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Social Media for Small Businesses with “No Time”

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I completely understand why small business owners are worried about the time factor when it comes to social media. If you aren’t careful, networks like Facebook and Twitter can suck away several hours from your day, and few small businesses have the resources to allow that to happen. But don’t feel so overwhelmed with the demands of social media that you don’t give it any time at all. Even if you only have a few hours a week for you or your employees to spend on social media, you can get your company online and reap the benefits of these new platforms. Here are a few tips to help you get started with social media, even if you aren’t ready to devote you entire day to it:

  • Pick one to three sites and do them well.

New social networks and bookmarking sites are popping up every day, so it’s easy to get frustrated with the time it takes to be active on all of them. Instead of joining ten of them and doing a bad job at staying up-to-date on all of them, pick one to three sites to join and do them well. I think all small businesses should have a page on Facebook, so that should be a top priority for you, and beyond that, you can also join Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Reddit, Foursquare…the list goes on and on. Pick the networks that make sense for you – go where your customers are.

  • Make checking your social media sites part of your daily routine.

Every morning when you check your email, check your social media profiles as well. Respond to any complaints, thank people for compliments, and make announcements. Do this again mid-afternoon. You don’t have to live on social media; you just have to check it once or twice a day. If you make it part of your routine, it won’t seem like such a big hassle.

  • Share something new once per day.

If you don’t have a lot of time to spend on social media, don’t sweat it. Simply share something new once per day, whether that is an announcement about your company (“Hey guys, we started dipping our new chocolate-covered strawberries today!”), an interesting article you read relating to your industry (“Men’s Health has an awesome article about the health benefits of chocolate on their site right now.”), or a poll/question for your readers to answer (“Out of all the candies we make, what’s your all-time favorite?”). Stuck on what to share? Post a picture (“Here’s a snapshot of our test kitchen.”) or share “insider” information (“Today at the office, we’re testing out new lollipops. Yum!”). People love behind-the-scenes looks at their favorite companies.

  • Streamline your response to complaints.

Customer complaints are one of the biggest challenges in any business, and social media makes it extremely easy for people to take their complaints public. Instead of responding to all of them in such a public setting, streamline the process and take it private. People want to know that you’re listening, but a lengthy back-and-forth on Twitter probably isn’t how you want to spend your afternoon. Instead, make your response, “I’m sorry for *insert issue here*. Can you email *insert email address here* so I can help you?” or something similar. That way, any of your employees with access to social media can respond to the complaint while allowing you to handle the individual responses privately.

  • Hire employees you trust – and give them all access to social media.

Many of your employees probably already use social media. Give them access to your profiles or allow them to speak on behalf of the company so that you have more of a presence online. Of course, you’ll need to set some policies in place (what to talk about or not talk about, how to distinguish who is updating if multiple people have access to one account, etc.), and you definitely need to trust your employees if they’re going to be using social media on your behalf. But if you don’t have a lot of time, getting the entire company involved is a great way to make sure your company is represented online as much as possible.

10 MORE Social Media Posts Everyone Should Read

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A little while ago, I compiled a list of the 25 Social Media Posts that I think everyone should read. If you haven’t checked it out yet, do so – there are some fantastic posts on that list from bloggers who live around the world.

Life keeps truckin’ on, and since then there have been some absolutely brilliant posts published about social media. Let’s take a look at 10 MORE social media posts that everyone should read. Note: this list is in alphabetical order, not in order of important/value.

7 Ways To Craft Your Facebook Posts For Maximum Shares by Mari Smith (@marismith)

Facebook recently changed the way users interact with content on fan pages: any user, including non-fans, can now post on fan page walls and like/comment/share fan page content. In other words, a Facebook user does not have to first like your fan page before they can interact with your content. This is a good thing!

