Tag Archives: social media for small business

Starting from Scratch

I’ve been talking to my mom a lot lately about social media. As an owner of a two-person marketing and communications firm in Connecticut she needs to be up on this stuff and involved in it for a couple of very important reasons:

  • She could have more clients who would be willing to pay her to help them hire for marketing positions that require social media knowledge (are there any positions that don’t these days?)
  • As a competitor in a very defined niche – Connecticut and Western Massachusetts marketing and communications placement she has the opportunity to earn key search terms with the SEO benefits of social media
  • Her 25 years of experience is tons of great fodder for conversations and blog posts
  • There is a huge need for expertise in the most demanding job market in recent memory (maybe ever)

With that in mind I’m trying to help my mom get up to speed on social media and how it can work for her two-person business. So I thought I’d chronicle that experience here so you can follow the genesis of a small business social media campaign with all its fits and starts, side steps, lapses and hopefully, in the long run some successes.

Building a Social Media Strategy – Part 1 – Objectives

The first thing we needed to do was define why we were going to do this and what we were going to get out of it.  A plan.  I started by explaining to my mom the who, what, where, when, how, and why of social media.  We talked about her goals and laid out a social media plan to meet those goals.  We then identified some specific strategies and tactics to execute on to start the haul towards those goals.

Here are some of the objectives we outlined:

  • To create awareness of her company and visibility on and offline by demonstrating expertise in marketing/communications placement services.
  • To position her company as a personnel firm that “gets” how new/emerging technologies fit within traditional marketing/communication roles and has the know-how to find the right people to meet these needs.
  • To communicate with companies and hiring personnel who are looking for new talent via social media that her company has the people they are looking for.
  • To connect with Connecticut/Massachusetts-based job seekers utilizing social media tools to find jobs that her company can help them find the job they’ll love
  • To leverage social media as a cost-effective distribution platform for recruiting for open positions.
  • To leverage social media as a cost-effective way to engage and build relationships with potential new clients.

A couple of thoughts on these objectives (I wrote them a while ago, so it’s refreshing to look at them again):

  • Our goal is to demonstrate expertise. Bottom line.  My mom has so much experience that putting that information on display is the key to the whole exercise in my opinion.  I think there are a lot of companies like this – with decades of experience and few people know it.  I want to unbottle that and get it out to the world.
  • We’ve got a couple of end states.  Greater awareness is one – but it’s a way point to client acquisition.  The end goal is to get more business and more clients for my mom.  We’re going to do this by creating awareness, demonstrating expertise and building new relationships with social media.
  • We need to be very targeted with these efforts because of the limited reach of my mom’s territory.  Connecticut and Western Mass. are tight geo restrictions and so it is going to be important to find ways to dominate local search terms and build strong relationships with local people (influencers, potential clients, associations, etc.)

Once we’ve agreed on objectives it’s on to strategies; but it’s not rocket-science at this point.  Once we’ve defined success (which way is up) then we can start to layout how we’re going to get there.  At that point our tactics will fall in line with those.  After that, it’s about executing, measuring and refining to stay on target.

In the next post I’ll talk about strategies and also setting benchmarks that will allow us to measure success and failure of the program.  We’ll also talk about baseline tactics to begin this process.

So what do you think about the objectives? What are we missing? What do we have wrong? What would you recommend?

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If you’re a small business about to make the social media leap…

Here are a handful of things that I’d do right away.

Give yourself some time to do it well.  Everything is fairly easy, except for the blog.  Writing blog content takes time, is not easy at first, and of course has some of the best potential of any of the items above.

Once you’ve done that you should make it a regular habit to do the following:

  • Watch Google Alerts that mention your business and also check your Yelp! page.  If someone is talking about you, feel free to respond in an honest, open, friendly manner.  Build relationships.
  • Tell your friends and family about your new social media presence.  Ask them to follow and Fan you.
  • Find people that are interesting to you on Twitter through directories like WeFollow and by conducting searches about your local area or areas of interest using search.twitter.com. Follow them.
  • Start talking to them. Not pitching, not selling, but talking.
  • Feel free to provide special offers to your Facebook, Twitter or Yelp fans. Check out Luna Park’s Twitter feed for an idea on that.

There’s lots more to do; but remember, you can start small. You can make mistakes as long as they are with good intentions and you work to correct them quickly and earnestly.  Get out there and try a few things. See what works for you. Stick with it.

I’ll have more on this in future posts – stay tuned!

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