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How social media and content marketing can work together in a network to promote small business

Will Social Media Still Work for Small Business?

What Has Trump Shown Us about Marketing in 2016?

By Thomas R. Reich PhD

 

There is no question that you can still boost your small business sales, marketing and internet activity, through content marketing and social media networking. Even though there is a lot of talk about social media, content, SEO and networking having passed their prime, and you feel you just don’t have time to do it all, take a lesson from this season’s political primary.

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If you have been watching the news, and if you have not noticed the primaries you must have been very busy indeed, the candidates that are winning are not the ones that are spending the hundreds of millions on traditional advertising. Where Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton spent an estimated 100,000,000 on TV and Radio spots, Donald  Trump and Bernie Sanders spent a fraction of that amount during the same period on Twitter, instagram and FaceBook, both winning the New Hampshire primary by better than double digit margins, though both widely considered the underdogs going in.

What can small business owners take away from this political experience of underdog victories? No I am not saying to bring politics into business, this is still a taboo, but it does outline that not only is social media not reaching its maturity, it has barely reached its stride!  We are just discovering that it really can win elections over traditional forms of advertising that has won consistently for 100 years, so what can it do for business.  Can social media help your small business compete with the giants of your industry?

How social media and content marketing can work together in a network to promote small business

Marketing is the life blood of your business; it is what keeps your business growing. What makes your reputation is the ongoing dialogue of what the community is saying and thinking about your business and the people associated with you and your business.  Today, that also includes what social media is saying about your business and what it is saying about you and your involvement with the community. Content Marketing and Social Media is a living breathing thing which evolving to become the guide more and more customers look to for help in deciding who to trust in a buying or trust decision.

In order to boost social media networking and exposure in a positive way, small business internet activity must get more involved with its community.   We offer the following suggestions and advice.  If you have any questions or need help in planning or executing a marketing program contact us at director1@gmail.com or find further information at YourPMA.com and Troblinreich.com

How social media and content marketing can work together in a network to promote small business

So let’s start with the good old basics, and build from there. You have been told for years that Social Media is a silver bullet that will solve all your problems, it will not.  You have been told that SEO is the be all end all, it is not, and having a blog will bring you all the customers you need in and of itself, no it will not.  As in every evolution of business marketing history, nothing happens with out a plan, hard work and a lot of effort.  But we can help you direct that effort in more efficient ways, more effective ways to meet a changing market in today’s changing world.

 

Why do Businesses Fail?

Tax Deduction Tip 30

  1. Not enough people know they exist

  2. little or no social media networking

  3. They did not do enough to get the word out

  4. Did not work hard enough for brand recognition

  5. Did not remind the customer daily through social media networking why the business matters

  6. Did not Build a website that showcased their business as the expert in their specific niche market

 

So what is necessary for a small business to appear to be a player on equal footing with its larger more established competition in today’s new frontier of social media, content website driven, media market of millennia’s driven workforce web searchers? Well, to be honest, we aren’t all millennia’s and we don’t all have to be experts in the twitterverse to make a dent in what is happening with new market realities.  But as I said before, to be successful today, as it was in the past, it will take hard work, time and dedication.  Nothing is free, nothing is ever easy it is just done a bit differently today.

How social media and content marketing can work together in a network to promote small business

If you follow a few simple guidelines it can be a lot less expensive than it has been in the past for some real tangible success. But remember, if it did not take time, effort and had no cost associated with the marketing efforts, everyone would be successful without effort, and that has never been the case.  If you have been around as long as I have you know; “There is no such thing as a FREE lunch”, that said, many great deals have been made over one, so let’s get started.

A successful business must have a daily promotion habit, do at least one or more of the following each and every day as part of office routine of content marketing and social media:

How social media and content marketing can work together in a network to promote small business

  1. Write or post a new blog

  2. Tweet a timely question

  3. Do a radio interview

  4. Do a webcast or podcast

  5. Post an update on LinkedIn or blog to a group on LinkedIn

  6. Write a letter to the editor or comment on a major forum

  7. Link and share pictures, blog or news of your business on FaceBook page

  8. Do at least one thing that will publicize your product each day through social media networking

 

As you begin to develop a regular habit of content marketing and social media, you need to start to tailor your social media posts to exactly what you wish to achieve. You also need to have a plan and couple this plan with content that you post to your blog, which stays in line with the niche you are developing for your unique story, what makes you different within your market.  If you were a customer looking for what your provide, what information, answers and points of interest are you providing that would attract you to your product.

