Social media is such a huge part of small business marketing these days, we just can’t resist sharing the latest whenever we can. This roundup is arranged with the latest news and opinion, but also as a guide to help you figure out the latest trends and where your business needs to be looking in the near future. Do you have a plan for using social media? If not, we hope this roundup will get you started. Please leave any additional thoughts you believe might help other business owners in the comment section below.
News & Opinion
State of social media today. How is your small business affected? Are you using social media to market your company online? Like other aspects of your business, the world of social media is evolving almost daily. How is your business responding? Today’s effective new trend could be tomorrow’s old school. Be ready and be aware not only of where social media is but also where it is headed. And what this means to your bottom line. Business2Community
Why even bloggers need a business plan. Is there more to being a superstar blogger than just sitting down at your laptop and blogging your way to fame and fortune? You bet there is! That’s why many of the greatest and most successful bloggers out there have a surprisingly well-developed business model backing them up. Want to know more about how the social media universe works? Read more from Christine McCarthy on strategic business planning for your blog. Christine.com
Social media is boosting small business everywhere. And there’s data to support it! Of course, a lot depends on what expectations you have for your small business in the first place…and how you use your social media campaigns to connect with your community and customer base. But be assured, social media will attract more attention to your brand and lead to better leads in the process. Small Business Trends
2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report. Here is the hard data from Michael Stelzner. Referred to in the Small Business Trends article above, this is the full report on how social media is evolving. There is a list of highlights, a video overview hosted by Stelzner and, of course, the report itself free for download and perusal. Stelzner asks that everyone who reads and finds the report helpful share it via social media with a friend. Social Media Examiner
How to avoid marketing with social media? Of course, marketing your business or personal brand is the whole point of social media…or is it? To use social media best, perhaps we must first change how we look at marketing versus building relationships and sharing information in a more authentic manner. If marketing means talking about yourself and your product 24/7, then maybe it’s time to rethink what marketing means to you AND your customers. BizSugar Blog
Social media makes your small business look bigger. But use of social media is not about presenting a false image of you business. Instead, it’s about being able to reach more customers quickly and in a different way than has ever been possible before. As Ramon Ray of Smallbiztechnology.com explains in the article above, “With the rise of social media and ubiquity of online software the time is NOW for small businesses to reach a big business audience…” Nuff said! Inc.com
Using technology to thank your customers. Sure, you’re using tools like Twitter and Facebook to spread your brand and to share more about your products, services and company. But, if that’s all you’re doing, could you seriously be missing out on a big opportunity? What about customer service, thanking your customer and making them feel valued and special? Put your social media efforts to work in this area, and discover a whole new range of possibilities. Smallbiztechnology.com
Why you don’t need to be social with everyone. Social media may be all about reaching out and getting in touch. But could there be some folks you don’t want to associate with so much out there in social media land? Oh, there sure are and have we got their number! Just check out the post above and see if you’ve already met some of these characters on Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere. And if you have, consider avoiding them in the future. Small Business Trends
Startups developing new social media tools. Maintaining your social media presence can be a daunting task, especially added to everything else you’ve got to do in your small business. So how do you monitor and take part in conversations about your business out there on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms while still creating the incredible products and services that make your company great? We’re glad you asked. Fox Small Business Center
The Social Media Survival Guide. With everything going on in the social media space, the bottom line is that small businesses must begin to take these powerful tools seriously. There are a lot of great resources out there to help, but when it comes to creating a campaign that works, what’s a newbie to do? If there is one book that can lay out some simple answers small businesses can use immediately, Ivana Taylor has this suggestion…and a detailed review. Small Business Trends
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As far as blogging goes, WordPress should be an option that every business owner should seriously consider when building or redesigning their website.
For the sake of more control and customization, business owners should consider finding a suitable host and run the free WordPress install from WordPress.org. Many of the bigger hosts now have automated WordPress installs that take less than 5 minutes to install.
I’ve written a 50+ page ebook guide to help business owners build and maintain a WordPress site called The Small Business Guide to Building & Managing a Website: The Power of WordPress
Great post. You are right. Social Media is not a platform to deliver sales pitch. It’s not about talking about yourself. Listening to the audience to find out their needs and then responding to them to fulfill those can result in a healthy relationship in between the business and its customers. And Social Media is the right place to practice that.
A great post. Every business that needs to listen to their customer should have social media be an important part of their business plan. If you make your customer happy, they will let others know through word-of-mouth and the net. The opposite is also true. If the customer is unhappy, they will spread that information as well. By being involved with social, a company has a better opportunity to engage their customer and hopefully make them happy.