CEDEC Small Business Support’s monthly Twitter chats cover a variety of small business topics under the themes of small business and startup growth strategies, mentorship, and youth entrepreneurship.
July’s #SBSchat ‘Leveraging Social Media to Launch and Grow Your Business’ offered up too many great tips and resources not to share it with a broader audience. Below, you’ll find a round-up of advice from the expert guests who participated.
What should be the main social media goal for SMEs and startups?
Jarrod Goldsmith, eSAX – To drive traffic, create awareness and build loyalty through meaningful engagement.
Mark Yerbury, Dale Carnegie – [You should be] delivering content to your target market that is compelling and provides benefits (value) to them.
Denis F. Gravel, PRESENTablity – [To] create awareness, develop credibility, find customers, create a tribe, community interaction.
What are some good rules to follow when marketing your business on social media?
Lyndon Johnson, Think Different[Ly] – It’s only marketing if the goal is to compel somebody to take action. The rest is promotion.
Mark – Don’t just post for the sake of posting.
CEDEC – Be consistent – don’t just post occasionally and expect people to follow; you’ll drop off their [news] feed.
Yannick Fortier, Pôle des entreprises d’économie sociale de la région de la Capitale-Nationale – Don’t aim for subscribers or stats, aim for consumers. Some businesses forget that the goal is to appeal and find a market, not to spam.
Denis – Create relations. Don’t push your product (old school interruption marketing); always add value.
Terry for BrainBlender – Less is more. Give them the info they need to make a decision and then let them decide.
What kind of content should you be sharing on social media?
CEDEC – It depends on your goals. Is it to drive online sales to an ecommerce site, download content, buy tickets?
Denis – The goal of sharing [content] is to add value, to be someone your audience wants to hang with.
CEDEC – Don’t forget the 80/20 rule of content: 80% should be external (not yours) content, not about selling but related to the industry, business, target audience, while 20% should be about your services, products, offers, sales, discounts.
How can you measure social media success?
Jarrod – Success can often mean different things and may often not involve money.
CEDEC – It depends on what you want to measure e.g.: awareness, engagement, traffic to your site.
Denis – There are vanity metrics (views, likes, shares, comments) and there are results (sales, attendees, etc.).
Should you have a formal plan for how, when, where, and what you’ll post?
CEDEC – A content calendar ensures you don’t miss key events, holidays, and opportunities that you can link to your product/service. A content calendar also ensures you work in the right content at the right frequency.
Lyndon – Yes [you should have a plan], but only after you’ve developed an overarching public relations, marketing and publicity strategy. Social is a layer.
Denis – [A plan] frees you from the ‘what can I publish now’ syndrome.
Terry – A social media calendar helps with short- and long-term projects so that you can plan and unroll [a project/product/service] to your audience.
How should you address customer complaints on social media?
Jarrod – Reply ASAP and invite them to follow-up offline. Provide an email address and say you’d be happy to discuss and rectify the situation.
Terry – Acknowledge online, solve offline.
Any additional words of advice?
Jarrod – Don’t make everything a sales pitch. Real engagement attracts followers – and tribes!
Denis – Experiment. Learn from your success and failures. Repeat success recipes from others. Social media is only one channel. Website, blog, newsletter, etc. are still important.
CEDEC – Social media is cheap and can be very effective if done right. It’s a complementary element to your overall marketing plan. Be human! Remember it’s social media, so be social!