Social Media Marketing Myths and How to Best Use Social Media

These days, everyone in the business world seems to be talking about “social media marketing” and how it can grow their business. Everyone wants to believe that taking on a social media strategy will magically drive in tons of new visitors to their website, which in turn will make them into customers at their business. However, for many small businesses, these expectations don’t always seem to come true. Here are several of the most common myths about how social media marketing will grow business, and tips on better approaches to using social media.

1. You need to hire a “social media guru” to handle your company’s social media accounts

Think you need some “internet ninja” to take care of your company’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media accounts? You most definitely don’t. Many businesses take one look at the words “social media marketing” and decide that they’d be better off with paying some young person to manage their social media accounts, which will cause business to magically grow on its own. Think again! Not only can social media accounts often be maintained by staff who already works at the business, but also, social media is not just some fad that only young people understand. Websites used for social networking are easy to use and easy to navigate – they wouldn’t have as many users as they do if this weren’t the case. You don’t need to know any fancy language or need to be a computer genius to make the most of social media sites.

2. You can be fluent in “Twitter”

While the average person who is new to Twitter may take one look at the site and feel instantly confused, there really isn’t that much to it. Twitter is used to broadcast short and quick statements to the public about what you’re up to, where you are, or in the case of business: what promotions are going on, new blog entries, or other news. Here is all you really need to know about using Twitter:

a) # – Hashtags

Hashtags (#) are used to make categories, or “trends.” You can put a hash tag between a word or multiple words (just remove the spaces) to create a category, or discuss a category that is already trending. You can tell what is trending based on the “trends” list on the right of your screen. For example, if you are “tweeting” about the weather and you want your tweet to fit into the category of “weather,” your tweet might look like this:

“Today is a beautiful day. #weather”

Don’t overuse hashtags – you should really only use them when you’re trying to make a certain part of your tweet searchable so other users can find what you are saying based on that category.

b) The @ sign

The only function that the @ sign serves is to direct your tweet at another Twitter user. If your friend’s username (or handle) on Twitter is Bob, you could tweet “Today is a great day, right, @Bob?” if you want all of your followers to see it. Or, you could send a Direct Message to Bob by saying “@Bob hi how are you?” Talking directly to your followers via the @ sign is a great way to build relationships with potential customers.

3. People are going to find YOU on social media sites

This is one of the most popular myths about social media, yet it couldn’t be further from the truth. Unless you happen to work for a company that already has tons of customers, fans, or followers in real life, it is probably going to be a challenge to find followers on your social media accounts. This is where promotion and word of mouth come into play. Make sure your in-person customers know where to find you on these sites. You can inform them of your username via a poster, a business card, or an email campaign. Provide incentives to people who do follow you or friend request you. For example, you can tell customers that you often have deals on your social media sites that are only available to followers. This is a guaranteed way to increase the amount of followers and fans on your pages.

4. Every business needs a strong social media presence

When considering your own business’ social media strategy, ask yourself one question: what does my actual customer base look like in real life? If you are catering your services to a population that is older or probably won’t be using digital media in the first place, don’t waste your time (and money) on social media. Stick to more traditional methods of marketing and customer relations. Although it is all the rage to use Facebook and Twitter for your business, there are many businesses that can get by just fine with an effective website and listings in online directories.

Top 10 Marketing Books for Small Business Owners

Unlike big business owners, small business owners have the burden of taking care of every single aspect of their business – recruitment, marketing, finance, accounts, managing employees to managing vendors, and so forth. But here we focused only on books that can help you gain marketing knowledge and skills. Here are the top 10 books on marketing which we believe are helpful for new as well as established small business owners.

Book # 1: The New Rules of Marketing & PR – David Meerman Scott

In the new marketing scenario, the methods such as ad copy, etc. do not bring results for your business. With the popularity of smartphones and other devices and proliferation of the Internet, new methods, rules, etc. of marketing have evolved. This book discusses the importance and benefits of using such techniques.

David M Scott provides fresh examples of success from various industries and businesses across the world. He highlights the new tools and techniques that marketers should use to communicate with their buyers directly – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. In short, this book is a guide that offers actionable strategies and insider tips that can be implemented immediately.

