Top 10 Benefits of Social Media

Here’s a look at just some of the ways Social Media Marketing can improve your business:

1. Increased Brand Recognition

Every opportunity you have to distribute your content and increase your visibility is valuable. Social media networks are simply new channels for your brand’s voice and content. This is important because it simultaneously makes you easier to reach and more accessible for new customers, and makes you more familiar and recognizable for existing customers.

2. Improved brand loyalty

Brands that engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers. Companies should take advantage of the tools social media gives them when it comes to connecting with their audience. A strategic and open social media plan could prove influential in morphing consumers into being brand loyal ~ 53% of Americans who follow brands on social media are more loyal to those brands.

3. More Opportunities to Convert

Every post or update you make on a social media platform is an opportunity for customers to convert. When you build a following, you’ll simultaneously have access to new customers, recent customers, and old customers, and you’ll be able to interact with all of them. Every blog post, image, video, or comment you share is a chance for someone to react, and every reaction could lead to a site visit, and eventually a conversion. Not every interaction with your brand results in a conversion, but every positive interaction increases the likelihood of an eventual conversion.

4. Higher conversion rates

Social media marketing results in higher conversion rates in a few distinct ways. Perhaps the most significant is its humanization element; the fact that brands become more humanized by interacting in social media channels. Social media is a place where brands can act like people do, and this is important because people like doing business with other people; not with companies.

5. Higher Brand Authority

Interacting with your customers regularly is a show of good faith for other customers. When people go to compliment or brag about a product or service, they turn to social media. And when they post your brand name, new audience members will want to follow your updates. The more people that are talking about you on social media, the more valuable and authoritative your brand will seem to new users.

6. Increased Inbound Traffic

Without social media, your inbound traffic is limited to people already familiar with your brand and individuals searching for keywords you currently rank for. Every social media profile you add is another path leading back to your site, and every piece of content you distribute on those profiles is another opportunity for new visitors. The more quality content you post on social media, the more inbound traffic you’ll generate, and more traffic means more leads and more conversions.

7. Decreased Marketing Costs

If you can lend just one hour a day to developing your content and distribution strategy, you could start seeing the results of your efforts. Even paid advertising through Facebook and Twitter is relatively cheap (depending on your goals, of course). Start small and you’ll never have to worry about going over budget—once you get a better feel for what to expect, you can increase your budget and increase your conversions correspondingly.

8. Better Search Engine Rankings

SEO is the best way to capture relevant traffic from search engines, but the requirements for success are always changing. It’s no longer enough to regularly update your blog or web site, ensure optimized title tags and meta descriptions, and distribute links pointing back to your site. Google and other search engines may be calculating their rankings using social media presence as a significant factor, because of the fact that strong brands almost always use social media. As such, being active on social media could act as a “brand signal” to search engines that your brand is legitimate, credible, and trustworthy. That means, if you want to rank for a given set of keywords, having a strong social media presence could be almost mandatory.

9. Richer Customer Experiences

Social media, at its core, is a communication channel like email or phone calls. Every customer interaction you have on social media is an opportunity to publicly demonstrate your customer service level and enrich your relationship with your customers. For example, if a customer complains about your product on Twitter, you can immediately address the comment, apologize publicly, and take action to make it right. Or, if a customer compliments you, you can thank them and recommend additional products. It’s a personal experience that lets customers know you care about them.

10. Improved Customer Insights

Social media also gives you an opportunity to gain valuable information about what your customers are interested in and how they behave, via social listening. For example, you can monitor user comments to see what people think of your business directly. You can segment your content syndication lists based on topic and see which types of content generate the most interest—and then produce more of that type of content. You can measure conversions based on different promotions posted on various social media channels and eventually find a perfect combination to generate revenue.

These are the benefits of sustaining a long-term social media campaign, but if you’re still apprehensive about getting started, consider these points:

  • Your Competition Is Already Involved. Your competitors are already involved on social media, which means your potential social media traffic and conversions are being poached. Don’t let your competitors reap all the benefits while you stand idly by. If, somehow, your competition is not involved on social media, there’s even more of a reason to get started—the field is open.
  • The Sooner You Start, the Sooner You Reap the Benefits. Social media is all about relationship building, and it tends to grow exponentially as your followers tell their friends, and their friends tell their friends, and so on. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be able to start growing that audience.
  • Potential Losses Are Insignificant. Realistically, you don’t have anything to lose by getting involved in social media. The amount of time and money it takes to create your profiles and start posting is usually minimal, compared to other marketing channels. Just six hours a week or a few hundred dollars is all it takes to establish your presence.

