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5 Ways to Get the Most from Social Media

Small Business owners need to use all tools available to promote their business including Social Media marketing. But first we need to understand what social media marketing is, and how it can help with your small business internet marketing strategy.

Social media is considered "earned marketing". That means you get people interested in your business' products or philosophy and then sell. It's never about the hard sell with social media.

Another important thing to recognize about social media marketing is that people do not want to build a "relationship" with a brand. Studies have proven that people only maintain friend / follower / fan status with a brand due to a "cool factor" involved with the product or a connection with the business philosophy. Consider the marketing strategy at Intel: Nobody cared what chip was in their laptop before Intel started marketing to consumers with TV and social media advertising. Now you're more likely to consider it before purchasing because they pitched their technical abilities as something cool. Who doesn't like pictures from inside a clean room?

The marketing genius behind the success of Whole Foods clearly shows that people want to associate with a brand that demonstrates a philosophy in-line with their own. There are currently about 3 times the Facebook likes on Whole Foods compared to Kroger. That's entirely due to the company's philosophy of bringing high quality food to consumers.

Here are 5 ways to use social media to benefit your small business.

Sometimes the Data is More Important than the Sale

This may seem like blasphemy, but the information you gather from monitoring a social media campaign can be used to shape future plans. For example you'll learn what time of day people browse and when they buy, what keywords brought them to your campaign landing page, time on site, bounce rate, conversion rate, and opportunity to upsell. All this data can be compared against your typical customer to give you a nice understanding of what works best in a campaign.

Listen to Your Customers

How valuable is instant feedback on your products, service or any aspect of your business? You could immediately resolve problems and turn a certain negative customer experience into a positive. Members of your social network are equally likely to post positive reviews or comments as negative reviews or comments. It is very easy difficult to remove or displace a negative review and very easy to promote a positive review.

Build a Community

Building a sense of community on Twitter, Facebook and other Social media helps people identify with your beliefs or philosophy. For example, a store that sells running shoes and sponsors triathlons or other events will find runners relate the store's passion to their own love for the sport.

Highlight New or Featured Products

Use social media to get promote new or featured products to your loyal followers. They get a sense of exclusivity and you get a nice controlled environment to launch and record the response to each milestone in the plan.

Market Research

You can test more than new product launches among your social media followers. Launching new sales literature or website copy to a controlled group on social media allows some easy A-B testing. Using URLs with special parameters or Facebook and Google ads, you can measure success of each discrete page for clicks and conversions before rolling it out live.

For more information on how Social Media Marketing can help your Small Business, Like our Facebook page at @SMBInternetMarketing and post a question on our wall.

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