An editorial comic that’s 2 years old still suits us well today – perhaps more so now:
Guy: Where have you been?! No e-mail. You didn’t text me. Not a clue on your blog. You didn’t update your status on Facebook. It’s like you fell off the face of the Earth!
Girl: Did you not check Twitter?
Guy: OOPS, Sorry… [reading tweet] “Upstairs. Going to the bathroom. Be back in 5.”
A little melodramatic, maybe. But it illustrates how crazy some social media use has become.
Social media has its purpose, and is indeed a whole new way of connecting and communicating. It is clearly more than just a fad, and has quickly integrated into all aspects of every day life in the modern world.
But, even as a social media manager, I have to admit that sometimes people (and businesses) take social media use too far. Read more >>
Many small business owners understand the need to be engaged in social media. Social media is about engagement and influence. While it may not immediately be generating leads or sales for your business, it will help right from the beginning to build relationships with your followers and potential customers, as well as helping to bring your business to the forefront of their awareness as you engage and interact with people through your social media profiles.
There are a few things to consider as you decide how to get the best bang for your social media buck, or at least how to make social media worth the time you spend on it for your business.
4 tips for your small business as you consider how to use social media:
1) Leverage your personal network on Facebook.
It IS your business, and there’s nothing wrong with inviting your friends and family to like your business page. (There is an ‘invite friends’ link in your sidebar as an administrator on the page. You DO have a Facebook page for your business, right?) Share on your personal profile something about your business once or twice a week. Keep in mind that many of your friends will want to support you in your endeavors and patronize your business if possible. Don’t be obnoxious with your sharing, of course. But do include your personal network in your social media plans for your small business.
2) Be sure to follow the right people on Twitter.
You can follow the right people on Twitter by using searches (for your geographic location or industry niche, for example), and then following and engaging the people who turn up in your searches. Always follow people who interact with you, and share other people’s tweets if you find them useful and helpful. You make good Twitter friends by being a good Twitter friend, so tweet others as you’d like them to tweet you!
3) Decide how much time or money as a small business owner you want to spend on social media and stick to it. Read more >>
I’ve been asked a few times, “Why should we consider investing in Social Media rather than traditional forms of advertising?” There are many good reasons!
“According to the Cone Business in Social Media Study, 93% of Americans expect companies they do business with to have a social media presence.”
“And 85% believe a company should not only be present, but also interact with its customers via social media.”
Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, WikiPedia, forums, etc.) is a new field of technology that provides a new way to work with customers. Social Media allows you to create relationships, generate and share information, and communicate with people who care.
Is Social Media a Fad? Or is it the biggest shift since the industrial revolution?
- In 2010, Gen “Y“outnumbered Baby Boomers. 96% of them have joined a social network.
- 1 out of 8 couples married in the US last year met via social media.
- Facebook added 200 million users in less than 1 year.
- If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s 3rd largest.
- The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year-old females.
- More than 1.5 million pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) are shared on Facebook DAILY.
We no longer search for the news; the news finds us…
Social Media isn’t a fad. It’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate.
The traditional model of media and communication is fading away. Read more >>
Twitter is a fun, fast-moving form of social media that some people are unsure about or maybe find a bit intimidating. Others have jumped into the Twitterstream with both feet, knowing that it’s important, or at the very least fun, but they aren’t using it well. 140-character updates are flying around left right and center, and you’re either on-board or you’re sitting on the sidelines trying to figure it all out! Whether you’re just getting started, or have been tweeting for a while, here are some Twitter Do’s and Don’ts.
DON’T join Twitter unless you actually intend to be active on it.
I hate to start with a “don’t” but this one is pretty important. It’s no secret that social media is the place to be for marketing and interactions online, and many people see the immense value in having a Twitter account set up. However, other than a posting few tweets to start with right after setting up the account, many people also leave their account dormant. This almost looks worse than having no twitter account at all. It looks like you’re uninterested, or too busy. Twitter is about being interactive, and a poorly managed twitter account says that you don’t care to interact. A marginally active or dormant twitter profile is self-defeating.
If you’re going to have a twitter account, be sure that you are ready to maintain it and be active with it, interacting with people and seeking followers. Otherwise, stay off of twitter until you’re ready to engage there. Another option is to have a social media manager to help you to maintain your Twitter account (and other social media profiles), to keep it up-to-date and active, while retaining your personal voice. Being active is the only option you have on Twitter!
DO select your Twitter name carefully.
Your Twitter name (username, or Twitter handle, as it is commonly called) will be how all of your Twitter followers know you. In a Twitterstream, followers will only see your Twitter name, not your business name, or your own name, so you want to be selective when choosing your Twitter name. You can only use 15 characters in your name and you want it to be representative of you or your business. It needs to be recognizable and usually something relatively readable, that people can figure out and relate to quickly, while attributing that name to you or your business.
You’ll also want to be careful to look at your username from many different perspectives to see if it could possibly be read as something different than you intend. For example, a good friend of mine is @knitwitshair and her blog is The Knit Wit (by Shair). Even though I know who she is, I always read her twitter name as “knit wits hair” instead of “knit wit shair”. My personal twitter is @OKtobeWEIRD and I’ve had a few people comment that they think it’s meant to say “October Weird”… this wasn’t an option I had ever considered, but I can see how it would happen. So, you need to be careful in choosing your Twitter name. (see What kind of Twitter name should you choose? for more details.) A social media manager can ensure that your desired username is available across all social media profiles, and make sure to get them all (or as many of them as you intend to use) registered for you. They can also advise on good possibilities for Twitter names / usernames for your specific business. Having a Twitter name that accurately reflects you or your business is an important first impression for your Twitter followers.
DO add a personal profile picture to your Twitter account.
A good profile picture says a lot about you and your business, company or organization. Even just using your logo helps people to identify with your brand across all your social media profiles as well as your real life business face. A profile pic that is consistent everywhere people find you means you’ll be easily recognizable, and you want people to be able to pick you out of the Twitterstream crowd. Read more >>
Welcome to Off the Wall!
Raylene and Jeff Wall