Monday, September 27, 2010

10 step checklist for small business starting in social media

I talk to small businesses everyday about social media.

They email me questions, ask for presentations, tutoring, help with setting up accounts, etc. The nuts and bolts can take a lot of time for small business, the services are always changing, and even once all the accounts are set up and integrated, they find themselves spending more and more time updating statuses and tweeting links with less and less satisfaction and results.

That’s one of the reasons I’m a big fan of strategy. Know what results you are expecting.

Know where you want to go. Sure, save all the usernames you can. That’s good advice. But you don’t have to populate them right now, or ever. Keep it simple. Blog only if you have time and your customers will value it. Tweet, definitely. Facebook page, absolutely. Maybe even add a coupon to Google places or foursquare if retail savings is your business forte. Make time to engage in key groups on Linked in if you’re a consultant.

Just keep it manageable.

Social media for small business needs to start somewhere, and starting small and making time to monitor results will help you judge your ROI. Here’s a 10-Step checklist for small business. If you’re a one or two person shop, realize that unless your business gets put on hold, putting these 10 steps into action can take 3-5 weeks. Because sometimes, well actually, all the time social media is less important than getting the work done, or going for coffee with a prospect, or sending a thank you note.

So if you’re ready to get started, here’s some suggestions. And if you need help, or want a strategy, give me a call or send me an email.

1. Ensure Google analytic tracking code is properly installed and functioning on web pages

2. Update locations and request reviews and recommendations on Google, Yelp etc.

3. Establish your foursquare account and offer a discount for anyone who checks in

4. Make your Facebook Page public with a username

5. Create your LinkedIn business page

6. Establish Twitter and Blog accounts

7. Write and post first content Blog then Integrate/Cross promote it by tweeting about it, posting on facebook

8. Add your new account addresses to your profile pages, emails, business cards, website

9. Update content on profile accounts, like your Chamber of Commerce and other site

10. Practise listening, creating and engaging strategies; monitor results!

If it was an 11 step checklist, #11 would be ... have fun! It’s called social for a reason.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A radio station isn't a radio station anymore, it's a website!

I can't believe it's been nearly two months since I last blogged. I just got word that an out of town client wants to delay my road trip this morning, so I've gained an hour or so early in my day. Still, rather than working on social media presentations this week for a Rotary and municipal groups, I have a greater interest in blogging at the moment.

We recently had a new radio station open up in our city and I wanted to track them down while travelling in my car via blackberry. No telephone directly listing-- they're a month old! They didn't show up on a google search; they have no listing. I couldn't reach them. And it got me to thinking....

Maybe, just maybe, the station isn't a station, but actually a front for a website! Think of it: A website that has a built-in, 24/7 promotion machine (the radio station). Now as an advertiser, wouldn't you want your business to be on that website? A commercial on the radio is hit and miss-- you only reach who's listening at the moment, (kind of like twitter), but if you're on their website and they're constantly driving your demographic to their website, now there's a measurable, marketing advantage for your company.

The mass media product becomes the source for driving customers to your landing pages, just a click or two away. Wouldn't it be fun to see those conversion rates? Could work for television, and newspaper too. Throw in the QR codes and you're really getting interactive and mobile.

Crazy way of thinking about broadcasters and publishers...or a new revenue-generating model for media? Their product (newspaper, tv shows, news coverage) becomes simply a way to send clients to their web sites where businesses are paying prime dollar for "above the fold" online pages. Lock in a good contract today--online real estate with proven ability to attract readers and consumers will be going up in price.

That's my Pinnacle Thought for today. Tell me what you think!