Bottom-Line

The longer you wait, the more you have to lose. Social media marketing, when done right, can lead to more customers, more traffic, and more conversions, and it’s here to stay…

Using LinkedIn for Small Business in 10 Easy Steps

LinkedIn is the marketing hub of many social selling executives and solopreneurs. What about small businesses using LinkedIn to reach their goals? 80% of small business owners, with 200 or fewer employees, use social networks to find new customers and grow their revenue, and LinkedIn is one of them, as they report. A recent Wall Street Journal study also indicates that 41% of small businesses feel that LinkedIn provides them the most potential to generate business.

Your LinkedIn for small business goals can range among:

  • Expand and increase your relationship currency with your network with key contacts
  • Build your credibility with content
  • Expand the reach of your story by leveraging your employee base

Today, the LinkedIn profile is the new business card. And, content is the new networking tool. As with all social media platforms, LinkedIn has a social contract with its members, along with key use cases. LinkedIn is not another sales channel or place to promote a coupon. LinkedIn becoming more of an editorial and publishing channel and when used correctly is the foundation for every small business to build credibility with content and an evangelizing workforce.

Step 1: Create a LinkedIn Company Page

With over 3 million company pages, as of late 2013, you need to play to win on LinkedIn, or get left behind. In addition to maintaining an All-star personal page, you need a LinkedIn company page to amplify your brand to distributors, association members, customers and others. A LinkedIn company page also lets you highlight your services, thought leadership and your employees to build your external credibility and community. Best of all, a LinkedIn company page is free is you have a healthy personal profile.

Step 2: Run Your Personal and Small Business Company Page as a PPC or SEO Campaign

If your small business marketing strategy does not include a search engine optimization component, then it should – ensuring you are there when your customers are Googling you. There are over 1 billion annual searches on LinkedIn and 87% of purchases start with a search engine. So, by running your personal and LinkedIn company page and personal profile as a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, you can increase your company’s and content ‘findability.’ Include keywords in your headline, summary, anchored text, job descriptions and endorsements to be found on Google and LinkedIn searches.

Step 3: Find and Participate in a LinkedIn Group With Local Ties

LinkedIn reports the average user joins 7 LinkedIn Groups, so your customers, influencers and competitors are using this LinkedIn community. Over 70% of customers use groups to research, network and vet buying decisions. So, join all 50 of your potential LinkedIn groups to be as accessible as possible by other group members. And, regularly participate, in a non-promotional way, in 3-5 groups to network with other business owners, distributors and press.

Step 4: Begin To Blog On LinkedIn

Technorati reports that 31% of customers are influenced by blog posts. So, it makes sense for every small business to post articles on their blog, their website and on LinkedIn to reach and connect with their audience. It could be the same content on each platform since you will be connecting with different audiences on each site. Blogging is a new content networking tool and will help build your credibility and increase your business’ message’s reach when others share it to their network.

Step 5: Leverage Each Employee Within Your Small Business

Dell reports that only 8% of their owned channel followers overlap with their employees’ followers. Train and leverage your small business employees as brand ambassadors to build your small business brand; telling your company story and accessing their incremental network.

Step 6: Secure LinkedIn Endorsements

Dimensional Research reports that positive endorsements, like those on Yelp and Amazon, influence a purchase decision 88% of the time. LinkedIn endorsements are like Yelp and Amazon review for your small business and you and your employees can use these personal endorsements to build your small business’ reputation.

Step 7: Secure LinkedIn Recommendations

86% of US consumers are influenced by recommendations. With over 1 billion annual recommendations, you and your small business need to be a part of this ‘word of mouth’ marketing strategy, since these recommendations are like referrals, you need to get as many as possible to make a difference with customers.

Step 8: Showcase Your Work In Video, Slides, Interviews and More

Only 22% of B2C companies have secured a lead through LinkedIn, while 53% of B2B businesses have. The real impact LinkedIn has is its ability to share work examples, thought leadership, research and a POV to help influence the purchase or relationship. For example, an easy and ‘built in’ way to share this type of content is to research and connect with distributors is using SlideShare.

Step 9: Send 6 to 8 Daily Status Updates

LinkedIn is not the place to be posting coupons for your small business. The social contract to which you should subscribe is to use LinkedIn to develop your positioning. Send at least 6 daily messages spread across 6AM to 12AM to increase your company’s exposure to your followers and your 2nd’ and 3rd-level connections (i.e., the followers of your followers and their followers).

Step 10: Shine Up Your LinkedIn Curb Appeal

49.5% of LinkedIn profiles are not completed, which means they will not show up in a LinkedIn search. Just like selling a home, you cannot sell your small business’ credibility and products and services unless you work on its social media curb appeal. Audit and tune-up your profile to see immediate and measurable results.


You cannot be using the same Facebook and Twitter content and techniques in this channel, even though it has the same customers. So, if you embrace the channel to distribute your thought leadership to impact your small business, then you will be successful.

5 Reasons Why You Need a Facebook Page for Your Business

Facebook for Small Business
It’s apparent that social media is here to stay. Small business owners who use social networking sites effectively are able to promote their businesses in powerful ways.

