Use Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses and Independent Professionals
For companies that are beginning to glimpse the Internet can be an important channel of communication and/or marketing, one of his main concerns is to gain visibility in search engines (especially Google).
A person or company could have a great website or blog but if anyone could not find it … you have nothing. It is therefore imperative that small businesses begin to use social media marketing to reduce its dependence on search engines and gain new sources of traffic to their websites or blogs.
There are plenty of sites dedicated to social media, though with different approaches: YouTube (which is now the second form on the web), Mister Wong, Facebook, Delicious, Digg, , Blogs, Google Bookmarks, Linkedin, Xing, Yahoo Anwers, It must prove that seem most appropriate to your target audience, very often a combination of several.
Here are eight ways in which small businesses can reap the benefits of social media marketing with a moderate investment of time and/or money.
# 1. Have your own blog or website
This seems very obvious but most small businesses or independent professionals do not have or cannot use it to enhance their ventures. A blog is an excellent opportunity to connect with your customers and prospects.
A platform as WordPress.org is widely distributed and is open source, which for you means it’s free. There are lots of templates ready to use, so investing in money can be smaller: a domain and hosting are ready.
# 2. Comment on other blogs in the same subject or complementary
Blogging involves building relationships with other members of the blogosphere, participating in discussions. For this we have to look and see other blogs related to your topic to participate by giving your opinions.
Of course such participation demands an investment of time but note that useful and intelligent comment (that’s the secret) on other blogs, increase your authority on the subject and attracts traffic to your blog.
# 3. Participate in Yahoo answers
If you want to position yourself as an expert or in your field, share your expertise answering questions on Yahoo Answers and you will thus establish a direct connection with a potential client.
But keep in mind that if you do not have a blog or website where you will not attract these prospects, so # 1 point is crucial.
# 4. Use the video as a marketing tool
YouTube (owned by Google) is the second largest search engine today. Video cameras are becoming increasingly affordable, you don’t have to be a movie star to make a short video demonstrating your knowledge, and even a short video (less than 5 min) can be very effective from a marketing standpoint.
And know that YouTube is the largest video-sharing site, but not alone, many other places to upload your videos and increase the contact points.
# 5. Take photos of your products and share them on Flickr
Flickr can also be a marketing tool. There are many armed groups active in Flickr around brands or themes. Do some research.
# 6. Search the various social media sites
Digg, del.icio.us, Mister Wong, Reddit, fresqui, Keegy, Magnolia, LinkedIn, etc. But one of the most effective (best time/score) is StumbleUpon.
# 7. Subscribe to mailing lists or groups
Mailing lists and groups are part of social marketing. This involves finding potential customers in places that they frequent. It’s like the traditional marketing: if you are an architect working in countries or gated communities, then you’ll want to come and show photos of your work in decorating magazines.
And where do you find these groups? A little walk through Yahoo groups or Google groups you will appose the road.
# 8. Use twitter
Twitter is a micro-blogging platform that lets you post messages with up to 140 characters. It is a good tool for networking with colleagues, customers and members of your industry and instant communication with your contacts (new and potential).
At first glance, Twitter seems like a waste of time. But analyzing their uses can say it is an ideal tool to almost instantly know anything new that happens in your area of interest is the quickest way to help spread an idea, ask for opinions, share links, promote your products and services to a defined audience , disclose the content of your blog, and so on.
As you make your confidence and better social media marketing skills will improve your chances of significantly increasing your visibility online, your authority and reputation.