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Issue 17
Sunday, September 25, 2011





Letter from the Editor

Welcome back to the latest issue of the Shoestring Entrepreneur Newsletter!.

Social media marketing is the fastest growing form of marketing on the web. So much so that whether your business should be using social media or not isn't even a question any more. Some form of social media is hear to stay so if you're not using it yet, it's time to get off the fence and start building your social media marketing presence.

In this week's newsletter, I'll share an article titled "Making Sense of Social Media Marketing." In it we'll look at the how and why you should have a presence in social media even if you don't write now.

To your success,
Brian Carson


Making Sense of Social Media Marketing

by Brian Carson

As a fellow business owner, I know that it is very easy to get overwhelmed with everything that it takes to be successful. Business owners are usually very busy running their businesses and have little or no time to dedicate to all of their marketing channels.  

However, social media is definitely one that should not be ignored.

With this extremely popular and effective form of marketing, you can connect and build relationships with customers and put your business at the top of their minds when they need your product or service.

Regardless of whether your small business has a website or not, you can benefit from the social media craze.

Social media will allow you to stay engaged with customers, as well as attract new customers due to the viral nature of social media.

Social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and others are taking the Internet world by storm and are expected to grow at exponential rates in coming years.

Therefore, businesses have to do everything they can to put themselves right there in front of their existing and potential customers.

Establishing a presence on these social networks allows you to establish a great conversational and engaging relationship with your social media community.

This will ultimately result in more prospects, more loyal customers, more sales.

Although social media is one of the most important aspects of connecting with local consumers, it can be somewhat overwhelming for business owners.

Most of them don’t understand what it all means, where to begin, and how to make money social media.

Social media networking is real time, it’s available 24/7, and it’s more conversational than conventional advertising. When done effectively, it’s a new way for local and offline business owners to interact with their target audience, resulting in more sales and profits.

Social media also allows you to manage your company’s brand. People will use social media platforms to talk about your business and tell the GOOD and the BAD.

So, if you don’t stay on top of things, your business could be vulnerable to a bad reputation. However, social media allows you to handle and respond to customer service issues or unhappy customers  - as well as happy customers.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular social media platforms that will help you build a loyal list of followers as well as generate new customers.


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Facebook

You have probably heard of Facebook... many people today spend most of their time on Facebook while on the Internet.

Not only that, but you’ve probably noticed that most businesses are quickly trying to establish their ground on Facebook.

Just about every website, TV commercial, flyer, and any other advertising methods include a statement such as, “Like Us on Facebook,” or “Connect with Us on Facebook,” or “Find Us on Facebook.”

So, it’s no secret that Facebook is crucial when it comes to marketing. If your business does not have a presence there, you are missing out on a LOT of potential business.

According to official Facebook statistics, there are currently more than 750 MILLION active Facebook users and 50% of them log in EVERY DAY.

People spend over 700 BILLION minutes per month on Facebook. Not only that, but more than 2.5 MILLION websites have been integrated with Facebook!

I’m sure you are starting to see the big picture here... Facebook is HUGE.

Facebook started out as a site where people connected on a personal level, but it has grown into an extremely powerful marketing tool for business owners.

There are several ways for businesses to connect with local consumers using Facebook. And it’s easy since Facebook marketing can be easily geo-targeted to people in your local area.

One way to really connect with your local consumers is to create a business Facebook FanPage. This will allow you to communicate with your customers on a consistent basis.

In fact, many people today “expect” businesses to have a FanPage.

Your FanPage acts as a “website” on Facebook, where you can share information about your business, communicate with your followers, and offer coupons and other promotions.

If your audience love your product or service, they will GLADLY remain a loyal fan!

Twitter

Twitter is another social media network that is similar to Facebook, but it’s different in some ways.

With Twitter, you can send out what is called “Tweets” to your followers - similar to your Fans on Facebook.

However, Tweet messages have to be extremely short as there are only 160 characters allowed. But this is still enough to stay in front of your potential customers.

Social media doesn’t stop at Facebook and Twitter... there are many other social networks that businesses can use to tap into the powerful world of online marketing.

LinkedIn is also a very powerful platform, especiall if you deal with B2B. Google is making a major push in social media with their plus-1 platform.

Social media is here to stay. If you want to keep in touch with your audience you must get to marketing on the above social media platforms right away.

Having a solid social media marketing plan in place can mean the difference between success or failure in yiur business.

Brian Carson

Brian Carson is the president and CEO of the Market Ownership Group. Before founding the Market Ownership Group, a marketing consulting/business coaching company, Brian owned three brick-and-mortar businesses that he ran profitably for over 15 years. Brian sold them off to focus all his attention to the formation of the Market Ownership Group, founded in 2008. Brian has created marketing strategies, done for you marketing materials and given advice in a diverse range of businesses, from restaurants to barber shops to online only businesses to small retail stores, and financial advisors. If you would like to grow your business to new levels of profit and growth, or if you need help starting a business from scratch, email the Market Ownership Group at bricar@marketownership.com.

 

The Brian and Lee Show

On this week's episode of THE BRIAN AND LEE SHOW, our guest will be author and entrepreneur Wayne Breitbarth. Wayne is the author of the new book, “The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success”. He’s a Certified Public Accountant who received a BBA from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and an MBA from Marquette University. He is an owner of M&M Office Interiors in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

 

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Brian and Lee Resources

Copyright 2011 The Brian and Lee Show and the Market Ownership Group. All Rights Reserved.