5 Basic Facebook, Twitter and Social Media Tips For Small Businesses

Social Media is nothing new these days. Everyone from grandmothers to first graders have their own Twitter or Facebook page. With comScore reporting a 25% increase in unique visitors to social media sites in June, 2008 compared to June, 2007, social media needs to be in every small business marketing plan.

The problem is, how can small businesses find customers via social media with such a saturation of users? Here are some tips that can help:

1. Focus On the Big Names First

Open accounts on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace to start. Every small business with an online presence – whether you actually sell products online or simply have a site for your brick and mortar business – should have an account with them. They are all easy to set up and free. Be sure to create a Facebook Fan Page for your business, rather than a typical Profile Page.

2. Brand Your Pages

Twitter, Facebook and MySpace all allow you to customize your pages in some way. Be sure not to use the default templates each site offers you. Facebook and Twitter even allow you to have your own vanity URL, meaning if you own a pizza parlor, your Facebook URL could be “facebook.com/”yourpizzaparlor” (some qualifications must be met).

Create a 200 x 200 image containing your business name, logo and contact information for Twitter. You can also use this template or simply create it in Word or Powerpoint (just remember to save it as a PDF document).

Facebook does not yet allow you to customize your entire Fan Page, but you can create an image that contains your business name and logo and upload it. This way, every update or post you create contains your image.

MySpace allows you to customize nearly every aspect of your page. Be sure to upload an image of your business name and logo (use the Facebook image you created) as your profile image, and create a background containing either your business colors, themes or your logo.

3. Add Unique Content

Unique content can be created easily for even the smallest businesses as well as those that do not even sell their products online. Go beyond basic written content explaining the mission of your small business, the products or services you offer and your location (though all of those ARE necessary). Give your potential customers something unique that will make them want to visit your website and/or business location, and eventually return. Videos, photos, polls and contests are just a few forms of content that can make your page stand out.

For example, a bakery that only sells its products direct from their location could make a short, documentary-style video of their baking facility. An online jewelry site could upload images of some of their newest pieces. A florist located in Los Angeles with only an informational website could post a poll on Twitter and Facebook asking people what their favorite summer flower might be, and then responding to those who answer with a special offer.

Note: Every business should at least have one short video on their website, Facebook and MySpace page for three reasons:

1.Video is one of the most easily consumable forms of online content.

2.It is easy to make (most digital cameras or phones can make a decent video).

3.It can be easily shared online.

4. Advertise Your Pages

One you have all of your pages up and running with some content and pertinent information, make sure to advertise them properly. Each site has its own name for what you would simply call a “potential customer”:

1.Facebook Business Pages have “Fans”

2.Twitter pages have “Followers

3.MySpace pages have “Friends”

Create links to each of your pages using logos, text or both, and place them in a prominent position on your website. Make sure to include those same logos/links on every email you send out to your email list.

5. Engage Directly

The best advantage social media advertising holds over any other form of advertising (besides being free) is the ability it gives you to interact with customers and potential customers. Be sure to take advantage of this fact the moment your business pages are up and running. Start by making friends: just use each site’s search tools to find people who might be writing about or searching for the kind of products you offer.

Facebook will take care of some of the work by suggesting some people you should “invite” to become fans of your business, but be sure to also search for your own. Try looking for similar businesses and invite fans of their pages.

Twitter will also suggest users to follow who will then follow you. However, search.twitter.com is an invaluable tool for any business because it can immediately put you into contact with people who might want what you sell. Let’s use the bakery example again: Go to search.twitter.com and search for “breakfast pastries Los Angeles”. You will be given a long list of every individual on Twitter who has recently typed in the phrase “breakfast pastries” as well as the location “Los Angeles”. Some might simply be talking about a great breakfast pastry they just finished, but others might be asking for a great bakery in the Los Angeles area for breakfast pastries. Now is your chance to engage them directly and suggest your bakery.

By using these tips when setting up your social media pages, you will be on your way to breaking through the throngs of users and finding genuinely new customers to help make your small business even more profitable.

Small Business Growth Tip: Don’t Try To Do It All Alone

Why? Because it’s not a smart thing to do and the reasons are quiet justified and proven. Let’s look at what happens if you try and do it all by yourselves and compare it with what if you delegate it to others, even if you are running a small business.

Success tip: Chase your core passion and avoid the non-core.

