Category: Articles

Secrets To Small Business Success In Social Media

Written by: Aquarian Media Group

There are still so many opinions out there about small businesses using social media. Have you ever heard a business owner say: “It won’t work for our product”, “It takes up too much time”, “I never know if it’s doing anything…” All of these are valid statements, however probably made from people who have not developed a social strategy and were just winging it in their efforts.

Here are some basic tips to get you thinking about your social strategy:

1- BE ACTIVE & RELEVANT: The two biggest mistakes small businesses make is not being active on their accounts and managing conversations/interactions and posting too many promotions, specials and content their audience does not care about. Try following these steps: *Set aside time for social just like you would for bookkeeping, sales or follow ups. *Establish goals for each month. For example, get 100 new Twitter followers and 25 new fans. *Look at your reports to judge growth and success. Facebook has an automated report that they will send you each week detailing your page’s performance. Take 5 minutes to look at it.

2- GROW YOUR AUDIENCE: “If you build it they may not come…” That is the best way to describe the efforts necessary for social to work for a small business. You may have a wonderfully designed FB page with lots to give-a-way and tons of stuff to do but if no one knows about it, how will they ever read your daily posts or see how awesome your page is? Set aside time (see above) and write on other businesses like your own to ask for likes and talk about your give-a-way. For example: If you are an Auto Repair Shop, you may want to write on the walls or tire places, car clubs, car washes, etc.

3- GIVE PROPS: If you find an article that relates to your business or you think your audience will find interesting, tag the page you got it from or give them some props for either writing it or finding it for you to share. You’ll have an immediate fan from at least that page and hopefully some of their followers as well.

4- ENGAGE: Social Media is not a billboard or TV commercial. The concept of social is that it is two way communication. If you are constantly just posting specials or talking about “my business did this” or “my business offers that”, when are you giving the audience a chance to talk back?

5- CAN’T DO IT ALL? HIRE HELP!: If you want to be relevant online, social is becoming a necessary step. If you are not finding time for the above steps, don’t really have the desire to learn them or don’t understand it all…. HIRE SOMEONE! More and more companies are choosing to sub-out work to agencies, contractors, etc which makes it cheaper then employing someone to handle these tasks.

HOPE THIS HELPS YOU EITHER GET STARTED OR RETHINK YOUR CURRENT EFFORTS. SEE YA ON FB AND TWITTER (hopefully)!!!

This Article was provided by Aquariuan Media Group, to learn more about their company, 

CLICK HERE! 

To Get A Free Mentor Who Can Help You With Social Media, CLICK HERE!

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6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start Advertising

  1. Is advertising the best marketing tactic to use?  (Or would something else work better?)
  2. Do you want to create an ad campaign or just an ad?
  3. Where do you want to advertise? (locally, regionally, nationally, online only)
  4. What’s your ad budget? Is that enough to do an effective job?
  5. What type of advertising do you want to create? 
  6. What do you want to do yourself?  What do you want to hire an agency or freelancer to do for you?

Decision #1:  Is advertising the best marketing tactic to use? 

From our experience, many companies rush to do advertising when another type of marketing may work better. Before you advertise, understand the Alternatives to Advertising.  Learn about the pros, cons, costs and alternatives so you can determine what will work best for your needs and budget.

Decision #2:  Ad campaign or just an ad?

A campaign is advertising placed on different media (TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, outdoor billboards, online, etc.) that is unified by a common theme, visuals and message. Your campaign can be extended into all of your marketing.

Advertising is creative business, yes.  But ultimately ads are sales pitches. Effective advertising should be like creating (or cloning) your best sales pitch or best sales person. Sure, it helps if the ad is interesting and clever but the bottom line is: Did it get a sale or move the prospect closer to a sale?

There are two primary types of advertising:

  • Brand ads that aim to create, change or enhance the brand personality and positioning. These ads are like business development people who identify, educate and nurture prospects and existing customers.
  • Direct response ads that are like sales reps on quota. These ads are designed and measured by how well they convert prospects into buyers and how much revenue they generate.

