At a recent conference, two communication experts shared industry insights to create buzz around your product. Jason Jones, Senior Publicist for PR By The Book and Jenn Depaula, Co-Owner of Mixtus Media, discussed PR and marketing for the practitioner. I strongly suggest connecting with them.
Here is my take on implementing a practical social media strategy for a small businesses. First, let's look at the numbers.
You wake up at 6:00 a.m. and cease functioning at 10:00 p.m. You have 16 hours in the day. You work full-time. That's 8 hours on the job. You have a family. It takes 2-4 hours to get people ready for school and bed, feed them, and tend to details. You spend 1-2 hours driving to work, errands, and family functions. Eliminating any leisure activities like television, movies, visiting with your spouse, listening to music, reading a book, or posting on Facebook, you are left with 2-4 hours in your day. Your small business easily absorbs that time. How do you manage a beneficial online presence?
1. Write a plan.
Your website is your hub; your home online. It should be a source of information and a machine to drive social media. Planning your site is essential. I have two published books and one pending - each on a different topic. With a diverse product line, how do I create an all-encompassing site? First, define your brand. My brand is Seed Planters where we grow people and communities. Second, create categories. I have three: growing people and teams through leadership training, growing communities through non-profit fundraising, and growing individuals through faith and healing. Finally, plug in your products. I sort my books, keynotes, and workshop topics into those three categories. After you chart out your brand, categories, and products, design your site accordingly. Sometimes its easier to begin at the end. Look at your products and seek a common thread. The thread becomes your brand.
2. Write a blog.
Somewhere on your site, you need a blog. Offer helpful information in your area of expertise. Use each blog to highlight your brand, categories, and products. Study strategies for effective blogging. It's not the same as writing for other mediums. If you can't blog, hire a freelance blogger or intern to do it for you.
3. Affiliate your site with social media and SHARE.
Disclaimer: I'm new at this. Maybe that's a good thing. As a newbie, I setup a Facebook page for my business, a professional LinkedIn page, and a Twitter account. Later, I may add more mediums. Once a week, I write a blog then share it across mediums. A link on Facebook. A post on LinkedIn. A teaser on Twitter. I continue to share other information and build my audience through networking, but the blog drives new traffic.
So, what now? Chart out your web site and grow complimentary pages through social media. It took me 6 hours on a Saturday to plot my strategy, build my free site on Weebly, and streamline my media, then an hour or two once a week writing posts and sharing info. It feels manageable. You can do it. Start today!
Pamela Witter is the founder and owner of Seed Planters, an author, professional fundraiser and speaker. Learn more at www.BeASeedPlanter.com. Find her on Facebook at Seed Planters.