Book # 2: Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking – Andy Sernovitz

This book by Andy Sernovitz emphasizes the use of word of mouth marketing for businesses. The book elaborates purpose of blogs, social media, viral emails, etc. – when to use them and how to make them work.

Word of mouth is an effective tool to share information quickly and easily to promote businesses. It is an effective tool that can promote your business via your customers, friends and relations.

Book # 3: Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business – Jay Conrad Levinson

This book furnishes strategies for Internet marketing, tips on using technology like pod-casting and automated marketing, programs for targeting prospects, cultivating repeat, referral business, management lessons in the age of telecommuting and freelance employees, etc. – exclusively for small businesses.

Book # 4: Duct Tape Marketing: The World’s Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide – John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a well-known expert in small business marketing. In the book, he discusses all the proven tools and tactics together in a step-by-step marketing system. This road map helps small business owners in knowing what they need to do to market their businesses.

Book # 5: Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-Free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business – David Siteman Garland

This book provides strategies for building, marketing and promoting businesses. These techniques are smarter, faster, cheaper and therefore save your time and money. The book is equally helpful for start-ups as well as those who are already in the market for sometime.

Book # 6: Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed: Leverage Resources, Establish Online Credibility and Crush Your Competition – Patrick Schwerdtfeger

This book provides effective practical strategies and tactics – a complete tool kit to use resources sensibly, to establish online credibility. If you apply these strategies, you can get good results for your business within a brief span of time.

Book # 7: Ultimate Small Business Marketing Guide – James Stephenson

This book is an essential guide for every business owner. James Stephenson presents in this book 1500 great marketing ideas that are sure to boost your sales revenue, profits and customer loyalty and also to help you stay ahead of your competitors.

Book # 8: Web Marketing for Small Businesses: 7 Steps to Explosive Business Growth – Stephanie Diamond

Marketing for small businesses was difficult in the past. But today, it is not the case. Web marketing enables small businesses to take advantage of marketing opportunities and win new customers.

The book ‘Web Marketing for Small Businesses: 7 Steps to Explosive Business Growth’ focuses on different ways of marketing with a detailed strategy to put them into action. The main content of the book comprises checklists – niche, brand, story, search, content, social media tactics, traditional tactics and results. This book helps you implement web marketing strategies.

Book # 9: Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook – Dave Kerpen

This book is a key to unlock the door to new opportunities. It tells you about how to build brand awareness by engaging customers in social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and other social media networking sites.

Book # 10: 500 Social Media Marketing Tips: Essential Advice, Hints and Strategy for Business: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and More! – Andrew Macarthy

This book is a guide to small businesses. It provides 500 social media marketing tips covering all the web’s biggest players like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube and others. These tips will help you build brand awareness in social media networks, attract and engage your customers and ultimately help you increase sales.

Social Media Marketing – 10 Powerful Social Media Marketing Tips

1. Use blogging as a means of social media marketing

A blog is the Internet’s version of the corner soap box. It is an outlet that can be used by the average individual to disseminate information. The blog is one of the most effective tools to do everything from developing a large following to promoting new products.

It is often through a company’s blog that both small and large companies get vital information to their customers. If you want to use social media marketing affecting then you need a blog.

2. Use Twitter marketing to promote messages for other users

Twitter has become one of the largest promotional centers in the world which makes Twitter marketing a powerful tool.

You will often hear this person tweeted this or this celebrity tweeted that. Twitter is one of the most effective ways to use social media marketing to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

3. Use Facebook Marketing as a form of online marketing

Facebook has emerged over the last year as the friend everyone wants. Everyone is either using it or trying to become a part of it. One of the best strategies to make use of Facebook marketing is the use of the Facebook fan page and Facebook personal page.

The Facebook fan page is one of the must have tools in your social media marketing arsenal. It allows for a direct connection to your fans and customers. It may also be used to develop better overall marketing strategies with the information that is literally handed over to you from your fans.

4. Use YouTube marketing to boost your blog

There is nothing that lights-up the internet like a good viral video. Weather it is the racy Go Daddy videos or other viral videos, they produce a great deal of attention and traffic.

