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3 Social Media Marking Tips for Small Businesses

Social media marketing is a powerful channel to promote a business on the web. For small businesses, social media is the glue that helps to support local brand awareness and customer loyal.

According to statistics from Pingdom (popular social media monitoring website:)

• The proportion of male and female social media use is almost the same (47% for men and 53% for women).

• 61% of people on Facebook are mid-aged or older (the average age is 37).

• Individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 do not dominate any particular social networking website – they are spread all over.

Social Media Marking Tips for Small BusinessesGiven these statistics, small businesses have a lot to gain by taking the time to discover which social media marketing channels best suit their business and customers. By failing to use social media, businesses can lose out on an effective way to acquire local customers and build a strong community of valuable relationships.

To help give your small business a boost in social media marketing, below we share with you three tips to get your campaign going.

1. Promote Exclusive Offers

Whichever social media channels your business takes on, your campaign will be greatly improved by enticing your customers with a product/service that is not readily available elsewhere. You could also offer such exclusive offers as weekly coupons and free shipping to your fans or followers. The idea is to use social media marketing to incentivize your audience with something of value.

2. Monitor your Competitors

Knowing what your competitors are doing will help you come up with a comprehensive strategy. Analyze the presence of your top competitors and take into consideration the follow factors:

• The social networking sites where they are active

• The content published on these sites

• The number of views/fans/followers on each of these sites

• How specific programs, products, or events are promoted

3. Listen to Your Customers

Once you get your social media marketing campaigns underway, always keep top of mind the interactions you have with you customers. Even if it's a one-to-one interaction that seems small, listen and empathize with every individual customer that chooses to communicate with your company. If someone makes a comment or question, promptly address their inquiry in an appropriate manner. It's remarkable how special and individual feels when a business takes the time to respond to their post.

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6 Social Media Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Social Media Marketing Strategies for Small BusinessesPlanning and executing effective marketing strategies tends to be a challenge for most small businesses. However, one approach that offers an amazing ROI for small business marketing is social media.

Whether you would like to employ simple strategies or would rather make use of advanced strategies, there are numerous market efforts you could pursue by leveraging social media. This includes choosing the right social media marketing platforms, as well as the how you use each of them. 

Below we offer six social media marketing strategies for small businesses.

1. Facebook

The greatest advantage of Facebook is that it offers cheap marketing opportunities for smaller sized businesses. Currently, there over 300 million users on this social networking platform. Although you will not be targeting all these users, Facebook still offers quite a powerful platform for one to build their company’s online presence.

So, what is the basic strategy? You should start off by signing up and securing a username for your company. Keep in mind that if you are using your company name for a personal account; you will not be able to use it as a business fan page as fan pages tend to have a different set of rules when it comes to usernames. The next thing that you should do is research on your competitors. Evaluate the type of presence they have on Facebook, the pages that they have built, and also the number of fans that they have. Take a look at the posts they put up as well as media such as photos and video.

There is also the advanced strategy that you could pursue with Facebook. If you already have a personal account, contemplate how you can extend it to increase your business’ presence as well. There are a number of options when it comes to doing this. The first would be to create a business account but keep in mind that these accounts come with limitations. The business fan page allows customers to register as fans of your page and this expands your online presence. You could also consider running some hyper-local ads on this social networking platform.

2. Twitter

In the last year, this social networking platform has grown in leaps and bounds. It is highly effective for small businesses as it offers you numerous ways of leveraging your company. For the basic strategy, you should start off by opening an account with your business’ name. Although you can tweet about your company from your own personal account, you should let your business have its own online identity. In addition to this, you would rather avoid having your business name taken up by another user.

The next step would be to find out what your competition is on Twitter, conduct some basic searches with keywords related to your business so as to find out what is on offer. You could also search for your competitors to find out if they have Twitter accounts and how they are making use of their accounts. Once you have become familiar with this, you can then start planning on how to use Twitter to your business’ advantage. To make the most of Twitter for your business, you should learn some advanced strategies.

