Social Media for Business (1) – Top 3 SMM Time Management Tips

I don’t need to tell you how effective involvement in social media is essential for your business growth but effective here is a keyword. Social websites are not called social for no reason: they are friendly in nature. To succeed in SMM, you need to focus on building relationships and avoid the sales pitch or at least make it subtle.

It goes without saying that the process can be time-consuming especially with the avalanche of social media options out there. So, how can you leverage SMM without investing too much time into it? Here are some tips to help you out.

Tip 1: Go for cost effective delegation that yields proven results

I often feel that doubling or tripling the number of my page fans/friends on Facebook is both time-consuming and boring until I was browsing a freelancing site and found this interesting job post:” I am looking for someone to add friends to my Facebook account from a certain city. I’m looking to have 3000 friends added from certain area.”

Guess what, the employer offered $15 for this job and there many candidates were lined up. The beauty of hiring freelancers to do the “donkey work” on your behalf is that you save your precious time for what really matters plus there is no risk involved here since you only pay for results. In fact, I would recommend that you browse job postings in some freelancing sites to get more ideas for time-saving tasks that you can delegate. A good place to check is oDesk because they have category for SMM jobs.

In addition, if writing is not your cup of tea, it is worthwhile to hire a SEO copywriter to take care of your blog content because if your blog didn’t standout to your niche market, others will and you certainly don’t want that.

Also, hiring a professional to do few short yet excellent video presentations about your business to be published on YouTube and your own site is definitely an investment in place.

Time is money. Sometimes”buying” some of your precious time for few bucks can be a sound decision. And if you take the freelancing sites route, you will always end up with a good deal.

Tip 2: Be Selective

You need to be very selective and choose the best social media sites that are in line with your business goals. In doing so, think quality versus quantity. In other words, it is better to have quality profiles in 3 social sites and take the time to create a powerful presence there than just creating profiles in 1000 sites that you probably wouldn’t visit again! As a minimum, you need to go for Twitter, Facebook plus your own blog. And hey, YouTube is a fantastic visibility magnet so keep it in mind! Later on, you may also add LinkedIn to the mix.

Tip 3: Leverage Technology

There are so many free tools available online that helps you preschedule your social media posts, the most popular of which is ping.fm. You can dedicate 2 hours per week for prescheduling your posts and that’s it!

Having said that, it is important to realize that these automatic tools only take care of the “broadcasting” side of social media on your behalf. You still need to be effectively present in some carefully selected social media sites in order to answer questions, interact, and build relationships with your niche market. Good luck!

4 Tips For Creating The Perfect LinkedIn Profile for Your Business

When you run a business, or even if you’re just starting a new business, one of the things that you should be thinking about now in the age of technology is social media. Every business should have its own pages on social media, whereby you can interact with customers, try and engage new leads and clients, and publish new information or products and services.

Creating the perfect LinkedIn profile for your business can take a while to get right at the beginning, but it can have a huge effect on generating traffic to your website and customers to your business.

1. Make Sure Your Logo Can Be Clearly Seen

Don’t use a profile picture which is one of your products or a picture of your staff members. You can post images like this later on, but for now you should concentrate on your logo and making sure that the main images associated with your business become well-known. Once you have decided on a logo, you should stick with it rather than try to change it depending on the comments you receive online.

2. Stay Professional

Your LinkedIn profile should look professional in every single way. You wouldn’t create a personal LinkedIn profile for employers to find which didn’t look highly professional, so don’t be tempted to do so from behind the curtain of your business. Respond to enquiries in a timely and polite manner, and build professional relationships with other users and businesses.

3. Include Some Information About Your Business

It’s tempting to leave the ‘About You’ section until later, but when it comes to your business, you don’t want to miss any opportunities. Waiting just a few days to update this section could mean that you miss out on several potential leads for the business. Before creating any social media profiles, you should have a website and mission statement set out, which you can use to provide LinkedIn users with more information about your business.

4. Appear Approachable

Some people are interested in contacting a business through LinkedIn, but just don’t feel like the business is approachable. This is often a combination of many things, such as announcements that you are very busy lately, unfriendly-sounding updates or blog posts, and pictures which lack color and personality. It’s almost like creating a personality for your business. You should try to achieve a personable, friendly, professional and credible appearance for your business.

Social Media Marketing Tips for Frustrated Small Business Owners

Are your social media marketing efforts bringing you the results you want?

Do you even KNOW what results you want?

That’s a rather important first step, I’ve learned. When I took an intensive one-day continuing education course on social media for small business a year ago, I must confess to having been completely overwhelmed several times throughout the day. I wasn’t the only one.

To many of us, social media is daunting. It’s one thing to post a cute photo of me and my dog on Facebook. It’s quite another to learn how to use social media as an effective marketing tool that will lead to results – but that doesn’t require an enormous amount of time, energy and money.

Once I determined the results I was looking for – new readers and ultimately, more book sales – I had to ask myself the next obvious question: was posting my dog’s photo on Facebook going to achieve that?

Er… no. At least not directly.

Okay, then how about my tendency to write and post blogs that only a handful of people – the vast majority of whom have already bought my book – will read: is that going to yield more book sales?

You get my drift.

That’s why I took the class. And frankly, sitting in a computer lab for 8 hours, learning about SEO and hashtags, tribes and Google analytics wasn’t just overwhelming, it was exhausting.

Another, ahem, middle-aged writer in the class put it perfectly when she said to our 20-something instructor: “You are a social media native. We are social media immigrants. We’re still learning the language, the culture, the lay of the land… and to be honest, it’s not only frustrating and confusing – most of us don’t even want to be here! We’re here because we have to be. We know we have to learn this so our businesses can survive.”

