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Social Media Marketing & Networking For St. Louis Businesses

Written by 6 String Creations.

A Strong Social Media Marketing Plan for a small business can be a bit confusing for those not terribly familiar. The thing one must do is keep in mind that the way a social networkSocial-Media is used by an individual for enjoyment is different than how it is used to promote a business. But one constant remains if you are to be successful in using social networks to draw business and leads, you need to be just as engaging and fun as you would be if speaking to your friends. Below, I will outline some tips, do's, and don'ts of navigating the networks and making social media pay off for your Saint Louis business.

Using Social Media To Increase Leads And Foot Traffic

red x bullet pointDON'T - Overpromote

We've all added a business to one of our social networks before, possibly a friend's business, possibly a place we frequent, that we almost instantly want to hide on Facebook or unsubscribe from their tweets. One of the most cited reasons is because the business comes off spammy. The best way to avoid this is a suggestion I make to all clients that leaves many scratching their heads, but it works. Promote your actual business or product next to NEVER. Really, the whole point of your network page or profile is to remind people that you exist in the hopes that the next time they need the service that you provide, they'll think of you. Nothing will get you hidden or deleted more quickly than a constant stream of "Come to my store!!!" - "Buy my new product!!!" - "Hey check us out!!!" posts. Which leads us to the next "Do".

green check mark bullet pointDO - Be Engaging, Fun, and Creative

If you aren't going to directly promote your business most of the time (notice I didn't say NEVER) then what are you going to do on the network? Simple...use the social networks for what they're there for. TALK TO PEOPLE! Engage your audience. Create a discussion, sprinkle in some controversy if you can. Remember that people feel ten feet tall behind a keyboard. Get them all discussing. Some example topics that I would use with my business centered in the internet:

  • "Good morning everyone! Help me settle an age old argument - MAC or PC?"
  • "The SOPA Act. A good idea or is the 1st amendment being violated via the web?"
  • "This morning I was remembering high school journalism class and creating our Senior Year Book on an Apple IIGS. What was your first real computer?"

Still having trouble picturing it for your business? Maybe your industry is slightly less exciting? Let's apply it to Lawn Mower Sales:

  • "Looks like it'll be too hot to mow today! What are your plans for staying cool on a summer day like today?"
  • "Everyone has a different idea of the perfect length for grass. What is yours? Cropped putting green short or lush and full yet still maintained?"
  • "FINISH THIS SENTENCE - 'When I finish mowing the lawn I like to relax by ____________________ and _____________________ .' Go!"

As silly as it may seem to start topics over services that don't seem very conversation-worthy, you'd be surprised at how many people will join in the discussion. Besides, being fun and friendly online gives people a preview of the customer service they'll receive in your store or with your company. On he flipside, constantly SHOUTING at them to "BUY THIS...ONE DAY ONLY....BETTER HURRY!!!" would give them what impression?

green check mark bullet pointDO - Start Early

The internet's most busy time is between the hours of 6PM and 10PM. So what's the best time to utilize social media marketing your business? 6AM! Wait, what? The SECOND most busy time on the internet is first thing in the morning. So why then would you want to promote at the second busiest time? Simple. best time to tweet and make facebook postsA lot of people  get out of bed make breakfast, and with their morning coffee, spend an average of 15 to 30 minutes checking email, facebook, twitter, and online news. This gives a chance for your business to be fresh in their head ALL DAY. Making them remember to come by your store at lunch, or call you on a break with a question, possibly go by your place for dinner! Now what happens if you wait to promote until the most busy time which is in the evening? People have gotten home from work, changed into their sweats, have a post dinner full belly, and with their feet up browsing the web, they're not going anywhere. Motivation to purchase, even online, is lower at these times as well.

green check mark bullet pointDO - Link Your Networks

I hope you're at least utilizng the top 4 (currently) networks and using them at a minimum, being Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Youtube. You're missing out if you neglect a lot of the cool others out there like Ping.FM, Vimeo, Foursqaure and more, but back to the point. You need to treat your social networks as a one hand washes the other(s) approach.
  • If you shoot a short promotional or tutorial video for Youtube (you are doing this regularly, right...?), immediately post the link to it on Twitter and discuss it on Facebook.
  • If you've started a discussion about your field on LinkedIn, share it on Facebook.
  • If a friend on Twitter is looking for a job, make them a part of your LinkedIn network and offer to share their resume.

A lot of the social networks, if not directly offering an immediate post to another network (like bridging your tweets to your facebook posts and vice versa), will offer a social sharing button for the other networks so you can automate things much more quickly and not have to open 7 tabs to share your post.

red x bullet pointDON'T - Neglect Video

There are a million excuses to neglect producing short videos to promote on Youtube, Vimeo, and the other video networks. why videos are good for seoSome are camera shy, some don't want to spend the time, and some just plain don't know what they would put into video. There are many ways to do this but here are a few.

  • Product Showcase. Don't just tell your fans how great your service or product is, show them on video. Give a brief product demonstration. Even as little as 30 seconds shows you're willing to go the extra mile and that you believe in what you're selling or promoting.
  • Do a tutorial. If you own an outdoor grill shop, showcase one of your grills making a slow smoked beef brisket. If you own a golf pro shop, demonstrate the difference between irons to novices. Show another video demonstrating proper posture in your slice!
  • Video Testimonials. These are HUGE! By now maybe you've seen one of mine off to the right here on the website. Nothing gives people solid proof that your business is everything that it says like someone on camera sharing their good experiences with your company. You'd be surprised how many people would be willing to do this for as little as a decent gift certificate in return!

red x bullet pointDON'T - Get Lazy

Promoting your business online these days is as important as showing up on time to open your doors. There are many aspects of running your business that you cannot neglect and these days, keeping your fans online engaged is one of them. How many local businesses have you seen launch their website, try to get as many fans and likes and subscriptions on their social networks immediately following, and BOOM, lose interest in next to no time. frequent social media marketingYou see 3-5-15 comments posted to their walls that go unanswered, pictures stop getting posted, and their networks all but die. Then they come along after not even checking the page in months only to have that big "OH NO!" moment. Potential customers have been messaging and posting and virtually being ignored. Don't fall into this category. Almost all of us have smart phones these days. Download your social network apps, take a product photo or show a service rep working on a project. Show a finished product you're proud of, caption it, and share. That couldn't take 5 minutes of your time folks. Dedicate an hour or two a week to keeping up with your social marketing, and essentially, proving to your followers that you really do care.

If all of this information is simply too overwhelming, or your just don't have the time in the day or fear you don't have the creativity to market on the social networks properly, then please call us. We're here to help market your St. Louis Business and get you started NOW with a successful campagin using social media marketing!