A good viral video can make your business enterprise a household name and produce residual traffic for your enterprise for weeks to come.

5. Use Twitter marketing to expose your products to more people

Endorsements have always been a tool of any marketing firm. Big names carry weight and often have explosive marketing power. Twitter marketing and Facebook marketing allow for this power to be tapped.

Twitter can expose your product to millions of people simply because you partnered with a big name personality.

6. Use social media marketing to make money

Blog reviews are another big way to generate traffic, buzz, and sales. It’s another form of endorsements and is a great bang for your buck. A good review could yield you 5 times to 10 times what you paid for it.

Be sure that the person producing the review for you has a rather large following so that you can receive the best value for your money.

7. Use Twitter marketing to make giveaways go viral

One of the best ways to make use of social media is to host a giveaway using social media outlets. The simple investment of the giveaway could yield you many new twitter followers, hundreds of new Facebook fans, and build your email subscription list. This is another Twitter marketing strategy that has long term benefits.

8. Use social media marketing to hook up with celebrities

Social bookmarking sites allow you to make a mark that can be stumbled upon later on. Some of the best sites for social media marketing are:

– Digg.com

– StumbleUpon

– Reddit

These sites are great for storing links, organizing them, and directing traffic to your business website.

9. Use social media marketing strategies that are often overlooked

You are probably using Twitter marketing and Facebook marketing already. MySpace and other social networking sites are often overlooked when it comes to social media marketing. The effectiveness of them however has not diminished. It is still a major platform used by music artist to distribute music and other items.

There aren’t any major companies that do not have a MySpace page, and you should too! There are still people that religiously use their MySpace pages and they make a great target audience for your marketing strategy.

10. Use Twitter marketing, Facebook marketing, and YouTube marketing all together

The best social media marketing strategy is to combine Facebook marketing, Twitter marketing, and YouTube marketing all together. You can have your Facebook fans follow you on twitter while checking out your website.

You can then have the people checking out your website participate in your give away which drives them back to your social media hub. You will have an injection of new traffic from your celebrity connection!

Need Outsource Social Media Service?

3 Business Referral Marketing Tips

Finding the best referral marketing tips for your business will likely be a short series of hit-and-miss attempts before you find the perfect solution for your particular product or service offerings. To formulate your own referral marketing style you can check out the tips and ideas others have used in the past.

Networking

Networking may be the true key to referral marketing. Interacting with people in the local community as well as reaching out to those all over the globe through tools like social networks is all very vital elements for generating a network that can be an endless source of referrals for your business.

The point with all of the available networking options is not to badger any one of them needlessly. When utilizing all of the available networking opportunities such as conferences and events, word-of-mouth suggestive marketing and social network sharing, business owners should be able to bring in a healthy amount of consumers who are there because they are already looking for what that business has to offer.

Business Partnering for Referrals

Find businesses that offer products or services that are complimentary to your own. These partner options can benefit both parties, help reduce cost by sharing them, and be an endless source of personal branding and referral consumer growth. A business that washes cars may want to team up with the business that sells a product that cleans glass or upholstery to offer a sample version of the cleaner to those who visit the car wash.

The reciprocal option could be that the upholstery cleaning business can offer a free car wash to those who purchase the cleaning products. In this way, both businesses have a give and take relationship that can benefit all involved with fresh new referrals. Some cities have networks set up for this type of partnering benefits. Check your local chamber of commerce for referral marketing tips businesses or conferences.

Incentives

Incentives are the icing on the cake in all cases. You may always have consumers who so enjoy your product or services that they are willing to shout it from the roof tops for no benefit to themselves. However, although some of your consumers may thoroughly enjoy what you have to offer, they too, have busy lives, maybe their own businesses to run, and just may not be able to dedicate the time it takes to help you get even the most well-deserved referrals.

This is where incentives come in. When you offer incentives such as discounts or gifts you are buying a few moments of the consumer’s time. Once you have their time you have their attention. Once you have a consumer’s attention, you have only to impress them with your offering. The chance to impress a consumer with your offering sometimes only comes through offering to let them try it in some discounted or beneficial form that drives them to give it a moment of their time. Incentive referral marketing tips are very helpful to this type of plan.