Since this change, the emphasis has shifted slightly from gaining more likes (fans) to increasing the number of shares on each piece of content. When you craft your fan page updates in a manner that naturally inspires fans and their friends and visitors to your page to share with their networks, you set in motion ripples of viral visibility. Basically, free additional exposure.

Facebook is not my social media strong point, so I love reading posts that give advice on how to best share content on this network. Mari is the queen of Facebook advice, and this is a great post from her blog!

10 Laws of Social Media Marketing by Susan Gunelius (@susangunelius)

1. The Law of Listening

Success with social media and content marketing requires more listening and less talking. Read your target audience’s online content and join discussions to learn what’s important to them. Only then can you create content and spark conversations that add value rather than clutter to their lives.

This is just the first of ten super smart “laws” when it comes to using social media for your business. I’m not a fan of rules that people say you have to follow, but these are really smart guidelines to use if you want to grow your network.

17 Digital Marketing Experts Share Their Top Tips, Tricks, and Tools by Tamar Weinberg (@tamar)

With the breadth and depth of social media services out there, it’s no wonder that we often find ourselves lost in the vast array of services. Further, those who are seasoned may seem at a loss in the apparent “simplicity” of it all. I took the opportunity to contact some of my esteemed friends and colleagues who are experts in their field and asked for their advice on their favorite little known social media secret and social media tools, including their own if they had them.

I love a great list within a list! Tamar did an awesome job compiling this one, which includes social media advice from some of the top influencers out there and even a number of past BlogWorld speakers, including Jason Falls, Chris Brogan, and Lee Odden. Each person on the list gives a little known social media secret and a little known social media tool – and these tips are fantastic. This is a must-read post.

A True Measure Of Influence by Tom Webster (@webby2001)

An influence score makes assumptions about the value of your follower count, how many people click on your links, etc., and then bashes those assumed values together with yet another set of assumptions – their supposed relationship to each other. Yes, there are mathematical functions involved, but just as the “likely voter model” many pollsters use for pre-election polls can never predict whether or not a specific individual will actually vote, the influence score will never be able to predict the impact of an individual on the behavior(s) you are trying to influence.

If you’re a stats geek like I am, this is the post for you. Do numbers like Klout score really matter? Yes – but if you actually want to measure influence, you can’t stop there. As Tom suggests, you have to develop your own performance measures if you want to truly understand your social media influence.

An Honest Look at Being a Social Media Consultant by Mack Collier (@MackCollier)

Over the past few months, I’ve had several discussions with people that are working in this space as the umbrella term of a ‘social media consultant’.  What prompted me to write this post was because several times I have heard from friends that are struggling, and they assume that since they are struggling, that it’s a direct reflection on their abilities as a consultant.  They also assume that most consultants are doing extremely well, so if they aren’t, that further cements the idea that they just aren’t ‘cut out’ for this type of work.

If you’re considering leaving your job to work in the social media industry, this is a post I highly recommend reading first. Mack’s post doesn’t just talk about the fact that it isn’t all unicorns and rainbows out there; it also gives some pretty great advice for becoming successful in this industry.

Conversation Isn’t Hard by C.C. Chapman (@cc_chapman)

I firmly believe that if you talk and act just like you do in the real world when face-to-face with people you’ll do well. Sure, that is over simplifying things, but at the root of everything I do believe this. Of course this means that if your a jerk in person…well you know what that means. *grin*

Having a conversation shouldn’t be a chore. You either enjoy talking with people or you don’t. Twitter and social media are not for everyone.

I really dislike it when people assert that there’s only one right way to do social media, so this post resonates with me. I think one of the reasons my personal network is continuously growing is that I’m totally myself online. I’m a little more outgoing, perhaps, but what you see is what you get – and people like that.

Cyberbullying is Not a Joke by Matt Ryan (@mattryan) with video by Chris Pirillo (@chrispirillo) and Christopher Burgess (@burgessct)

Social networking is one of the latest challenges facing parents today. As both a common form of communication between peers and a source of information, social networks are becoming increasingly difficult for parents to ignore or shrug off as a simple trend. Parents are challenged with not only reading the signs of their child’s mood and general demeanor; they have to maintain awareness of what they go through online.