Here, here!

And even though I didn’t understand half of what the instructor was saying – while patiently showing us on the overhead screens – I dutifully took detailed notes and crossed my fingers they might make more sense later on.

And sure enough, something interesting happened on the drive home. All that the instructor had said started to click into place… as it related to my company.

By the time I got home, I’d stopped perceiving social media networking as yet another ‘marketing thing’ I had to figure out and conquer because I needed the sales – and instead started to view it as an incredibly useful tool that, when used correctly, would help me reach new people who wanted to hear from me.

In other words, the internal barriers I had towards social media started to dissipate.

When I got home, I read through all my notes and highlighted the key points. Then I set a clear, tangible goal of what I wanted to achieve through my social networking efforts (number of website visitors who actually spent time reading my blogs). Then I determined exactly which social media platforms I was going to use and how. Then I made a SHORT list of the tasks I needed to do and when I was going to do them over the next six weeks.

And since the best way to learn something new is to teach it to someone else, I jotted down a few pointers from the course for other small business owners out there who might also be stumbling – frustrated and confused – through the cyber-wilderness called social media.

10 social media marketing tips for the not-so-techno-savvy small business owner:

1. You have to determine what results you want to achieve from your social networking efforts. Increased visitors to your website? Increased product or service sales? Increased number of subscribers to your e-zine?

2. You need to figure out who your market/s is. Then you need to find your market… your peeps, your tribes.

3. You will need to do a bit of trial and error to determine which social media platform/s is best for you to connect with your tribes: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. You don’t need to do them all – and I suggest you don’t even try.

4. Facebook is excellent for connecting with friends and maintaining relationships. In my case, as a writer it is a great way to share snapshots of my life – but not necessarily my writing.

5. Twitter is great for connecting with like-minded people you don’t know. Twitter is a fantastic way to build a buzz about your business or product. Twitter is where I am really starting to see some action, at least in terms of increasing the number of visitors to my website. But this only started to happen once I began using hashtags.

6. Hashtags are really important to use in your tweets because they help target who will see your posts. Hashtags are all about the use of key words that pinpoint your subject matter.

For example, since my book is about grief, I often use #grief when tweeting about the book. And low and behold, Twitter users who are looking for content about grief can find my tweet. So be sure to do a hashtag search first to ensure you are using the correct word/term to reach the people you want to reach.

7. Retweet other people’s tweets! And don’t be afraid to favourite someone else’s tweet now and then, either. Social media is social – it’s not just about you.

8. LinkedIn is not a sales platform (oops). LinkedIn is about connecting to like-minded professionals. It’s a great place to learn about what the people in your industry are up to and to share ideas, job postings, etc. I am also finding that it’s a great way to get readers to visit my website to read my blogs – but ONLY if I take the time to write a brief catchy blurb about the blog (using key words), that will actually catch their attention.

9. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is basically just the key words you need to use in your blog posts, article titles, web pages, tweets, etc so that search engines can find them. Here’s a quick trick to see how search engine optimized you are: Google the key words that pertain to your business and see if you or your business comes anywhere near the first page of rankings (which is where you want to be).

10. Google Analytics tracks your social marketing efforts. You set this up on your website and then you can see who is visiting your site, how long they are staying, which pages they are visiting, where they’ve come from, etc. This is very important because if you don’t know what is working and what isn’t, you won’t be able to tweak your efforts accordingly.

In my experience, using social media to effectively market one’s small business, products and services does take time and effort to figure out.

But once I shifted my attitude from feeling that I had to learn about it to an attitude of embracing the incredible opportunities that social media can offer, I began to realize that as a writer, social media means I can reach far more readers than I could twenty years ago. And I am seeing significantly more visitors to my website… and yes, they are even taking time to read my blogs.

Social Media Marketing – Three Tips To Get Your Business Started With Social Media

Know your strategy and understand what you wish to accomplish on social media (SM). I’m sure you’ve heard all the things out there that say,”social media is just a waste of time”. Well, guess what, it can be if you let it. When you have a strategy to get started with SM you will be starting down the path of success. Questions you can ask yourself that will assist…

1. Do you know what people are saying about you online? When you have profiles on the various social media platforms you are able to see who is talking about you, what they are saying and whether or not it’s good. Your SM profiles give you a way to find out, see what’s happening and see what’s going on in reference to you and your business

2. What is it that you’re trying to achieve? Your overall business and brand strategy needs to be thought out before you get online. Once done, you will easily be able to decide where you’ll be able to add value to your business. If you have a brick and mortar business, the methods to add value are different than someone who has an online business.

For my business it doesn’t matter whether you live in Canada, the United States, Australia, or England because a lot of business can be done online.

3. You need to be able to measure whether or not it’s working. The measurement techniques with social media are going to be a little different because you’re not always going to be able to count widgets or people. Sometimes you are going to have to find different methods of measuring. Experimenting with SM is important for your own health and the health of your business.

There are so many different options out there with social media, and knowing what tactics are actually going to help you achieve what you want is pretty critical. That’s one of the reasons it’s a really good idea to engage a social media strategist before you get started.

You need to be able to track and measure your impact. It doesn’t make sense to track how many Twitter followers you have if you’re not getting any results from Twitter. It doesn’t make sense to track how many people “like” your Facebook Page if you aren’t engaging them. You want them to come back, check things out and interact.

Make sure that you understand what you want to get out of social media, because yes, it really can take a lot of your time if you let it. When you know what you’re doing, you have a strategy, you adapt that strategy on a regular basis, you’re going to have success. You’ll be able to do it in a fairly short amount of time per day.