The best place to start would be to familiarize yourself with desktop as well as mobile clients such as Seesmic, Tweetdeck and the likes. These Twitter clients enable you to be more flexible with your tweeting habits thus giving you more control over your Twitter strategy. One of the ways of doing this is through pre-defined searches, which allow you to keep track of specific keywords as well as the people that you follow. In addition to this you could make use of Twitterfall, which enables you to define as well as color-code the different searches that you would be interested in.

3. Company Blog

Although there has been an increased interest in social networks for companies and their social media marketing strategies, blogs are still quite beneficial to small businesses. When it comes to the basic strategy, you could start off by reserving a domain name for your blog in the event that you do not already own a customized business domain name. On the other hand, you could start a WordPress.com blog, which tends to be the easiest option but you will not have full control over the things that you would want to have on the website. Another alternative would be starting a strategy for external business blogging at Posterous. This is a platform that allows people to post stories and various media such as photos, videos, and even MP3 files.

For the advanced marketing strategy, you should start considering building an audience for your blog. The most vital elements of an effective blog is having superior content and a very focused niche. For instance, if you sell marble cleaning products, you may want to focus you blog specifically on tips and solutions on how to clean marble.

In short, You should establish what the focus of your blog will be then create content that is fresh and relevant and that people will want to read. Establish what your expertise is as well as what you would be interested in writing about. Lastly, you should consider ways in which it will be easy for your readers to share your content. Plug-ins such as TweetMeme tend to be a good way of doing this as your readers can easily retweet your posts.

4. LinkedIn

This is a social network platform designed for professionals as it is business oriented. The first step of using this site is by reserving an account in your business’ name so nobody else can use it then you can explore it just as you would Facebook and Twitter. When it comes to the advanced strategies, there are a number of features most people do not use. One of these is the “recommendations” option, which allows your customers, vendors, and so on to recommend your business on their profile. Another advanced strategy would be taking part in subject matter groups. Engaging other members in conversation by answering questions in your niche will increase your presence.

5. Multimedia

This is the use of photos, video as well as audio. The most basic way of doing this would be through YouTube. By uploading videos related to your business on YouTube, you increase the number of people who get to see them. Another option would be using Flickr to share photos.

6. Combine Social Media Tools

With the different social networking platforms, you can now cross–market your business. The ways of doing this include connecting your Twitter account to your Facebook account so that you can post simultaneously on both platforms. You could also connect your LinkedIn account to your blog so that your blog posts appear on your LinkedIn profile.

We hope these six social media marketing strategies will help empower your business for many years to come.

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A Local SEO Strategy Briefing for Your Small Business

Local SEO StrategyIf you operate or market a small business, there's a lot local SEO moves that you and your team can make in-house.

Creating and implementing a local SEO strategy is actually fairly simple. Of course there are many intricacies that go into the SEO process, there's big SEO tasks that just about anyone can accomplish.

Below are five items to address for your local SEO strategy. Think of this as short briefing to lead your online marketing efforts in the right direction.

1. Create a Google+ Local Page - Google+ is a social domain that can directly influence local SEO performance for your small business. Creating a Google+ page connects your business directly to the house (Google,) and can influence the Google local search rankings (with factors that depend on amount and quality of reviews, on-page keyword usage, and amount and quality of off-page citations.)

2. Make Your Website Keyword Relevant - It's SEO best practices to include your primary keyword target (and geographic modifier) in URL (with exception of the homepage,) Meta Title, Meta Description, and visible copy of the pages you're optimizing. So if you’re a chiropractor in Atlanta, you'll definitely want to include those keywords in each of these on-page elements.

3. Construct an HTML Site Map - The site map is arguably the second most important page on your website (next to the homepage.) Serving as index of all primary pages of your website, the HTML site map is the road map for search engine spiders. For this reason, make the site map prevalent on the site by linking it on all pages of your website, preferably in a site-wide footer.

4. Build Citations (Business Listings) - Like mentioned above in tip #1, off-page citations are big ranking factor in Google local search (the search results accompanied by the Google map and little red pins.) Citations are simply listings or mentions of your business's name, address, and phone number on other websites - primarily directory listings. You can build citations for your business on sites like Yahoo! Local, Manta.com, Bing, LinkedIn, Yellowbook, etc.

