Social Media 101 for Small Business

Your small business has a website. Great. Now what? Use social media and be human to create online relationships the way you would in person.

Once you have a great website for your business, or a client’s business, it’s time to get it out there. No longer is the Internet a Field of Dreams where people just show up. Using Social Media can help grow your brand awareness and show customers how engaged with them you are.

I had the distinct opportunity to be part of Beginner Day at WordCamp Los Angeles again in 2018 to help small businesses maximize the use of their time on social media. It’s only 24 minutes long.

Watch the Video

Do you have questions?

Just as I did in the video, if you leave a comment here with a question, I’ll be happy to give you specific advice.

Specialize and Refer – Grow Your Network

How do you grow your network? That’s easy: specialize and refer. We all live off of word of mouth, if it’s not your specialty, refer. Right?

I was thinking of writing about this and then saw Rebecca Gill’s tweet. So this post came alive.

Why Specialize?

“Do one thing and do it well.”
“If everyone is your client, no one is.”
“Do it right or don’t do it at all.”

These are the clichés that make up business advice we all know. Okay, the last one was from my mom.

But the point is you can’t do everything – and do it well. Which reminds me of the ‘good-fast-cheap triangle’ tweet my friend Rachelle Wise just sent last week.

Thinking we can do everything is not only delusional, but distracts us from the things that really make us money. We’re in business for a reason, right?

If you’re a roofer, be a roofer. Go horizontal if you want, and do HVAC, but don’t start installing windows.

If you build websites, build sites. Go horizontal and make apps, but don’t start making videos.

Do what you know. Do what you can do well, efficiently, and make a profit.

How do you refer?

Knowing that we should refer and knowing how to refer are two different things. If you refer the right way, you’re still providing a valuable service to the client. It’s not losing business, it’s about being that go-to person, the expert, and the well-connected person.

If someone asks me if I do Facebook Advertising, I say,

“Sorry, John, I don’t do Facebook Ads, but my friend Jason at Thought House does.”

You can either give your client their contact information or write an email to them both. “John meet Jason. Jason meet John. John wants Facebook ads, I told him, you’re the best.”

This way, you’re making an introduction, and keeping your brand top of mind to all parties involved.

How do referrals grow my network?

Referrals work on the human emotions of trust and reciprocity. Firstly, by referring, I am extending my brand to another. I am saying, I trust this person, you can, too. So be careful about referring to people you don’t trust.

Secondly, if you send enough business someone’s way, they will also begin to refer you. That’s reciprocity. Heck, if you are just a nice person, your network will send people your way. I cannot even tell you how many dozens of people have sent others my way in the last four months.

Sometimes, they come in the form of public tweets. I have amazing and generous friends.

Do you refer, Bridget?

I absolutely refer. Firstly, I don’t build websites, I refer people to agencies. And I’ve even agreed to a partnership with Roy Sivan of ARC(CTRL).

I also don’t do Pinterest. I refer them to my very good friend Carol Stephen of Your Social Media Works. I don’t blog. I mean, I can, but I’d be way too expensive. So I refer clients to my friend Jen Miller of Need Someone To Blog. She has a system. She’s efficient. Guess what? She doesn’t do social. She sends me leads.

Do you see how it works?

Be serious about your brand and your focus. Kill the things that consume too much time. Specialize and refer the rest. You’ll never regret it.

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Twitter is the Best Platform for B2B Marketing: 5 Reasons Why

Twitter is the best platform for B2B marketing. It serves several marketing purposes including brand awareness, public relations, listening, content curation, and relationship building.

Watch the Video Here

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is high-level, less-tangible, and difficult to measure. It’s almost a word-association game. I say “tissue;” you say “Kleenex.” I say “photocopy;” you say “Xerox.” You want your brand to be able to be associated with your purpose. Recognition of the logo on Twitter because of your presence is a great way for a small business to compete with the bigger operations. The big guys rarely invest in social media.

Public Relations

You have news. People want to know it. Share Promotions, sales, new ventures, employees that join in, partnerships, case studies, etc. Write on your WordPress blog everything relevant to your audience and publish it on Twitter. Every brand has the ability to publish and gain influence and audience.

Listening

Listening is the most powerful thing you can do with Twitter. It’s so important to understand who you audience is and what they want, need, and how they think. This allows you to become a better communicator — meaning, you’re communicating in a way that resonates with them.

Using Twitter Lists to Listen allows you to:

  • Pain points.
  • Correcting personas.
  • Responding.
  • Engaging.
  • Focus Group.

Content Curation

Once you’ve built your lists you now have the tool in place to curate content. People often ask me what tools I use to curate content. I tell them that I’m a People Curator — a People Broker, I say.  I curate content by curating people. It really is that simple.

Relationship Building

All business happens because of referrals and word of mouth. Think of the last time you had a new client. How did you acquire them? Think of the last time you found a new service. Did you search for them online? Google? Yelp? Almost no one does business with a total stranger. Use Twitter to build relationships. You won’t regret it.

I went into depth on relationship building in a few of my talks, most recently at WordCamp Ottawa in July of 2016.

Marketing Isn’t About Tools – It’s About Psychology

Marketing tools are simply that — tools. When you overly rely upon automation to replace human connection you will always fail, regardless of how slick the tool is.

Marketing is about relationships. Relationships take time. No CRM or auto dialer will change that for you.

A brand needs to be relatable. As your customer base relates, they develop affinity to the brand. Affinity leads to loyalty. Loyalty leads to sales.

Don’t let vanity stop you from posting video. Period.

This is what I tell my clients. Don’t let vanity stop you from posting video. Do something. Don’t wait for perfect. It doesn’t exist.

But.

But the lighting is bad. But my hair looks terrible. But I don’t know what to say. No buts.

Do you know how many videos I’ve posted that look super lame? Ones that I wanted to delete?

Case In Point

A couple weeks ago, after a coaching call with a client, I followed my own advice and created a video on Photobooth and posted to LinkedIn.

To date, it’s had 39 likes, 27 comments, and 1,372 views. That’s a whole lot more people than ever listen to any of my WordCamp talks. (Note: max time for LinkedIn video is 10 minutes.)

What about my target audience you ask?

Of those views, 76 were software developers (my audience), 72 founder (my audience), 61 CEOs (my audience), and 47 business owners (my audience). That’s 256 people who are my target audience watching a video (18%).

LinkedIn Video Stats
LinkedIn Video Stats

So? What are you waiting for?

If you have a smart phone, you can create video. Many mobile apps allow you to record and upload natively. That’s even better.

Start with the questions your customers always ask. Aim for 2 minutes or less. Record. Publish.

You’re welcome.