 

Other things to do on a regular basis:

How social media and content marketing can work together in a network to promote small business

  1. Contact 5 people a day that could help you publicize your product

  2. Give the social media network a hook to use to grab their audience (in the end you and your product do not matter to that media outlet, to the organization giving you the publicity, it’s how you can add interest to their show or blog, even their tweet stream, remember this!)

  3. Research what various factions of the social media network can put in their heading or intro; “Coming up________” that will help their audience to stay tuned in or check back. What about you or your product would cause this reaction, think of catchy phrases, make it easy to promote you or your product.

  4. Again, you need to come up with hooks, what makes this social media network member or blogger or interviewer’s audience tune in to his or her show or blog. If it pushes you or your product at the same time, that makes it a win win, that is what we are looking for!

  5. Create a hook. Hook = “Could you go to jail for linking the wrong website?” or “have you checked your FaceBook picture for malware, XYZ co knows why you should” or “Is your health drink, healthy?”

 

 

You hear a lot about taking things “Viral” or making a “Viral” video. Many will come or send spam emails over and over claiming to make “Viral” videos or blogs for you or to have “fool proof” methods for “Viral Content”.  When you see this type of talk, ignore it, no one can “make” viral content, it is something that can be strived for like a hit record or a hit movie, but if there was a guaranteed method for a hit song, The Rolling Stones would still have #1 songs every week.

I was in the Music industry for many years, I was lucky enough to hit on big success many times with 66 gold and Platinum records over the years, but that was with many hundreds of productions. There is no way anyone can ever guarantee a hit and there is no way anyone or anything can ever guarantee viral period!

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That said, you can increase your chances of creating a viral video or blog or even a viral social media post by learning to create a good “Hook”.  In the world of advertising it is called a hook, same in the music world, same in the film world.  A hook is something you remember, a tune you hum, a scene you remember from a Superbowl add.  A hook is something you take with you after you read, hear or see it long after the event of reading, seeing or hearing it.

 

5 Ways to Create a Hook for the Social Media Network

First, create interest with the topic:

How social media and content marketing can work together in a network to promote small business

  1. How to do; “How do you Tweet a Question?”

  2. Counter a Myth; “Parents want a quick fix to poor study habits-could drugs be the wrong answer?”

  3. Make a prediction; “Why the US will soon experience dramatic food shortages” –or—“Why food prices will continue to rise”

  4. Ask a Question, “Can you give the media a question they can use?” or “What are cats thinking?”

  5. Give them a timely hook, a reason they need to have information about your product now; Tax advice at tax time, new business start up advice in January, new kind of tomato plant in the spring.

 

Now that you have created interest by making the post a topic that will in itself create interest and make the reader want to read the post, there are further considerations. So many neophytes to Social Media approach posts as if they are writing for themselves or to keep continuity to “their” Social Media.  This is not the case, you are writing for the audience, and each post stands alone, rarely do readers ever look back, so each post is unique and stands alone, think in terms of content marketing and social media always.

 

Create an effective publicity plan around the posts to promote a viral blog which you have just titled with the criteria listed above:

How social media and content marketing can work together in a network to promote small business

  1. Who is your core audience

  2. What does that core audience read or watch

  3. When will your topic be timely; time of year, anniversary, create a holiday around your product, look in the book Chase’s Calendar of Events for listing of 10,000 holidays

  4. Is there a predictable news event that can be spun to your product and sent to the social media network, release of a movie, elections, release of monthly employment figures or farm reports

 

 

Avoid the “I’ll wait till it comes out to publicize the product” approach, look at the political primary elections as an example. Long before the candidates get to an area of a state the more popular ones have been engaged by content marketing and social media.  They have read blogs, seen videos, so when they see Trump or Rubio in a town hall, they are seeing a celebrity, not just a political candidate.