Cyberbullying is a big deal, and the ramifications of it can last well past a person’s high school years. In 2010 alone, 34 teens committed suicide as the result of cyberbullying that took place on personal Web sites, social networks, and various other forums across the Web.

What I’d like to add to this is that it isn’t just kids who are bullied via social media. Just because you can say something anonymously doesn’t mean that you should say it. Think about the things you post online, especially as they relate to other people. Build people up; don’t break them down. Kids look to us as role models, so it’s up to us to set a good example and refuse to take part in online bullying.

Search Engine Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing: The Showdown by Kristi Hines (@kikolani)

When it comes to driving traffic to your website, there are a variety of ways to get visitors. The primary two that individuals and businesses almost always have a struggle with investing their time and money into are search and social. Sometimes the issue is convincing people why these are a necessity for a thriving business. Other times, the conflict is whether to invest in one marketing strategy more than the other, or to only pursue one marketing strategy but not the other.

I think this is an awesome post about two of the very best ways to drive traffic to your website. Of course, you don’t have to choose one or the other, but determining where it makes sense to focus your attention can help your site (and by extension, your business) grow.

The Next Layer of Social Media by Mitch Joel (@mitchjoel)

Personally, this is the easiest way for me to think about innovation in media: Is it passive or active? What’s the percentage? Can a passive media become an active media? Can an active media become a passive media? Is this what the public wants? How will passive and active media play together in a marketing mix? How well will brands be able to blend those two types of media together?

Where is social media going? I don’t know that Mitch Joel knows the answers (and he isn’t claiming to know them), but I do think that this post is a really smart way of looking at the future of social media.

Top 10 Social Media Fears that Go Bump in the Night and How to Make Them Worse! by Liz Strauss (@lizstrauss)

It’s the middle of the night. The wind is blowing. The moon is high. Creaking noises are sounding. Memories of comments are running through your head, and you’re thinking of emails you sent that went unanswered.

You had such hope when you started in social media. It was daytime. You were always laughing then. Now you’re just shell of yourself in despair, dejected, and broken. Your socmed fears have taken over with the things that go bump in the night.

Fear is a paralyzing thing for some people, myself included. When it comes to social media, sometimes the fear of doing something wrong can keep us from being truly successful. This is an older post that Liz revamped for Halloween – and I’m so glad she did. I love it when bloggers bring old, awesome posts to the surface again.

Now it’s your turn! Leave a comment with the best social media post you’ve read in the past few months.

Facebook is the Social Media Tool of Choice for Small Businesses

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According to a November report from Constant Contact, small businesses are finding that using social media is getting easier, is less time consuming and is working well with their customer base.

You can see in the chart below that in just 6 months, small businesses have embraced social media use  much more. They are finding the low cost and ease of use well worth it.

Here are some statistics from their survey:

  • 83% of respondents use social media because of its low cost
  • 67% of respondents use social media for its ease of use
  • 45% of respondents use social media because it doesn’t take up a lot of time
  • 51% of respondents use social media because it works for their customers

Out of all the social networks, Facebook came out on top as the most popular for small business to use. Twitter, LinkedIn and Video Sharing followed.

How is engagement between small businesses and their customers? Sixty percent of participants said they respond to all comments on their social media platforms, whether the comments are good or bad.

Did anything surprise you about this data? You can see more of their key findings here.

About the Survey

This Constant Contact-sponsored survey was administered during October 2011 to small business owners and employees. Results include responses from 1,972 organizations across a range of business-to-business and business-to-consumer industries. Ninety-five percent are Constant Contact customers, 87% are located in the US, and 81% have 25 or less employees

It’s About the Response: C.C. Chapman Talks Content at BlogWorld

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One of the track keynotes I had the pleasure to attend at BlogWorld 2011 was “Content Rules, but Common Sense Rocks!” by C.C. Chapman. One of the biggest take-away lessons from his session was this:

“It’s human nature to screw up and there’s nothing wrong with that… it’s how you respond.”

