Here are a handful of things that I’d do right away.
- Get my business profile updated on Yelp!
- Claim my business in Google Local and setup my Google Local Business Center
- Add pictures and video content to my Google Places page.
- Setup a Facebook Page (see how to do it)
- Get a free video for my Facebook Page from TurnHere (disclosure, I work for them. yes, it’s free.)
- Grab a Twitter handle. Make it short, sweet and on-brand.
- Set up a Google Alerts for my business name and have them emailed daily.
- Add a blog to my Web site using WordPress, Blogger or TypePad
- If I was in a Foursquare city, I’d put a sign in my window that says “Our Foursquare Mayor gets a free drink on [insert slowest night of the week here].
- Encourage customers to leave positive reviews of my business on Yelp!
- Read case studies about other successful small businesses using social media. See how they do it. Check out Naked Pizza, Koji BBQ, Luna Park and this video Robert Scoble did on Phat Philly about Yelp to start.
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!