Pre-publicity was a luxury only the wealthiest of companies could afford in the past, now small business can compete on equal ground, with the right plan and help from a good team.

 

Here are some suggestions:

How social media and content marketing can work together in a network to promote small business

  1. When a new or updated product is released, the publicity must already be in place, The Social Media Network; Twitter, FaceBook and LinkedIn announcements kicking for weeks before the product hits the street.

  2. Again do interviews blogs and email blasts, and consistent social media network exposure before the release date as well, to create anticipation of the new or improved product.

  3. Listen to your core interest group, you may find improvements or hooks you never thought of before the product even comes out.

 

Another way you may get some viral juice in today’s changing world of almost free publicity machine is by using a little known trick. You want to get on the good side of the influential bloggers.  Many of these bloggers that have large audiences in the niche you are aiming your blog and products at are blogging for self gratification.  They are not in it for the money, they are industry watch dogs, or industry “experts” or just want to be recognized as “important” to a group of readers.  Your attention to them, asking them to look at your product or position, your attention, could be the touch to get their readers to see you in a positive light!

Get publicity and exposure on blogs that reach your core audience, not just your personal blog. The top 500 bloggers sites have over 100,000 visits per month; this is a resource you need to tap into!

How social media and content marketing can work together in a network to promote small business

Main ways to get valuable coverage on blogs:

How social media and content marketing can work together in a network to promote small business

  1. Offer to write an article, this is called a “guest Post” free, this will boost small business.

  2. Offer the blogger the opportunity to interview you

  3. Offer the blogger mention or a posting on your blog

  4. Offer the blogger a free product so they can review it

  5. Offer to run a free advice column in their blog

  6. Offer copies of your product as prizes

  7. Give them timely hooks

  8. Always get a plug in return for the appearance

  9. www.technorati.com to find blogs to contact in your field

 

There is also another very inexpensive way to get even more low cost publicity for your small business. In the past Videos, even internal videos showing product training, or simple messages from officers could cost tens of thousands of dollars.  Some well produced video products produced on film for larger companies may have cost in the hundreds of thousands.   But today, with simple quick 30 – 60 second videos produced very inexpensively, you can get your message across visually and compete even in the video arena with the big boys.

You Need a YouTube Strategy, and don’t forget that you can embed YouTube videos within your website, letting YouTube host the videos, but play within your website and not slowing down your website. This can give your website a lift and a much more interactive feeling, with instructional videos, personal messages and fun facts about products and services.

How social media and content marketing can work together in a network to promote small business

You must have a strategy, YouTube should part of any social media networking plan:

 How social media and content marketing can work together in a network to promote small business

  1. What could your core audience be looking for?

  2. How can you set up your video so your core audience can find you?

  3. Video must be no longer than 2 min.

  4. Better to have 40 videos, each 90 second tips, than to have 6 videos, each 15 min speeches.

 

 

How social media and content marketing can work together in a network to promote small business

The YouTube videos should contain:

 

  1. Hi I am _____________

  2. I am important to you because _______________

  3. Here is what we are doing for you

  4. End with find me here and follow me on twitter

  5. Ask for a response from them through your social media network

How social media and content marketing can work together in a network to promote small business

 

With a little imagination, a lot of work and a little help from your friends, there is no telling how far you can go in today’s world of marketing options. With Social Media, Content Marketing and Video Marketing you can compete on a level playing field with the big boys, for a much lower budget than you ever thought possible.

 

Want to explore the possibilities with a seasoned professional marketing consultant that has been through the transition from the way it was to the way it is. We have been there from the 80’s to the 90’s to the dawn of the Social Media age, the dawn of The Video age, and we saw the transition coming long before it was here.

We stand ready to help you take your place in this brave new world, and have a little fun along the way! Marketing should be fun, and if your customers see joy in the way you present your products they see great things in you in a new world of content marketing and social media working together in a complete network.

How social media and content marketing can work together in a network to promote small business

Marketing for a New Tomorrow Today

Questions?  Need Advice?  Email Dr. Reich: Director1@gmail.com

 

 

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