It’s a good lesson for bloggers and business owners alike. When you live online, you’re constantly scrutinized by others…and hey, no one is perfect! But when mistakes happen, you have two choices: you can ignore it/play the blame game OR you can own up to your mistakes and turn the situation around!

I especially liked a story C.C. told about one of the social media managers for the American Red Cross. One night, while having fun with friends, she tweeted out that she was “getting slizzard” from the official ARC account! It could have been a PR nightmare, but they turned the situation around by making light of the goof and they even worked with an alcohol company to turn it into a campaign drive. She got to keep her job, they got to raise money, and the alcohol company in question got some free promotion. They turned that mistake into and awesome opportunity.

C.C.’s full session is available with the BlogWorld LA 2011 virtual ticket, but here are a few other take-away quotes from his keynote:

  • “If you’re a jerk, no one cares how nice your blog post is.”
  • “Embrace that you are a publisher. Start thinking like a publisher.”
  • “Retweets cannot be cashed in to pay your mortgage.”
  • “You have to work really hard because this stuff does not come magically.”
  • “If you’re online and you’re not expecting a conversation, get off line.”
  • “If you do not know how you’re approaching, if you do not know who you’re reaching, good luck with that.”
  • “If you make the customer the hero…whatever content you create is going to do very well.”

He also ended the presentation with three final take-away messages for bloggers and business owners:

  1. You have to know where you’re going
  2. Have respect
  3. Have fun

Goo messages for us all to live by…don’t you think? Remember, you can hear the whole session, as well as all of the other great sessions at BlogWorld with the virtual ticket!

About the Speaker

C.C. Chapman is the Co-Author of the best selling book Content Rules and the Founder of DigitalDads.com. He also consults with companies of all sizes to develop engaging marketing programs and has worked with companies like American Eagle Outfitters, HBO, and Verizon FiOS. You can find him on Twitter @CC_Chapman.

Live Painting & Auction to Benefit United Way LA #Art4Charity

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As you may well know, we’ve got a great Cause Track this year at BlogWorld, and what I’m announcing here, is a way-cool addition to those with an appreciation for charity and beautiful art.

Natasha Wescoat has graciously offered to do a livepainting session in our New Media Lounge on Saturday, Nov 5th from 1230p-330p at BWELA, and will be auctioning off the painting with the proceeds going to The United Way of Greater Los Angeles!

The live painting will be open to the world to watch on Natasha’s Justin.TV channel, and the painting will be up for auction in her eBay store. (This will be clearly labeled in the auction title.)

We’d really love your help in spreading the word about this session, as the more word gets around, the more likely we can get a high bid on the piece and have a nice amount to give to The United Way LA! The official hashtag for this event is #Art4Charity, used in combination with the standard #BWELA hashtag.

Learn more about the United Way of Los Angeles:

HomeWalkLA
United Way LA on Facebook
United Way LA on Twitter

And learn more about Natasha Wescoat:

About Natasha
Natasha on Facebook
Natasha on Twitter

How to be Successful on Kickstarter

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I recently contributed to a Kickstarter project for the first time. The project in question is ZOMBIES, RUN!, a game for iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android that encourages you to work out. As you run (in real life), your character advances in the story, so you actually have to get off your butt and get some exercise to win.

For those of you with no experience on Kickstarter, this site allows you to ask for small donations to fund specific projects (like the development of an app). You set your goal amount and the date by which this goal needs to be reached. If you get there, supporters’ credit cards are charged and you get on your merry way working on the project. If you don’t, no one pays anything.