Michael Jackson can dance and Michael Jordan can play, they can’t switch roles, as they tried to do it in the song JAM. Your chances of succeeding in business are huge if you are following what you are extremely good at and passionate about, and not the other way round. However, as you follow your passion and as your business grows, you unknowingly or unwillingly have to get engaged into business activities like back office tasks, administrative and marketing activities which supports your business. At this juncture you have two choices, either do everything on your own or just follow your core business activity, your passion and delegate the rest to others, it could be your staff or virtual assistants.

“Doing it all alone symbolizes expertise and control.” Really?

A good section of businessmen feel, getting involved in multiple roles speaks about their expertise and versatility, but the question here is: is it a mere attempt at satisfying personal egos or do they really see good business benefits from it? It will clearly eat into the manager’s time which otherwise would have been spent on the core money making activities. So the choice of delegating it to others remains, which brings us to either choosing between hiring additional staff or outsourcing it.

Delegating involves managing blues…Let’s look at a smarter way to tackle it.

Hiring staff is definitely a more traditional and proven approach to go for, however it comes with managerial challenges, as managers now have to train, delegate and monitor these additional human resources. And putting the manager’s cap on with more staff may prove to be a highly demanding job.

On the other hand, if you opt for outsourcing your non-core tasks like, back office, administrative, marketing, customer support, web development, online/offline marketing, etc., to someone like a virtual assistant, it will surely relieve you from the manager’s role and let you fully focus on your core business generating activity.

Entrepreneurs who dedicate a small piece of their time in overlooking supportive activities and focus more on the core business tasks are said to be more effective and successful. So it’s left for you to decide, keeping all the options and their ramifications in mind.

Internet Marketing For Small Business – Tips To Assure Success

Here are some tips to help assure your success:

The first thing you need to do is understand who your perfect customer is. Write a biography on them include their needs, age, what they are like, the store they shop, their desires and why they would want your services. You must be very descriptive not to leave out any details. Remember you want to know your customer completely. Find out where your customer spends their time either on social media sites or other websites they may visit. Forums are another great way to learn your customer by just joining a chat room.

Develop a personal website for your business. You want to have a quality website to market on the Internet for your small business. Find a website specialist that can bring your personality to life and have them tailor it to your business. When ever you use a knowledgeable designer they will know how to automate your website to increase your earning potential. He will also connect you to all the popular search engines, social network sites and teach you how to send bulk email, which also can be automated. He will also know how to use an autoresponder that will save you valuable time. They can get you in touch with other companies that can help you market your business and in some cases, earn you residual income as well.

Learning how to market your small business on the Internet is your next step. They’re many simple ways in which to market you’re small business. Mastering these ways will turn your business into an ongoing income stream that will give you the rewards for a very long time. Social marketing is relatively new and right now Facebook and Twitter are at the top of the list. They have a large amount of traffic and are seen 24 hours around the clock. Learning how to maximize their potential will give you huge dividends.

You can also target markets by Article writing and Video marketing. These go hand-to-hand and will save you time and the best news is that they are Free. All you do is write a short article that you’re particular customers are interested in and than post them to several of the directories that are reserved for articles. Than you can turn around and produce a video base on the article you just wrote and double your exposure. Marketing products and services have always been a numbers game. By producing articles and videos you have two powerful tools that will drive traffic to your website.

There are many ways to market your company on the Internet. Find a mentoring program to help you earn great profits.

Practical Small Business Internet Marketing Tips – 3 Ideas to Increase Cash Flow

Are you a small business trying to leverage the internet? Would you like some small business marketing tips to increase cash flow? If this is you this article will give you some practical tips that work.

Small business internet marketing tips are becoming increasingly popular. With 90+ billion searches now a month on Google everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and realising the impact an internet presence can have. This article gives three ideas to help increase your cash glow

1. Market to Your Email Database

Email marketing is alive and kicking no matter what people may say. Having a database of customers you communicate with on a regular basis can bring great paydays for you and your business. This can be in any form. Perhaps you have some free slots on your calendar and would like to have them filled. Why not contact your list and make an offer. Better to have a space filled than not and this will improve cash flow.

2. Sell Something on Your Site

This is really logical I know and many small business owners don’t always appreciate that it is possible. Say you are a local Plumber there is nothing to stop you creating a guide that people can buy for a small fee. It does not have to be expensive. Imagine if you sold a guide or two every day. What difference could that make to your bottom line?

3. Recommend a Complimentary Product

The great marketer Jay Abraham talks at length about creating strategic alliances or Joint venture partnerships. This is where you can both work together and compliment your offerings. Perhaps you could promote someone else’s product for a referral fee and vice versa. This is also an amazing way to increase you database as well.