You Don’t Need Social Media For Your Business

 

I attended a TweetChat recently where a question was thrown out, “Do you need social media for your business.”  The tweets were flying.  NEED is a strong word.  Do you NEED to be using social media for your business is like asking, “Do you NEED a phone for your business?”  “Do you need a website for your business?”  “Do you  NEED a fax machi….” never mind that one!  Social media tools, marketing, social marketing agency, community manager

What you need to be successful in your business are the current tools of the trade.  Sure there was a time when we NEEDED a fax machine to send contracts and receive important documents or spam messages from companies that wasted all of our black ink.  Times change, business changes and our tools must change as well.  Even our phones are less effective today than a few years ago.  People don’t answer phones or even have a receptionist that takes messages when you want to ignore incoming calls.  Today we have the ultimate gatekeeper…voicemail.

The great news is you have social media tools that allow you to gather information about your prospective clients, connect, and begin building a relationship with someone BEFORE you ever dial their number.

Here are 4 Social Media Tools and Tips to Get the Most Out of Them:

  1. LinkedIn

    • Subscribe to the company page of your prospective clients on LinkedIn
      This will allow you to be in the know of corporate happenings.  You can send a note or message to the person you are wanting to connect with, congratulating them on any big event.
    • Invite the person to connect.  Be sure to add a personal note letting them know you are interested in learning more about them and the work they do at XYZ company.  A personal note added to any social media invitation increases your chances of connecting.  Yes, you can follow the rules on LinkedIn and ask to be introduced as well. (I always opt for the BOLD approach but I’m very careful not to abuse any invitation.)
    • Pay attention to your prospects’ LinkedIn profile.  Even if you are not connected yet, you can see the updates on many profiles.  This could allow you to like or share content they have posted.
  2. Twitter

    • Find and follow any and all executives and prospective client contacts you can find on Twitter.
      Create a private list on Twitter and add these people to the list, allowing you to follow more closely what they talk about, what their concerns are and what is going on at the organization you are trying to penetrate.  (Sounds a bit like stalking, but let’s just call it “collecting business intelligence”!)
  3. Google Plus

    • See if your prospect’s company or anyone on the executive team has a Google Plus account or Google business page.  
    • You can “circle” a business page so you will receive any updates that are posted and for individuals on Google Plus, you (as an individual) can also circle them, like Twitter, in a circle titled prospects or potential clients. Be sure to +1 their updates and post a meaningful comment or two, where appropriate.
  4. Mention &/or Google Alerts

    • Mention and Google Alerts are important tools to help you keep tabs on what is being said about you and your brand or the brands you are wanting to do business with.  These tools will alert you when something is written about a brand you are watching, whether that is on a blog or a social media site that you may have missed.

There are many tools that help us do business today, and more emerge each day.  The key is to find and use tools that help you connect and build relationships.  What other new tools are you using?  We’d love to have you share them here in the comments…or you can send us a fax.

 

Download our FREE whitepaper “Build Your Business With Twitter” and discover ways to use this important social tool.

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3 Strategies to Tame the Social Media Beast in Your Business

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You walk into your office as the phone begins to ring. You answer the call as you click on your email icon and messages start pouring in. Half-way through your inbox, you realize you hadn’t scheduled anything on your social media sites  …again.  This is the third day in a row, and so you promise yourself that you will throw something up on your pages and profiles during the lunch hour, when things slow down a bit. The problem with this is… it never slows down. 
 
Effective content marketing takes more than throwing a post up now and then to let visitors know you are still around.  And for those who ask, “How many posts and tweets do in need to post each day, for it to be enough?” I say you are going about this all wrong. That’s like asking how many questions do I need to answer from my customers today, or how many times must I speak to guests in my hotel lobby today? First plan what you want to say and how you will answer common questions and then go out and start conversations.   
 

Here are 3 Strategies to Help Tame the Social Media Beast:

1. Take time each month and then each week to plan what content you want to get out.

Do you have events coming up that you need to let people know about? Is there a focus or theme for each week that you will tie your content into? Do you have a blog post to write or one that is written that you need to promote on all of your social sites? Will you run ads or a contest on one of your social sites? What questions do you want to ask your communities to gain insights into your products, services or industry? You’ve now got a worksheet full of content … Now it’s time to schedule.