To entice people to donate, you set pledge levels with specific prizes. It’s kind of like making your product available for pre-order. For example, if your project is making a movie, anyone who donates $25 or more might get a free DVD of the completed movie, anyone who donates $50 or more gets the DVD plus a producer credit, anyone who donates $75 or more gets both of those things plus a t-shirt and poster, etc.

The team that posted the ZOMBIES, RUN! ap project made their goal $12,500. Currently, they’ve not only funded the project completely (and they did so well before their deadline of October 10), but they’ve raised $72,627. Woah mama.

Other projects have also been wildly successful. For example, the Womanthology project (an anthology of female comics) has, as of this writing, raised $109,301 – the original goal was $25,000. Or, the “Evening with Neil Gaiman & Amanda Palmer” music mini-tour project raised $133,341 – the original goal was $20,000.

But then, of course, there are projects that aren’t so successful. Every day, Kickstarter projects expired unfunded, with disappointed would-be millionaires wondering what went wrong.

I’ve done some browsing on Kickstarter, checking out what is successful and what is not. Here are some common characteristics of Kickstarter projects that are successful:

  • Create a project that is interesting and excites your audience.

Before you upload information about your project, ask yourself – is this something people will want you to do? Or is it something that you want you to do? People don’t want to fund projects that are just like everything else out there. They want something cool, unusual, and fun.

  • Give away cool stuff in exchange for pledges, even small ones.

If your finished product creates something worth $35, anyone who pledges that among should get it for free. But what about the people who pledge just $5? If all you’re giving away at this price point is a “thank you,” people are going to move on to the next project. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but those $5 donations add up! So give them something (though give away better stuff at higher levels to encourage giving).

  • Create some limited packages.

At higher levels, you want to create some packages that include really cool stuff. If your project is a novel, maybe you’ll name a character after each donor, for example. You want to make these packages extremely limited to create scarcity. If people don’t buy RIGHT NOW, they might miss out.

  • Give people a reason to keep donating after the project is funded.

So your project will cost $10,000. What happens to the extra money if you raise even more? Along with cool prizes, give people extras that make your project even cooler if it is over-funded. For example, the ZOMBIES, RUN! project will include guest stars doing voices in the game for every $10,000 more they raise – and the donors got to have a say! They send up a survey asking who we’d like to see in the game and that’s how they’ll determine who they’ll contact.

  • Make it a no-brainer to spend more.

Whatever level is your “main” donation (usually around $25), make the next level up just a little bit more with an extra bonus. For example, let’s say you’re trying to fund a music project and anyone who donates $25 will get the finished album for free. Maybe for $30, you throw in a personalized autographed copy. It’s just $5 more, so why not upgrade? For very little extra time (and no extra money unless you count having to purchase a pen to sign copies), you’re making more money with every donation.

  • Write kick-butt copy for your project.

If your project is explained in a confusing or boring way, people will click on to the next project. Be very clear in explaining what you’re doing, but more importantly, explain why it is so darn cool for potential backers. Include pictures and don’t be afraid to inject a little personality! Make people laugh, make people cry, make people want to help you.

  • Send emails.

Once someone pledges, you can contact them with project updates (they can opt-out of emails, but I’m guessing that most don’t since they want to know what’s going on with their money). Don’t be annoying, but send updates asking supporters to spread the word. You can also add additional bonus, so it encourages people to come back and donate even more money.

  • Get some of your friends on board right away.

People will hesitate to donate when no one else has stepped up to the plate. It looks like the project might not be worthy and they wonder if they’re doing something unwise with their money. So, immediate after you upload your project, pledge to it yourself and get some of your close friends and family members to do the same, even if they only pledge at the $1 or $5 level.

  • Social media it up!

I should go without saying that you should promote your project on Twitter, Facebook, and all of your other social networks. Even better, link to these profiles on your Kickstarter page so people can spread the word.

  • Don’t apologize.

