SBA.gov. The SBA provides a variety of training courses, business financing resources, mentors, and step-by-step guides for developing business and marketing plans.

Beyond Facebook – Other Social Tools Your Business Needs

OK – so everyone knows about Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn and you are probably already using one or more of them everyday for your business. But did you know that there are way more social tools out there which could also potentially be very helpful to your online business expansion. Let’s take a look at a few other hot social tools:

1.) Social Bookmarks

Have you heard of Digg, Delicious, Reddit or StumpleUpon? Most people just see these bookmarks as fun tools to browse through but they can also be beneficial to your business needs. Firstly these tools are popular with many journalists and established bloggers so posting on these sites could potentially mean that you’re articles are being seen by some of the big names in the industry… that can never be a bad thing, right? Secondly, many social bookmarking sites offer cheap PPC campaigns which are ultra-targeted and only run in relevant sub-sections.

2.) Social Media Management Companies

Companies such as HootSuite and Nimble are becoming increasingly popular with businesses as they are a ‘one stop shop’ for giving you information on all social networks that your potential customers are on. Say you are meeting with a new client who you want to make a good impression with? How do you give yourself the best shot at getting his/her business? Well a good way to be successful is to cater to what that client wants. How do you know what they want? Check out what they are talking about on LinkedIn updates, Twitter or Facebook posts. Another great thing about SMM companies is that they the can instantly notify you if your company/website is mentioned on a social media platform.

3.) Social Intranet

OK – so it depends on your budget for this one but social intranet sites do not always have to cost a lot of money. Sites such as Bitrix 24 offer free services for up to 12 users to use this tool. Websites like Bitrix24 join together several different work platforms in one single application. It incorporates live streaming activities, file and document sharing and project and workforce management, just to name a few. So it means that it can help you with your clients, collaborate with your colleagues, share files, exchange ideas etc. Pretty cool right?

OK so we have gone through some other social tools besides Facebook which can really help your business start to kick butt in the social media world. Do you have any experiences with these or other tools, let us know what works for you. Leave your comments below.

The Real Power of Web Directories For Business

Much has been said about how important it is to have a strong online presence, especially for businesses. But little do we know about the real power of web directories for business and in boosting their revenues.

Different sources say different things about different website directories and bookmarking sites and their potency in boosting a company’s online presence. This often causes information overload for people and business owners in deciding whether it is really that important to invest and devote time in it.

Know Your Priorities

In business, knowing your priorities and knowing where to devote your time is a very crucial attribute for a businessman. This can actually determine a business’ success or in some cases, cause its failure.

Wasting your company’s resources to things that are not part of your priorities can be very detrimental to your business. If you’re a start-up or a small business that rely on local customers, reaching out to your targeted market and learning the power of web directories are probably among your priorities.

Promoting Your Business

On top of developing your core products or services, one of the most important things that every business owner must prioritize is marketing. A very significant aspect of marketing that is very crucial for all types of business is promotion.

If you own a small business in a small town, promoting your product or services is not totally different when you own a big multi-million dollar firm. The key ingredient to effective product or service promotion is well planned and ready to take risks.

Know Your Market

Before you can promote something to someone, you need to know who that someone is. Thus, before running a marketing campaign, whether online or offline, you need to know your market.

Now, once you have the list of your potential clients, making your website have a very strong online presence will be easier. With your company listed on different site directories, it will be easier for your potential clients to know that you or your company exists.

Don’t Spam People

With the technologies and free resources available online, there are a lot of people who take advantage of these services. In fact, among the online resources that are vulnerable to abuse of spam users are the different online directories.

If you want to create a good image to your clients or customers, spamming people are the last thing that you should do. You must not abuse any resources online at major networking sites and search engines have become very watchful against spammers online.

Social Bookmarking – What is it and Why is it Important For Your Blog, Website, and Business?

“What is Social Bookmarking and why is it important for me?” That is a question that many people think, but maybe are afraid to ask. Social Bookmarking is a tool that you can use to help promote your blog, business, or website online. Lets talk about how social bookmarking works, and how it can help you increase your online presence.

Social bookmarking is really a simple concept. It takes bookmarking things you like on your computer to the next step. Instead of you just seeing your “favorites” on your computer, you can access the links you have bookmarked from any computer any where because you have bookmarked through online bookmarking sites.There are many social bookmarking sites floating around, and I am sure you have seen them as you read blogs, articles, and look at different websites. Some examples are, Digg, Delicious, StumbleUponIt, Reedit, Furl and Newsvine. So what makes this social? When you bookmark an article you like, not only you know it, but it can affect what everyone on the internet is seeing as well.

Do you see how this can affect your business, website or blog? As people read and bookmark what you are posting it will get pushed up in the search engines and more people will see your website, blog posts, articles, videos or whatever you have out there!

How can you begin to social bookmark? Insert an “add this” button bar on your website. This will allow your reader to “share” what they are reading on any social media or social bookmarking site available.

Bookmarking, coupled with the knowledge of how to use keywords can explode the traffic that comes to your site.

Next,to continue learning about how to find keywords to use on your site and more tips on how you can utilize social bookmarking to increase your presence online head to http://www.stephaniempage.com fill in the form and go to the second page where you can watch video #2 to learn how these tools can help you promote yourself online!