5. Write Content Regularly, and Share it Socially - Google likes websites that are regularly updated with fresh content. A good way to do this is add a blog or articles section to your website. Whether you publish a piece of content weekly or monthly, such content can serve as a strong asset in building a social community, inbounding direct traffic to your site (content marketing,) and further maximizing the keyword relevancy of you website (when you produce content that is related to your site's keyword targets.)

This blog post was produced by Tyler Tafelsky, local SEO expert and content marketer. For more information, visit on local SEO strategy for small business, check out some of the local SEO blog posts at WebPresenceGroup.net - many of which have been written by Tyler.

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5 Prove SEO Tips for Local SMB's

Local Small Business SEOMost local SMB's are starting to realize the importance of SEO to be competitive in their local marketplace. However, few of the companies are taking the proper approach to generate sustainable rankings and lead-generating results.

Whether or not you're working with a local SEO company or handling all optimization in-house, below are proven SEO tips that you (or your local SEO company) can employ for better results.

1. Do Localized Keyword Research

Keywords are the phrases that customers submit on major search engines while looking for your type of business or service. The trick to doing keyword research is to keep it locally-specific to your area, so instead of research keywords like "chiropractor," you can try researching keywords like "chiropractor in Berkeley CA".

By signing up for a free Google AdWords account, you are accessible to the Keyword Planner tool where you can easily explore the number of average monthly searches a keyword phrase gets. From this information, you can optimize your content appropriately.

In addition to researching localized keywords, such "Berkeley chiropractor" or "chiropractors in Berkeley CA," try adjusting the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to your local area (i.e. so it only show's data reflective of search volume in Berkeley, the Bay Area, or the entire state of California,) and see how often general or broad keywords are searched per month, such as "chiropractor" or "chiropractic". Get started by visiting the Keyword Planner on Google AdWords.

2. Implement a Content Marketing Strategy

You probably have a nice looking website for your business, congratulations for that, but is that enough to bring you clients? The bad news is, NO! There is more to be done. A well laid strategy to generate quality and consistent content and get it out to the world is your only bet for success. Increased ROI, increased authority and brand awareness, lead generation, backlinks and greater traffic are some benefits of this strategy.

First, do thorough research of your client industry. Get enough information help plan for your blogging and the general marketing piece. Secondly, together with your team, brainstorm and get solid campaign ideas. Next, create relevant content to include videos, written posts, quizzes and reports. Finally, do a strong willed campaign on social media. Relentlessly plaster this content on every social platform.

3. Create Offline Review-Generation Strategy

60 percent of clients will discover your business through your online profile. Even you depend on offline referrals, most of these prospective customers will do an online research of your business before making a deal. With that in mind, lack of reviews or negative reviews will plant a seed of doubt in prospective clients.

Creating an offline review-generation strategy will go a long way into feeding your business with great links. Enlist incentivizing and creative ways to solicit for reviews from happy clients. Having a reputation marketing strategy will also build a strong name for you.

4. Get Listed On Industry-Specific Directories

This is a very simple and effective manner of attracting clients to you. It is an effortless way of ensuring you do not spent your entire day leafleting at the local area but rather in the therapy room doing what will really fill your bank account. It is an invaluable way of exposing yourself in places sought by prospective customers hence building your brand in the industry.

Looking at it from a technical perspective, industry specific directories have a higher chance of appearing on top search engine searches hence boosting the number of would be clients clicking through your profile. The quality of the increased SEO rankings and citation is undisputable.

5. Create a Google+ Local Page

Creating a Google+ Local page offers many benefits to local SMB's. In doing this, you give Google the correct information about your business. When a client does a search, it is easy for Google to show your business directly on both the Google search and Google maps. This also serves as a citation and social media platform that can also help supplement your local SEO and inbound marketing efforts.

Without marketing strategies like SEO, a business would be hard pressed to survive in today's digital age. SEO is the bloodline of digital marketing a the power of search engines connects customers actively seeking a certain business, service, or solution with the brands that can provide these services. Start implementing these proven SEO tips today to increase your Google ranking tomorrow.

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