I see a lot of Kickstarter projects where people seem almost apologetic that they’re asking for money. Some even flat-out say that they’re sorry or give reasons as to why they’re asking for money on Kickstarter rather than paying for the project out-of-pocket. It makes me think that you project isn’t worth my money and you’re just looking for a free hand-out. Start-up companies look for investors every single day. You aren’t doing anything wrong, so don’t apologize. Just do something awesome.

  • Include a video.

People like to support people they know, and a video helps potential backers feel like they’re getting to know you. Your video doesn’t have to be long. In fact, shorter is better in many cases. Just say hello, talk about your project a little, and thank everyone for donating.

I haven’t actually tried Kickstarter myself for anything, so I hope that if you have, you’ll chime in with some of your own tips. What made your project successful? Or, why do you think your project went unfunded? Leave a comment!

Three Posts to Avoid on Your Small Business Blog

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You have a small business. You’ve decided to start a blog. You’ve even done your research and learned how to use WordPress, search engine optimization, and social media. Congratulations! Blogs can be a great marketing tool, and although it takes time to build traffic, over time, it can bring in a lot of extra business.

But what should you post? As you stare at that blank screen wondering what to write, it can be paralyzing. Actually, small business blogging is more about knowing what not to write. Avoid the following three types of posts; any other post you write will only help you be successful.

1) Negative Posts, Especially About Competitors

Things aren’t always happy in the business world. You have to deal with angry customers, annoying regulations, and more – but your small business blog is not the place to vent. You especially want to stay away from talking badly about competitors in such a public online space, since it makes you seem petty. You can talk about mistakes you’ve made or changes happening within your company even if the circumstances aren’t great, and responding to customer concerns online can show that you’re dedicated to finding solutions to make everyone happy, but don’t use your blog to rant. You want readers to leave feeling positive about your company and your industry in general.

2) Word-for-Word Press Releases

As a small business, you probably write press releases occasionally, and there’s no better place to post these documents than on your own blog, right? Wrong. The point of a press release is to get lots of others to post it, and many won’t change a word (which is what you want, since you probably considered the press release language carefully). On your own blog, make your announcement special! Not only is it better for search engine optimization, but you can customize the announcement to really draw in readers, rather than using a press release, which is colder and less personal.

3) Personal Information

I’m a big fan of adding personality to any blog, even if you’re writing a small business blog. It helps readers connect to you and want to be loyal to your blog (and, in turn, your business). However, there is a thing as too much information. Make sure that every post you write directly relates to your business or your industry so it makes sense for your readers. It’s okay to talk about personal details occasionally, but if you write a blog about your restaurant, going off on a tangent about your cat probably isn’t interesting to your readers. Also, be careful about the personal information you share from a security standpoint. Don’t give out your home address (use a P.O. box or your business address) and think twice before posting pictures of your kids – make sure you can do so safely.

Do you write a small business blog? What’s your best posting tip?

Is Social Media Making People Angrier at Netflix?

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This week, Netflix announced some pretty big changes in what was a sort-of apology letter. I don’t think people reacted the way the company hoped they would react. Of the thousands of comments, tweets, and other mentioned people have been making about the idea of having two movie services, I’d say that a good 90% of them (maybe more?) are negative. At least from what I’ve seen.

Maybe that widespread negativity is social media’s fault.

Companies like Netflix have always made (arguably) bone-headed moves. Some survived. Others failed due to their poor business decisions. Today, with the popularity of social media, I think companies have to worry a lot more about that risk of failure.

Let’s say that social media didn’t exist, at least not in the fast-paced, world-connecting way it exists today. Netflix doesn’t announce its changes with a blog post – they simply send everything via an email or maybe even a real letter, explaining the decision and apologizing for past decisions that didn’t go over very well. Now, your gut reaction might be “this sucks” just like it was when you read the blog post that the company actually published. But what do you do about it?

Maybe you simply quit using the service. This is certainly still an option, even if there is no way to tweet about it.

