A small business winning strategy
Does your business currently have a Facebook page or Twitter feed? How about a blog? LinkedIn? MySpace? Digg? StumbleUpon? Hey, if you're a little late jumping on the social media train, it's ok. You're busy managing a business! We understand. It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the social media opportunities out there. You're probably asking yourself-Why do I need to be plugged in to all of these social destinations? Well, the answer is pretty simple - it's because almost everyone else is (including your current and future customers), so here's another way to reach and interact with them - use these tools to get big results!
Who's using social media?
So, when we said "almost everyone" is using some sort of social networking tool, what we meant was 75% of US online adults now participate in or consume social content at least once a month, meaning when they're looking at their email, they're probably also checking their Facebook page or updating their Twitter feeds. So why not hit them in both places at once? Keep in mind that use varies by age and behavior.
a) Young adults lead the way, as content creators, critics, spectators, joiners and collectors.
b) 35-44 year olds are the second most active, especially as critics, joiners and spectators.
c) 45+ are trailing the pack, but are catching up quickly.
Create a company profile
Creating a profile on big social sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, LinkedIn, and YouTube is a great (and FREE) way for you to get the word out about hot deals coming up, upcoming events and to drive more potential customers to your website. It also encourages viral sharing. For example, if Jane becomes a "fan" of her favorite local store on Facebook, "Urban Outerwear," her friend Jack will see this on her profile and because he is a fan of urban clothing, will click on a link which drives him to the company profile and ultimately leads him to the company website. Many people also use Twitter as a way of notifying their friends of great new restaurants or stores that they've visited. Small business free advertising! Using these tools is a great way to keep in touch with current customers, while also gaining new ones.
Promote your social media page
Whether it's a blog, a YouTube channel or Twitter feed, make sure you tell your current customers through email that you're plugged in. Send an email campaign that incents your customers to become "fans" or to take part in your blog conversations and include links to follow you or be a fan in all your emails and on your website for that matter. Think coupons, discounts, limited-time promotions, sneak peaks or even fan-only promotions. Also, the more you update your profile, the more visibility you have with your audience. Remember that when you send emails, you'll want to create a reason to drive people to Facebook or Twitter, create a contest, or a club, that gives you the means to communicate regularly about upcoming dates. Drive people to the social sites to share photos and videos, and even creates an opportunity to add/invite new friends. These sites provide a great forum for your customers to tap the knowledge of and converse with others. It's a great way for them to interact with their favorite business.
Combining social media and email
Listen to what people are saying
Now that you have your Facebook company page up, you're Tweeting like a pro, you've got yourself your own LinkedIn profile, and your blog is steadily gathering more and more followers, you can consider yourself fully plugged in. So, now what? Remember, that all of these pages will not only act as free advertising for your business but also like sponges for feedback. Use these tools to listen to what your customers are saying. Not just about your store, but about what they like/dislike and also learn what other types of media channels your customers might be tapping in to. Monitoring the conversations of current or prospective customers will help you think about what you have to offer them as well as get that all-important outside perspective on things - you never know what new great ideas could materialize from the chatter. One more thing; seek out other businesses in your space - LinkedIn is great for networking with other business owners.
Jump in and join the party
By combining social media with your email campaigns, you are building up every campaign for maximum impact. So, go ahead, transform those tweets, texts and daily status updates in to real-world revenue generators Get started now in navigating these opportunities to find out how to combine social networking with your email campaign in order to ensure that you're engaging your social audience. Not only do you easily stay top-of-mind with your customers, but you truly maximize the two-way dialog about things important to you - your business.