From our experience, most agencies and freelancers are not good at both brand and direct response advertising. They specialize. And they tend not to see eye-to-eye. Direct response ad experts consider brand advertising “fluffy” and brand ad experts consider direct response advertising transactional, unemotional and unimpressive. So, if you want to develop a campaign using both types of ads, you’ll need to act as the orchestra leader.

Developing an ad campaign takes more work and costs more up front, but it pays back by establishing a stronger brand reputation for your product, service, company or non-profit organization. The theme and messages from the ad campaign can be used in other sales and marketing materials to further integrate your marketing. Consistency reassures customers and prospects and makes a brand look like a leader. It’s what Starbucks and McDonald’s and most major advertisers do because it works. Small businesses and non-profit organizations can do this too.

By using different advertising in different types of media in your ad campaign, you’ll benefit from what’s called the “Media Multiplier Effect.”  Major advertisers have learned when they use more than one type of media (generally TV and print), that the recall and communication of their message is greater than when they only use one type of media. Think of it this way: A sales rep who uses phone calls, sales meetings, email messages, printed letters and multimedia presentations will be more effective than someone who only uses one communication vehicle.

Campaigns need a “big idea” that will work across all marketing, and that takes time (and luck) to create.  It’s better to run one-off ads that are effective than trying to unify everything under a campaign theme that isn’t great. It’s the trade-off of integration versus effectiveness. Ideally you’d like both.

Derrith LambkaFounder and Editor-in-Chief, MarketingZone. 

 

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3 Things That Make A Startup Work

Many entrepreneurs, including myself, think big – really big. Everyone has ideas and some of them are actually quite good but usually they’re too big and broad to actually execute. If you’re serious about building a great business, you’ll need to be incredibly focused to make it happen. Otherwise, your idea will never have a chance of leaving that cocktail napkin. From my experience, the only way you’ll actually get going is by taking many small steps to stay focused. These steps, one by one, will collectively build your foundation for a successful business. Save the world but start by fixing your neighborhood.

I recently had a conversation with a very inspiring and successful serial entrepreneur – the real deal – Eric Kuhn, who echoed my sentiments about staying focused. He founded Varsity Books which he took public and most recently launched FoundersCard, a members only community for leading entrepreneurs and innovators. (I joined and love the perks like free inflight wireless on American Airlines.)  I naturally asked what was his secret sauce for staying focused in helping FoundersCard achieve success. Here’s what he had to say:

1.  Niche Market?  Focus on a segment of customers and build a product that is exceptionally valuable and relevant to them. Don’t get distracted by trying to be too big too fast.  After you succeed in accomplishing success in your initial market, you will be much better positioned to grow beyond that initial market.

2. Lean Startup? Cash will always be king. Communicate spending priorities and make sure everyone on your team spends the company’s money as if it is theirs. Regardless of how much money is in the company’s bank account, intelligent and thoughtful spending leads to a healthier and more productive company.

3. Ditch the Outdated Business Plan.  Don’t be hostage to the original business plan after you raise the money. It’s irresponsible to execute on a plan that is outdated.  Constantly incorporate new insights from customer feedback to write plans that cover smaller increments of time.  I use a three month plan to account for the ever-changing nature of a new business.  Put the original business plan on the shelf and bring it out five years later.  You’ll get quite a laugh.

Hopefully, these tips can help you in building your own business or taking it to the next level. Feel free to share your own tips for staying focused.

 

Bryan JaneczkoFounder, Wicked Start
Bryan has 15 years of financial and entrepreneurial experience including co-founding start-ups like Nu-Kitchen, an online food retailer. Bryan is an active board member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO) and StartOut. He is dedicated to the success of all small businesses.

To Learn More About Bryan, CLICK HERE!

Looking For A SCORE Mentor To Help You With Your Start Up Business, CLICK HERE!

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