Maybe you talk about it around the water cooler. You discover that your friends are po’ed about it too, and you feel a sense of comraderie. Hey! We all hate Netflix! Woo!

But maybe, and probably pretty likely, you just grumble about it, throw the letter away or delete the email, and live with the decision that the company makes.

Without social media, there’s no way to really connect with other people who are feeling upset about a business decision the same way you are. You’re limited to your co-workers or friends and family, which is, for most people, a group of way less than 100. You might voice your opinions, but there’s no way to kind of…organize, I guess is a good way to put it. Protesting a company’s business decision is still possible without social media, but a boycott is a lot less likely, especially over something like movie rentals.

And perhaps, because you aren’t connecting with others who feel the same way, in our no-social-media fake world, you also feel less emotional about things. Sure, you might have that initial angry reaction, but without people constantly talking about it and voicing their anger as well, will you continue to stay mad? Or will that anger fade? I’m guessing that the latter is true for most people.

Social media making people angrier sounds like bad thing, but I think it is actually a positive. I’m reminded of the quote, “People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” I think the same is true for businesses. Large or small, businesses should be catering to their customers, rather than customers having no say and simply being forced to live with whatever decisions a company makes. We’ve always had buying power, using our dollars to support (or not support) a company, but now, with social media, we have more of a collective power to really make a difference as consumers. And yes, that should scare Netflix and any other company out there not listening to what the average customer is saying.

Will Netflix (and Qwikster) survive? The jury is out. But what I do know is that people are still talking about this issue, where as before the advent of social media, the chatter would have died down significantly. The great thing about social media is that a company like Netflix also has the opportunity to listen. Social media might be making people angrier, but it is also a tool for companies to better connect with consumers, just as consumers better connect with one another. Only time will tell if Netflix chooses to use that tool.

So what do you think? Is social media making people angrier at companies like Netflix?

Should Small Businesses Really Worry About Social Media?

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Session: Is social media still relevant for small business or is it just wasted time?
Speaker: Kirsten Wright

While the simple answer to the question this blog post poses is ‘of course’, I know the Blogworld community wants more than that, right?

You want to know why social media is important, what you should be worrying about and how you can possibly get it all done.

Let’s start with the why.
To find your audience. Most small businesses clientele are the average consumer. This means they are neither the richest or poorest 10%, they have a computer in the home and are probably among the 900 million+ people that are active in social media on a regular basis.

Next, let’s discuss the what.
Measuring conversation, engagement and analytics. Learning what your customers are saying is key to figuring out how to improve what you’re doing and to add more customers to your current buyers. In order to accurately and effectively do any of this, you need to be worried about conversing with them. This means 70% conversation, discussion and engagement (ie: about them) and 30% promoting your business and links to your content (ie: about you).

Finally, let’s cover the how.
With a strategy team. No one can do social media alone. It takes understanding the unique dynamic, having the tools for the analytics and having brand awareness that is a combination of you and their expertise. The monetary commitment into social media will vary but there is no free way to get involved. However, it is important to know that social is less expensive than a lot of traditional media forms which is why the barrier for entry is lower and therefore more reasonable for small businesses.

Of course, all of this just grazes the surface of social media for small business…but you didn’t think I’d tell you everything, now did you?
What struggles do you face in social media as a small business? I am happy to hear from the big businesses too!

Hear a bit more about Kirsten’s topic and why she is pumped to attend BlogWorld Expo L.A. in November:

Go to our YouTube channel to see what other speakers are saying about BlogWorld.

 

At 5150, Kirsten rules the social space, managing a team of content creators, analysts and project managers to bring passion and intelligence to the daily social activities, assuring that every tweet, status update, dialogue and video asset is ideally placed in your markets. Kirsten is a graduate of California State University Long Beach with a degree in Rhetorical Communications, and in her off time, loves taking her greyhound, Badger, for runs, and watching old movies with her husband. You can connect with her on twitter, facebook & youtube.

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