Social Media – it can be contentious.

Some people think that Facebook will overtake Google. Others think Facebook might be overrated or even be put out of business by Google.

Others are worried about Facebook killing email. That’s preposterous. Email can be saved, searched, printed, forwarded and lots of other things than Facebook updates can’t be. Maybe after a few improvements….

The US FTC wants Facebook to make opt-out the default sharing option for privacy settings on Facebook. That’s been a long time coming, since Facebook was started with stolen names and pictures. Some even say that Facebook is ruining sharing and abusing users.

A judge decided that one divorcing couple had to share Facebook account passwords. How’s that for sharing?

Meanwhile, Google+ continues to grow. And grow.

But let’s put this all in perspective. Google is growing, Facebook will have to change and more people are using social media than ever before. And because of that, it makes sense to use social media while you can.

Ten Seconds of Twitter

Say you had three hundred Twitter followers for your restaurant and you post a Twitter-only coupon. How many of those people might use your coupon? It’s hard to say because the results depend on what the coupon is for, who your clientele is, what time of year it is and other things. Let’s assume it was a pretty good response and fifty coupons came back. Not bad, huh?

That was a pretty good use of the five or ten seconds it might take to Tweet about your coupon. Just in case you think that fifty coupons of three hundred is unrealistic – say it was only ten coupons. That’s still a good return for ten seconds of effort.

You may have seen this article about Ashton Kutcher’t tweet sending 130,000 visitors to a link. Now, it’s unlikely that you will ever have 6 million followers and 130,000 validated coupons for your imaginary restaurant but that’s not the point.

The point is that it would be foolish not to use Twitter for your business, whether you have six or six million followers. It’s also very easy for your Tweet to be reweeted to people who aren’t even your followers.

The few seconds you spend to send out a Tweet that your followers will find useful is always well spent.

Don’t know what Twitter is?
Don’t have time to get on Twitter?

We can help. For more information, please contact us at 518-882-3065

Top 10 Reasons For Business Owners to Get Started With Social Media

For those who need more than one good reason…

What is Social Media? Social Media is a form of media that allows you to share information and interact with people instantly all over the world. There are many Social Media networks, but the largest are Twitter and Facebook. It’s the most inexpensive, quickest and far reaching communication that we have available today.

Businesses are just starting to make use of Social Media and this is a great time to get established in the digital landscape. Below, we have provided ten reasons why for those who need more than one good reason to try something new…

1. Be In The Conversation. Look around… People are using Social Media on their cel phones while walking, talking, at the gym and even while driving. They are talking with someone, why not you? If you are available and on personal speaking terms with your customer, they are more likely to trust you enough to do business with you.

2. Marketing Tool. You get to lower your advertising expenses while at the same time connecting with your clients. Successful businesses use this to handle their customer service, sales and instantly deliver targeted messages to consumers. The best part about this is that you don’t have to use carefully written ad copy. You can just be yourself.

3. Improved Website Ranking. Having Social Media and a blog works hand in hand with your main website and optimizing your website for Search Engines and free search exposure. The more of these things you have active, the more interesting it is for search engines and users. Social Media also extends the reach of your website into other channels.

4. New Leads and Customers. You can not only pick up business from your current friends and customers but you can also reach out to their friends on Social Media. On average, each Facebook user has 130 friends for them (and you) to reach out to. People look to Social Media to help them make purchasing decisions.

5. You Are The Expert. An active Social Media presence shows the world that you are an expert in your field. Your voice can be heard at the same level as far larger businesses. And if you are the expert, your customers will be going to you instead of your competitors.

6. Cut The Cord. Being on Social Media let you show you have an active business and can more easily be approached to participate in joint ventures and partnerships. Stop relying on local Chambers and chance meetings to partner.

7. Clients Get To Know You. Your website and Social Media can let customers get to know your personality before they meet you. You can use Social Media to interact and connect with clients and keep yourself in their mind’s eye constantly. What better way to be exposed to what your clients want than by talking to them for just a few minutes each day?

8. Save Yourself Time. Can you make the time to talk with all your customers daily, at any time of day? With Social Media, you can. The average Facebook user spends 55 minutes a day on Facebook. Social Media is the number one activity, topping out even over using email, and 66% of people are on social networks. That’s where your customers are most easily reached.

9. Save Yourself Money. One day in the newspaper is one month in CheckItSmart, and you can reach more people in one Social Media update than those few who may see your ad in the one night’s newspaper. No matter how small your niche offering is, you can find communities who are interested in your brand much more efficiently and inexpensively.

10. Research and Development. Your products and services will change over time. If you listen to your Social Media contacts, you can improve your offerings to better fit what they want. You can ask questions and get immediate feedback, whether they are about complaints, compliments, needs, competitors or entirely new things – don’t you want to know?

11. It Doesn’t Stop at 10 Reasons. Social Media technology continues to expand with the increased use of wireless phones and website integration. The audience and opportunity is growing in new and exciting ways.

As you can see, there is much to be lost by not being on Social Media.

If you’re like many other business owners, you are thinking that you don’t have time to learn about Social Media, much less learn how to use it effectively. Let us answer your questions, help you get started and make Social Media work for you. We can save you the time and hassle of getting your Social Media presence up and rolling. See what we can help you do.

Six of Six Social Media Strategies

In the November, 2011 issue of Inc. Magazine, they had an article entitled “Social Media By The Numbers.” They looked at six social media marketing strategies and made a judgement about whether they are worthwhile.

We’re going to look at the techniques and see how we can make use of them for small business. In this tip, you reward those who promote your product on social media.

The goal is to turn your customers into salespeople who spread the word. Let them send out a coupon with their code on it to all their friends. You, of course, have to offer something valuable in return for their promotion.

You might offer your salespeople a discounted upgrade based on their earlier purchase through you – something that they’ll appreciate and doesn’t cost you too much in time or money.

If you can get each of them to send out a coupon to three hundred of their friends, that’s three to six new customers you’ll gain per salesperson.

This is something you can do once or twice a year and keep it running for only a limited time period.

Five of Six Social Media Strategies

In the November, 2011 issue of Inc. Magazine, they had an article entitled “Social Media By The Numbers.” They looked at six social media marketing strategies and made a judgement about whether they are worthwhile.

We’ve been looking at the techniques and see how we can make use of them for small business. Videos are an indispensable tool for businesses to promote with. They are easy to share by social media and more people like videos than they like reading and investigating.

Your business video should be entertaining and useful, if possible. No one is going to watch a dry, boring video about anything.

They will watch a visual spectacle or something funny. So give them dinner theater; something surprising or fun to watch.

What if you own a health foods store and they accidentally sent you unripened bananas? Did you know that unripened bananas are bitter and smell like cut cucumbers? So get your fruit stand out and film people doing a taste test on ‘a new kind of banana.’ Make up a story about genetically crossing an exotic banana with cucumber seed genes. Let them smell it and then have them taste test it.

I guarantee their reactions will be hilarious and priceless. Afterward you can reward them for participating and any bananas you use in making the video can be charged to advertising. (The rest you can put in paper bags at 60 degrees and they should ripen.)

Be creative and give them a visual spectacle.