We all lead such busy lives trying to pack everything we can into our days. As a small business owner, the day becomes even more frantic as we try to divide ourselves into all the needs of our business; marketing, human resources, sales, strategic planning...the list never ends! So how do you keep your social media and your website fresh with a never ending list of things to do?
Here are a few easy to do ways to keep things fresh for your business.
While these may seem like small things, keeping your website and social media fresh is important and these ideas will help you with that goal.
Small business owners know all about balancing the cost of doing business with the need for name recognition. Unfortunately by their very nature a small business doesn't have the advertising budget of a larger business and that means they are very limited in how and where they can advertise. Social media can help bridge that gap however a balance is needed there as well.
I recently met with a potential client who was concerned she wasn't doing "enough." She had been told by other social media consultants that she should be on a variety of different social media platforms. When I asked her if she knew why those platforms had been suggested for her business, she couldn't answer me. As with any advertising, make sure you know your target audience. You can and will make yourself and those around you crazy if you try to be everywhere.
Focus your social media strategy on your target audience. Pick one or two platforms as a test to see if they are right for your business. In addition to that, make sure you are consistent in what you do with those platforms. For instance, if you decide to use LinkedIn make sure to devote the time necessary to build your connections, touch the connections you have by congratulating them on anniversaries or new jobs, and by commenting and posting at least several times a week for at least three months.
Finding what works for your business will take time and commitment but at the end of the day with balance achieved, it will be worth it.
Every time I meet with a client about their LinkedIn page there are five things I consider essential to a professional looking page, whether they are looking for a new position or using the page as a marketing tool for their current company.
These five must haves are a professional picture, a summary of experience, the last ten years of their professional experience, a full list of skills and some extras.
The best way to reach others on LinkedIn is to make sure your first impression is the best you can make it. Think of your LinkedIn page as your digital business card and make sure you shine!
Since I made the decision to venture out as a consultant working in the field of Social Media focusing on LinkedIn for small businesses, I have found when I speak to business professionals about using LinkedIn as a marketing tool, I get one of three responses: "I don't want my personal business out in the world"; "I'm on Facebook already"; or my favorite, "I don't have time for social media." Let's take a look at each of these statements to see what the real issues are and how LinkedIn is the right tool for your small business.
I don't want my personal business out in the world -
That's great. Keep your personal business to yourself or share it on Facebook. That is where what you had to eat, cute pictures of your children, grandchildren, dogs, or cats should go. What should go on LinkedIn? Your professional experience. Think of it as your electronic business card. Many professionals already use LinkedIn to sift through potential employees or employers. What better way to find out about a company than to ask a connection who has already worked there?
I'm On Facebook Already -
Again, that's great...if you want to share crazy videos or show your favorite football team some love. Facebook is where you connect with family and friends, not develop new business leads. LinkedIn is ideal for traditional and not so traditional business. It's not just about leads either. If you are looking to hire new personnel, LinkedIn is a great tool for finding potential new hires and checking out new companies you may want to do business with.
I don't have time for Social Media -
Really? LinkedIn is a business media tool as opposed to a social media outlet It helps you educate potential clients on why they need you or your business and helps generate new leads. Don't you think you should make time for it? LinkedIn allows you to do so much more than post your resume. It allows you to share your thoughts and ideas as they pertain to business. It allows you to start a dialogue on the interesting articles you read in your field and gives you the ability to educate others through the blogs you post. Just as with any marketing tool, you must make the time for the things that will support you and your business.
In my next blog, I'll take a look at the Five Must Haves for Your LinkedIn Page.
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