Columbus, Ohio (PRESS RELEASE – August 5, 2011) – Manta, the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business, recently announced the availability of Manta Connect, a new forum for business owners to connect with their peers, discuss new ways to reach customers and provide insight into overcoming common SMB challenges. Manta experts also participate in the conversations to share best practices on topics from everything about how to leverage new marketing tools, drive sales from their website and understand more about search engine optimization (SEO).
“Manta is committed to providing small businesses with tools that help them grow their business in new ways. With more than 6,000 small business owners already taking advantage of Manta Connect, it’s clear SMBs are embracing the forum as a place to share and receive advice that helps them stay ahead of the competition,” said Pamela Springer, president and CEO of Manta. “Small business owners on Manta Connect report they’ve seen immediate results, including increased visits to their Manta profile.”
“Taking part in the Manta Connect forum has been a great way to meet other business owners from around the nation and has generated great leads for future business,” said Patrick Tuure, owner of OT Web Designs.” Manta Connect has proven to be an excellent method of creating business partnerships for several projects that I haven’t been able to find locally. The best part is that it’s simple and easy to connect with fellow business owners looking to exchange best practices.”
The small business community today is very fragmented, and business owners are forced to multitask at a whole new level. Manta provides small businesses with new ways to improve their business efficiencies by connecting them with each other. In addition to the forum, Manta is hosting Small Business Tweet Chats on Twitter so the Manta community can connect and chat in real-time.
Manta Connect already has more than 130,000 views, and one of the hot topics being discussed among the community today is how to use social media effectively. Manta experts are providing tips to help get SMBs started:
- Social media is free, but it’s not cheap: Demonstrating your expertise on social media is essential, but it requires a serious investment of your time. Formulate a plan of attack for your social media marketing efforts; determine what your goals are and the amount of resources you hope to dedicate to the program. Make sure your social media efforts are integrated with the other marketing and advertising programs your business is using.
- Track your success: As you might have limited resources and time, it’s critical to measure your social media program to be sure it’s worth the investment. Once you set your goals, make sure you have analytic tools set up to monitor your progress. Most social media applications have these tools within their platforms, so just take a look at the Help section. You also can measure engagement by the number of comments, likes and connections you achieve.
- Communication is a two-way street: The social media space enables you to talk about your business and what you offer, but listening and engaging with others is how you’ll make lasting connections with prospects and your peers. Don’t be afraid to address both positive and negative feedback you receive from those you’re engaging with. The more transparent and authentic you are as a business, the more trust others will have in you and your brand.
- Make time for social media: Social media isn’t something you can set up and just walk away from. As the owner, you know your business better than anyone else, but building your online presence via social media can be time-intensive. Ask for help and consider having one of your employees engage with your users on a regular basis with consistent interactions when you’re strapped for time.
Manta helps small businesses profit, connect and grow through the largest online community dedicated entirely to small business. Millions of people come to Manta each day to buy from, partner with and connect to companies. By joining Manta, small businesses easily harness the power of the Internet.