There are many well-known social-networking tools most. Most have no idea to market their small businesses on them, let alone the many other online tools to be successful. While social media along with mobile apps are a great way to get your advertisements out there you need to be aware of how they work and the tools to track them. You spend all this work on preparing and posting your media. How do you know if it is being shared? Is it really generating income for you?
Tweet Scan is a specific search engine just for Twitter posts. Search keywords and it delivers results to you via email daily. You could not only use it to track your company name, but what is going on with competitors too. Hoot Suite will enable you to manage multiple Twitter accounts from a single dashboard. You can per-schedule tweets freeing up your time. Plan marketing specials in advance and gives stats on links you post. You can measure and analyze your marketing efforts online with Grader. Check out everything from Twitter and Facebook account to your website. See how you're stacking up against competitors. After all you need to know if it is effective. Mashable is another great resource with tools that teach you how to use Twitter status updates to drive sales. With all the social media available you need to figure out how to optimize efforts, especially for small businesses to compete in current markets.
The Four Cs
Social media could be summed up with the four Cs, content, context, connection and community. In social media, it is good to have your tactics planned out, or else you will find yourself running in circles. If you do the four Cs well they will certainly generate leads, nurturing the conversion of customers. That generates profits and is why you are in business. Social media is a great way to build personal, open and honest conversations with prospective customers. You want to build a dependable relationship with the public. Build a reliable and trusting relationship with them. Integrating the public into your company relationships is what it is all about today making them feel like they are a part of you having a personal relationship.
While social media is a cost-effective way to get your advertisements out there I would suggest taking time to learn one fully before moving on to the next. You do not want to become overwhelmed and learn how to manage them all efficiently. Owning and running a small business is already very time-consuming for most owners. You want to manage your time wisely.
In the era of technology that we live in webinars are a great for companies to connect in a more personal way with others. You can put all those wonderful information-rich charts, spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations to more use in marketing with Slide Share. You can download or tweet them now, and it even has a widget for blog or website to share your Slide Share postings.
For any small business that is ready to enter the social media arena, I would suggest getting accounts, subscribing to follow others in your industry and listen. Find out what they are doing. What are people in the industry talking about today, what is really going on? This will give you an idea of what to post about and how to word it. Then jump in and do it. Outsourcing it with someone who does it for a living is also an option. There are many today who make a living social media managing for other companies.
I hope this was helpful. You can still have a big presence online and be a small business.