There has been some confusion in the business world that social media and
social business are one in the same. While there is a connection, both are
separate topics of discussion. One might say that you can call social business,
social strategies. Social business encompasses your way of implementing your
strategy. It involves your content, your social media policy, how you will
interact with your staff and your customers. Social business is also internal
within your company whereas social media is connecting to the outside of your
business and the tools you use. If your company uses internal tools
such as Yammer or Jive for staff and internal blogging, while it can be a
social media tool, you use it for social business. Now the light bulb
is going off, right? Another example; has your company put a social media
policy in place? Have you set up perimeters on which employees has usage of
items like Facebook, Twitter, or blog postings or who responds to customer
posts? You see, this too is social business as it deals with internal
company procedures. Firewall and security protection and how that is deployed is
also part of social business. One other little "tidbit" is your website. Your
website is social business as it represents your company. If you are in on-line
retail you may be using your web as e-commerce. Now you may have social media
links on it and here, it becomes part of your social business.
Social Media are the platforms you use to reach outside your corporate walls.
( Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube) Your branding is now out there. You
have reached your masses. I have spoken in-depth on social media so I am not
going to go into any great length of detail here. If you want to know more, I
encourage you to read some of my earlier postings. Social Business is extremely
important and it requires teamwork and having a plan of action to go with it. I
encourage your business, bet it large or small to have a plan, a policy, and a
chain of authority in deploying it. This will prevent problems down the road.
Protect your brand, protect your network (have filtering or firewall protection
in place), and prevent misrepresentation of your product or service by assigning
just one or two people doing your marketing or social media and responding to
posts or questions. believe it or not, if you are a very small company or just
a single one man show, don't try to do it all. The owner does not have to be the
voice. Consider having your family member or outsource your social business
strategy if you do not have the staff. You concentrate on growing your
business. As Jeremiah Owyang , the popular social media strategist once stated,
"Fans and followers, are not business, what you do with them is."
Gathering leads for your business can be done in many ways. If you are a
small business, chances are you or your employees gather them by networking,
cold calling, referrals, or hitting the pavement. There are professional lead
generation firms for a fee that will also supply you with leads but I have
found most of these are a waste of time due to the fact that their lists are
usually outdated or inaccurate. The other problem I have found is they supply
you with a contact name that is usually the gate-keeper whom you can't get past
anyway. I once got a lead from a lead generation company that when I called for
the follow-up the guy had no idea who I was o had any record being contacted
previously. This was after the lead generation company told us they
"contacted" this firm and they were anxious for us to call for a follow-up.
Needless to say, this put a sour taste in my mouth for using lead generation
companies. I am sure there are good lead generation firms out there but for the
fees they charge, with proper research and knowing what your market is, you can
accomplish much on your own. Many of your distributors work with lead
generation companies and offer this service for free and if that is the case, by
all means use them as you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Take the
time to look at your lead campaign and if you wish to hire a professional
company, make sure you have all your ducks in a row and look at your ROI before
hiring. If you wish to start your own lead generation campaign, here are a few
The Point Guard
Appoint a staff member if it not going to be you to be in charge of the
leads. Make sure every step of the campaign is followed through.
Make sure your leads fit your product or service. Go for a quality lead.
You do not need to have 100 leads. If you have 3 solid leads that fit your
business, you have done well. Always pre-qualify the lead so you do not waste
your valuable time on chasing "ghosts".
How are you going to run the campaign. Are you cold calling? If so, what
are your resources? Are you going to go door to door? If so where? Are you
going to email? If so are you following spamming laws? Whom are you directing
your emails at? Why would they want to hear from you in the first place?
Have a data base
Make sure you keep track of your leads. Know who
you contacted, if you set an appointment with them, all information about the
contact is saved, and any follow-up that is needed. Did the lead result in a
sale? Speaking of data bases as my last point, you can purchase your own data
base of leads but again, I throw caution to the wind on doing this as many lists
are outdated or have a mix of businesses that have nothing to do with what you
offer even though they (the sellers) say that it does. I speak from experience.
Always get some sort of guarantee in writing that if the lists are not what you
expected, they offer a refund or credit. Most lead company boast they guarantee
a sale, or an appointment. Always check the fine print.
Good luck with your lead generation campaign. They do work if done properly
but do not set your expectations high. One to 5 appointments set or even a sale
and you done your job. The amount of leads you wish to garner is the threshold
you must decide on your own. Set a reasonable contact list and then go to
Most small businesses are budget minded when it comes to promoting or
marketing their business. The internet today is a must if you want any kind of
exposure since we are a digital or electronic society. I put together some tips
that hopefully will help you get your brand out with little or no investment on
your part. Some may not be for everybody, but at the very least experiment with
them and see what works best for you.
When is the last time you took a hard look at your website? (You better at least have one)
Re-evaluate your website and make sure it is promoting your brand and the content
reflects your products or services.
Embracing analytics on that website will help you measure how well
your site is doing. Data can help you improve areas you are trying to target.
Google Analytics is free to use and is easy to embed on your site.
3. Directories. I have mixed feelings about this
as many now consider directories "Old School". Having said that, again Google
offers the Local business Center, Yellow Pages has gone digital and has a site,
and Yahoo offers listings as well. Using analytics to boost your positioning
is the best way to have your businesss move up in search engines over
directories but if a person is searching for a particular product or service and
they are actually using a directory, then by all means having your name that
directory is a logical and smart idea.
4. Blogging. Promote your
talents and your business by blogging. Start right here and create a Word Press site.
You are good at what you do or you would not be in business right?
Tell others about what you do and express your opinion on topics relevant of your business.
Your business link is always attached to your blog site so if people want to know
more about you, they will follow.
5. Finish Line. You are out to win the race. Have goals in mind and consider a campaign
a race that you want to win. Always be first to cross that line. Be a winner!
Check out what your competition is doing by visiting their websites or
even their place of business in person if you can. Watch for their ads, type in
search engines what you do and see who comes up at the top of the list. If you
don't and they do, why?
7. Web Videos. Today, videos are
much simpler to shoot and produce. You don't have to be a Hollywood director to
make a simple video about your business. You don't want to post garbage so if
you know someone who can make a decent video about your business then use them
to create a polished product for you. Once it is done, put it on your website
or create a YouTube account .
8. Keywords. This follows
analytics but your website's title is important to gaining tracking hits. Your
business title should be unique and it should go hand in hand with what you do.
Google has a page to help you with the understanding of keywords. Google Toolbox.
Next time you check your website, look in the browser header and give yourself
a health check. What does it say up there? Does it fit on what your website describes?
If it does not, think about revamping your header to fit more what you do for your business.
I hope these tips have helped you with your internet branding. If you have any questions,
feel free to click on my last tab on my website here and email me. I will do my best to
gtve you an answer back as soon as possible.