Companies that provide social media marketing around Alabama as well as abroad have years of experience in marketing, are social media savvy, and have nothing but time to devote to making your business shine on the web. Small business owners and other organizations in comparison usually don’t have any of those.
So how can you even begin to imagine running your own social media marketing campaigns? How do other businesses without huge marketing budgets manage to use social media to attract customers – and how do they come up with ideas that make things like Facebook and Twitter work for their business?
This is a question I often hear from clients who haven’t really attempted much in the way of social media marketing, or their efforts in the past haven’t produced much.
“Can I even make money from social media? Is there a guaranteed way to monetize it? Is it even worth the effort?
It’s a fair questions, because anything you spend time and money in for your business really needs to produce results or it’s a waste of time. But results with some marketing campaigns, such as with social media marketing, don’t happen over night.
Consider the scale of social media today, and the fact that Google+ has already garnered more than 90 million members in a few short months, and you can start to see a case for putting your business into the heart of social media.
Are your customers using social media? Are there B2B customers using LinkedIn? Do you have B2C customers milling about on Facebook? More than likely, no matter how obscure your vertical is. The fact remains though that there are other reasons you should focus on social media marketing besides the customers that may be there.
There are a lot of other reasons to get into social media marketing that have very little to do with directly engaging your target audience. In fact, if you were to pretend that you have no target customers directly accessible via social media, would you still have a reason to launch a social media marketing strategy?
Social media can be fun and entertaining on a personal level, but social media marketing for a Mobile, AL business is a lot more involved, and it starts with creating an effective social media strategy. The planning can be daunting. Should we be on Facebook? How about Twitter? Should be we offer deals and be humorous or just play it straight?
All great questions, but they cannot be answered before you figure out if social media is right for you and your business. You could just shrug it off and dive right into the world of social media, but without a social media strategy you’re more likely to waste time and marketing budget before seeing any real return on your investment.
Even if you’re a small business owner, your social media marketing schedule can quickly become overwhelming. Blog posts, Facebook Posts and don’t forget your Twitter and Tumblr. Fielding emails and all the while still finding time to run your business, the whole process can be a mental drain.
It’s a lot of moving pieces, and each one is just as important as the next to make sure everything runs like clockwork. There is hope, though. Here are some key things to keep in mind when managing your social media schedule, and the tools to help you get there.
Social media marketing is finally at the top of your to-do list. You’ve got your Facebook Page set, your Twitter handle up and running, and even your Google+ page activated. Your social media campaign is underway, and you’re even seeing some results start to show.
But there is something more that you can do, another step you can take to make a completely fleshed out social media presence.
According to comScore, Tumblr is one of the most consistently growing social networks, boasting 15.9 million users in December of 2011. But Tumblr has more to boast about than that. It’s the amount of time that users spend on the site.
Tumblr is second to Facebook with an average of around 2.4 hours a month. (Facebook users are at around 6.6 hours.) With that kind of activity and user adoption, Tumblr is a viable candidate for your next social media marketing move.
Ever since it came on the scene in early 2011, Google+ has been put through the ringer. Some people thought it was great, other people thought it was just a failed attempt to be the next social media engine. As we get further into the current year, and Google+ continues to grow, it is becoming apparent that this site is a powerful tool for marketers and networking.
G+ has it’s pros and cons, of course. Some benefits of Google+ for business are the inherit benefits of any social media site. Shares, pluses and comments all make it easy for your content to be passed around. A downside, though, is that there are only a reported 90 million users compared to Facebooks’ 800 million. That doesn’t mean that you should write G+ out of your social media marketing scheme. It’s a platform for content sharing, and it shouldn’t be ignored.
Social media isn’t just about customer engagement for the purposes of retention, promotion and attraction marketing. Social media marketing also offers you a very unique way to approach customer service and deal with those angry folks who are quick to drop a nasty note about their experience to their network online.
You might think you’re reputation is polished and your service is to die for, but you can’t avoid upset customers. It’s going to happen, things break, shipments go missing, food tastes bad, employees have bad days, and you just have to deal with it.
As a business owner, you know that you should be doing certain things to marketing your business online; content marketing like blogging, creating videos, press releases, building links, connecting with other industry professionals, branding through social communities, consumer and client engagement.
So let’s say that you’re even acutely aware of the need for all of that – but where do find time?
With all the work on your plate, your to-do list probably resembles the pre-trip checklist for the maiden voyage of the Titanic, and “don’t sink” is #1. Everything else is supposed to keep #1 going strong. The problem is getting all of the tasks done in order to stay afloat.
And now we want to add content marketing and mobile marketing…and social media marketing on top of that?
There’s nothing even remotely small about the power of a shortstack, or the do it yourself Facebook Fan page builder from ShortStack. The company delivers powerful results for businesses seeking an entrance into social media marketing with a customer fan page that won’t break the budget.
The faces behind the ShortStack service have long specialized in creating Facebook apps before they decided to focus on a DIY service that business owners could utilize for social media marketing.
“We saw an opportunity for Joe from Joe’s Pizza to use this thing and make himself his own Facebook page,” says Jim Belosic, ShortStack’s CEO and co-founder. “It’s kind of like WordPress for Facebook.”
From our position here at dot Com Secrets Local, it’s even put us in touch with clients who are social media marketers themselves. We do the design and hand it off to them to run with. This is something we would have had to pay expert programmers and designers to do. I never would have been able to offer it previously without a lot of expense.
One of the major perks to this service is that ShortStack users can develop an unlimited number of custom tabs with themed content and, with a healthy dose of widgets to top it off, flash content, Google maps, polls and more the businesses who utilize this can create a lot of valuable content for their fans.
Because the team over at ShortStack is savvy on all things related to Facebook, they tend to stay up to date on the do’s and don’ts regarding the Terms of Service. When you launch contests using the system, you don’t have to worry about getting Facebook rallying for you to join them on the chopping block.
This is also a great tool for local businesses, because you’re likely to get it for free: Companies with fewer than 2,000 “likes” get a free ride. Once the fan counter ticks past 2,000, a tiered pricing structure applies, ranging from $15 per month for up to 25,000 users to $300 per month for an unlimited number of users and support.