 

2. Take time to schedule your content to drop at optimal times.

You know you are busy throughout the day, so scheduling your content ensures you will have well planned and well crafted content dropping at the optimal times for your communities.  Using a tool like Hootsuite, Buffer or other third party app, allows you to schedule content to Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook and others.  You can schedule your content out for the week or for the entire month if you wanted to. Think about your audience as you determine the best time to post. if you are a realtor or restaurant and your audience is local, you know the time zone your customers are in.  If you are a financial consultant that has most of your clientele on the east coast, then you take that into consideration. If you are targeting those heading out to work, drop your content early…perhaps 6:30-7:00am for LinkedIn or 7:00 for Facebook and Twitter.  If your target audience is stay-at-home moms or dads, target that, finally got the kids out the door, sweet spot, time. Lunch time and early evening might be another ideal time for your content to gain viewership. Here is a great post that provides more data on the best time to post. Once the content is scheduled, you can get to your other tasks….but don’t forget to check in.

 

3. Make time to chat and walk-about each day

Just because you put content up on your social media sites, doesn’t mean you hang the “Gone Fishing” sign on the door. You need to make time each day to pop in, comment on the discussions that you started, or respond to questions.  Take a quick “walk-about” and scan the posts others have put up and leave your comments or likes.  Reply or ReTweet a few posts and then close it down before your day gets sucked away.  If you do this two or three times a day, it will not pile up and become a big chore that you have to get to at the end of each day.  This social bear will be tamed in no time.

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Would you like a free template for the content strategy sheet that our team of community managers uses? Download your copy here and start taking the time to plan and be more strategic with your content.  You will start seeing greater results than the drive by, chuck-a-post approach.  I’m sure of it. 
 

If a little structure is all you need, download our CHECKLIST of 10 Daily Activities for Your Social Media Sites.

 
If the social marketing beast has you running for cover, just scream…we have our ears to the social grapevine. You can call, tweet or email us too.
 
social media, social marketing, social media management       @GinaSchreck   Gina@SocialKNX.com   

Social Marketing Is Like Karaoke; Everyone Wants To Sing, But No One Wants To Listen

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I think there are two kinds of people in the world, those who love Karaoke night at the local pub and those who would rather push pencils in their ears until they bleed.  Okay so there are probably one or two other kinds of people in this big world, like those who have had a few too many craft beers to really care, but generally speaking, you either love Karaoke or you don’t.  We’ve all probably met someone who just LOVES when they announce Karaoke time at the bar or the friend’s backyard pool party.  They have been practicing at home with their Starmaker Karaoke app for weeks, just waiting for their chance to take the big stage or corner of their friend’s backyard.  When the music starts they belt out Whitney Houston’s, “Greatest Love of All,” or Shania Twain’s, “Man, I Feel Like A Woman,” and the crowd goes wild …for the first song.  But by song number four or five, it’s painful.  Everyone is tired of hearing this wanna-be diva singing and they want her to take a seat, or a plunge in the deep-end of the pool.

In order for Karaoke to be fun for everyone, you’ve got to involve everyone.  Get everyone up singing together!  In the social media world, it’s not fun to have a brand singing the same old tired songs over and over, just pumping out their “great content,” their “webinar” or  “exclusive, last-day-to-sign-up, VIP only, event.”  How do you get others involved when you are using social media platforms?

Here are 3 Unique Ideas to Involve Your Community:

  1. Interview a customer, a supplier, or other thought-leader that your audience may find interesting. You can do this using Google Hangouts and have it load to your YouTube channel after for great post-event sharing, or use a voice-recording app like SoundNote for your iphone or iPad.
  2. Do a book review that your audience will find helpful and interesting–and not YOUR book either.  you can write this review up or…turn on that webcam and talk to the people!  You were just singing Karaoke, so don’t be camera shy.
  3. Find a business video and invite up to 10 of your customers or vendors to watch it together LIVE via Google Hangouts.  After watching it, you can facilitate a discussion or simply have some questions prepared to get the group discussing ways to incorporate the concepts into their businesses.

What other ideas can you come up with?  We’d love to hear them.  Step up to the comment mic and share. 

So come on…’fess up.  Have you been a Karaoke mic hog?  Is it time to let your community have a turn on the stage?  Who knows, they just might get up and SING YOUR PRAISES!  Check out the other resources and ideas we have for you on our site to help you connect to your audience! Let us know how we can help you get creative and build business using todays technology tools.  Let’s Connect!

@GinaSchreck