Social media or more correctly social technologies bring to mind FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn but there are literally hundreds of different networking and blogging sites out there and as a small business owner how do you decide which social site is right for you?
So you are in the position to start some online marketing for small business and someone has mentioned social media but where to begin?
This depends on what kind of small business you are in and what level of web presence you have already achieved. You may have had a website designer build you a flashy, all singing, all dancing, expensive website but that is as much use as a billboard in the Antarctic…who will see it?
No matter how slick and professional your site is if it has not been fully optimised (been made search engine friendly) then it wont appear anywhere near the top of a search engine listing and potential clients simply wont see it.
If you don’t have a website then it is important that you seriously consider investing in one. Consider carefully who you get to build one for you, as creative and talented as some website designers are, by their own admission they are not marketers. Having an online marketer build your site means not only do your get a great looking site but right from the beginning your site will be search engine friendly.
With a website under your belt let’s tackle social technologies. Social technology is the umbrella term for social media, social networking and social relevancy. Social media are sites such as YouTube, Flickr and Photobucket, social networking includes FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn and social relevancy is all about how people perceive you and your small business on the internet.
Social media is primarily all about sharing information in video and photograph formats so while any business can use social media it is perhaps more suited to and enjoyed by more creative industries.
Social networking is all about keeping in touch with clients and reaching out to prospective clients. Any small business can really make use of sites like Twitter and Facebook and as long as it is done correctly they can really build good customer relationships.
LinkedIn is a social networking site that is really geared towards the business sector and as a small business owner you should really consider joining. You can get loads of information from other small business owners and can really stay to create and online presence. By freely giving good advice and joining in on conversation with quality comments you can start to establish yourself as an expert in your field and begin to manage your online reputation.
Social relevancy is, in the next few years going to be big. How you manage what is said about you and your small business online is important. If you have members of staff that regularly post to sites on your behalf it is important to brainstorm with them and come up with an online reputation management policy. By doing this you will ensure that should a negative comment be made everyone knows how to deal with it. Likewise when a positive comment is posted an appropriate response can follow.
So as you can see marketing for small business online can be a bit more involved that you though but it is not something that should be overlooked. There are suitable sites out there for you to dip your toe in the social media waters.