This page is for you, the Small Business Owner. You ask us a lot of questions and we list some of them here.
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How do I know which Social Media platforms my business should use?
Every business has their own personality and customer demographic to consider in the choice of which social media platforms will be most effective for them. Consider every aspect of your business to ensure you are not wasting your efforts on the wrong platforms.
Should I get on every social media marketing platform?
No. Even if they are all suited to your business, it is important to have an effective impact for the best ROI. Best to begin with the one or two platforms where you are sure your demographic is present. Once you have well established yourself there and have learned what your followers respond to, then move to the next using similar strategies.
Can’t I just post the same thing on every platform using a social media management tool like Hootsuite or others?
For generic style posts that will not conflict with current engagement, yes. BUT, it is important to stay in tune with the activity displayed on individual platforms. And some posts play better on different platforms due to the types of followers or due to the character limits or image specifications.
Is Email Marketing Dead?
Definitely not. Actually it’s become stronger than before due to the rise of email opens on Mobile devices. It is important to cater to your mobile users by always previewing your emails on your mobile device – big readability difference from monitors!
Is Facebook Dead?
That depends on your perspective and use. There are many opinions in regard to the effectiveness of Facebook for business. In addition, the recent emphasis on monetization for exposure has been slightly discouraging for some small businesses. At the present time, effectiveness based on individual strategy and use and should be determined with proper consulting.
Is Google+ Dead?
Definitely not. It has been the slowest emerging platform, but it is also the most dynamic. With its integration of every facet of Google Apps and Accounts, you cannot go wrong by migrating to Google+. Results will be slow, but the SEO advantages are indisputable.
What is Content Marketing?
In layman’s terms, it is simply the use of content to drive SEO. Google has prioritized fresh content for their search tools. Therefore, the more fresh content you provide across all of your online presences, the more likely you are to get picked up and placed on initial page results of consumer searches. That’s QUALITY content, sir and ma’am, not just any content. Yes, Google can tell the difference – mostly. And yes, keywords are still important – but used within the context of your content, not buried in the background of your pages.
I don’t understand Social Media since I’m not on it. Why can’t I just continue using Traditional Marketing?
Aside from the obvious that you can’t understand the difference if you don’t know anything about it? Consider that mobile device usage is growing exponentially. And one of the primary uses for mobile devices is social media. How do you expect your traditional marketing to reach the social media consumers? Social Media is for interaction, engagement, sharing. People are there for the enjoyment factor; not to be sold.
But why can’t I just use traditional marketing methods on my Social Media pages?
Because they simply don’t work. As a small business, you cannot draw the masses to your social media pages, but you can create a sense of community and intimacy for your demographic. They want to know what goes on behind the entrance to your business. For every time you hear a new customer say they didn’t realize what you and your business were about, you can kick yourself for not being present on social media. And if you are blasting traditional marketing ads on your social media pages, you are not building a relationship with your fans and prospects.
I get a lot of businesses trying to sell me on buying their program to get me thousands of “Likes.” Is that a good way to get started with the most exposure?
As our old friend, Elmer Fudd, used to say, “Be Vewwwwwy Careful” with these solicitations. Many of them based in foreign countries and will draw none of your local consumers. In addition, many of them are Fake Profiles. Yes, fake. This is especially true with Facebook. Profiles created with the sole purpose of generating likes for clients are useless. You want quality fans for your social media accounts. Social media users are becoming more aware that thousands of likes does not necessarily mean thousands of engaging fans.
What is a quality fan / follower?
Your demographic, an active user, and the kind of person you know interested in your products or services and will be an advocate for your business. This does not mean all your fans have to be paying customers. It is also important to have active fans that will help you get exposed to their fans who are potential customers.
I keep hearing about mobile websites. Do I need a separate mobile website?
If you have the budget for it, it is an advantage. However, since the trend is for multi-device viewing, maybe not. The key is to make sure your template is mobile-friendly. How do you know? Have you looked at your own website on your mobile devices? Can you use a thumb to connect links? Do you have to scroll or zoom too much? . . . you get the picture. Make sure your type is at least 11 pt. Put more breaks/white space in the content – better yet, reduce the amount of text! Mobile means a quick view! Balance with images and you’ll see a better result in viewing habits.
[This page is a work in progress and more Q&A is coming!] Send YOUR questions to us and maybe it will appear here!