One of the best ways to use social media for business is with a Facebook business page. Here are five reasons why a Facebook page for your small business simply makes good business sense.

Reason # 1 – Your Facebook page can teach you more about your target audience

Having a Facebook page for your small business gives you a way to talk to and get direct feedback from your target audience. Think of it like an ongoing focus group. Your fans are there because they are aware of your company, and want to learn more. While they are certainly expecting to receive useful information from your Facebook page, you can also be collecting useful information from them through their participation.

Facebook Insights provides extremely useful information about your fans and their interactions on your page. As a microcosm of your target market, your Facebook fans can tell you a lot about what they want through their interactions, comments, and feedback.

Reason # 2 – A Facebook page gives you a chance to “humanize” your company

Social connections and genuine communication are integral parts of social media, and a Facebook page for your small business gives you a unique opportunity to attach a face, name, and personality to your brand. While your Facebook page may be representative of your company, it also allows you to show the human side of your business through one-on-one conversations, personal tidbits, and non-business interaction.

Even if you automate parts of your social media activity, you can fit in a moderate amount of live, on-the-spot communication to create richer, more “human” relationships.

Reason # 3 – You can build a community on your Facebook page

Facebook pages are excellent places to gather together your customers, prospects, and fans to provide reviews, share opinions, voice concerns and offer feedback. You can build a community on your Facebook page in a number of ways, including:

  • Posting useful, relevant and interesting links
  • Asking fans to contribute with comments
  • Organizing contests and promotions
  • Providing a place to leave reviews and other feedback
  • Offering incentives for activity on the page

If the Facebook page you create for your business successfully brings people together, you can develop a loyal following that will continue to grow.

Reason # 4 – Your competition may already have a Facebook page

We generally wouldn’t recommend taking action in any area of your business simply because your competition is doing it. However, when it comes to social media, not having a Facebook page or presence on other social networks can cost you opportunities, especially if your competition is using social media – and using it well.

Reason # 5 – You can put your business in front of your clients and customers every day

Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of having a Facebook page for your small business is the ability to provide status updates, shared links and videos, and other information appear in your fans’ news feeds once they “like” your page.

With more than 2 billion active Facebook users daily, an increasing number of consumers are using the site to find products, services, and brands to solve their everyday problems. Facebook and other social networks make it easy for potential customers to find you. And when they do, they are often more likely to remember your brand and share it with their own connections.

Ultimately, a branded Facebook page for your business can be a powerful way to expand your reach and increase awareness of your business online.

Why Your Small Business Should Use Twitter

Twitter for Small BusinessIf you run a small business and aren’t using Twitter, We have to ask, why not? It seems that just about everyone else on the planet with access to the web or a cell phone is. Your small business needs to be there too. Here’s why:

Everyone else is doing it.

The guy who runs the convenience store down the street. The landscaper that does your neighbors yard. The shoe store owner. And lots of big companies, such as Dell, HP, AT&T, and Microsoft. In fact, 74% of 2013 Inc 500 companies use Twitter and 377 of the 2013 Fortune 500 companies have a corporate Twitter account. Having your business on Twitter is smart.

Twitter is good optics.

Using Twitter is evidence that your small business is participating in social media and obviously a “with-it” kind of outfit that people might be interested in doing business with. It’s just not enough to have a website anymore.

Twitter is a fast way to get the message out.

Assuming your potential and existing customers are on Twitter, you can instantly let them know your news, whether it’s an announcement or a new product, a special deal, or an upcoming event they may be interested in.

Twitter will help you stay on top of your industry and/or market segment.

Twitter lets you hear what other people are saying. Using Twitter Search, you can find out what people are saying about a particular topic, enabling you to keep your ear to the ground about your company and the competition.

Twitter will help you refine your brand.

By participating in Twitter (that is, using it to communicate with others, rather than just spamming product announcements) you can present and develop the kind of image that attracts your potential customers, and refine your brand. (Remember; communication is a two-way thing.)

Twitter is a great networking tool.

Being on Twitter will give you opportunities to meet and talk to oodles of people, some of whom you would never get the chance to talk to otherwise. And some of those people might be the very business contacts you’ve been seeking, people you want to start projects with, source product from or even hire.

Twitter helps you engage your customers.

Posting information about your products and/or services is the obvious use.

But Twitter also gives you another channel for listening to and finding out about your customers – what they like or dislike about your company, how they feel about your brand, what suggestions they have for improvement, what their favorite products are and why… all kinds of nuggets that you can use to make your business more successful.

So there you have it. In a nutshell, Twitter can provide your small business with another channel to inform and engage your current and potential customers – and every opportunity to do that is worth exploring.

You will want to make sure, though, that you’re using Twitter properly to promote your business, so you don’t get seen as a spammer and damage your small business’s reputation.