Social Media “Wish List” for Small Business

Mashable assembled a nice list of tips and suggestions on how small business can maximize the potential of social media solutions for marketing and online commerce. Take a look, and share with us which ideas are of most interest to you.

Mashable Business – 35 Essential Social Media & Tech Resources for Small Businesses

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Just in Time for the Holidays – Insight on Internet Marketing

YoungEntrepreneur is a great site to visit for basic business advice on many important topics, especially for those owning or starting their own venture. They recently posted a great article that features 7 Tips, learned and shared by an experienced small businessperson on Internet Marketing.

(YoungEntrepreneur) Lessons Learned: 7 Internet marketing Tips

Here are some excellent statements from the article to keep in mind with respect to your efforts:

  • “Learning from your mistakes is great. Learning from someone else’s mistakes is even better.”
  • “People use the Internet to RESEARCH much more than they use it to BUY stuff.”
  • Find out from your customers how likely they are to recommend your services/products to their friends and colleagues.
  • While providing “digital giveaways” in exchange for potential customer contact information is a good idea, sending them a physical reward is even more effective.

 

From IMPACT – Free Workshop – Embrace Social Media’s Business Potential

We had a great workshop at our IMPACT Forum last week on the importance of utilizing social media applications to thrive and survive in business marketing. You can watch the workshop for free, and view the workshop presentation, at the following link:

FREE PRESENTATION – Embrace Social Media’s Business Potential

Nonprofits & Social Media

Many local nonprofits, including ourselves with YPN, utilize social media to spread their message, communicate with members and supporters, and promote events.

For suggestions on how you can best tweet or post to Facebook to enhance your nonprofit’s image, take a look at this recent article (h/t @OneStarFdn):

Tips for Writing Facebook and Twitter Updates

Building Your Following

We are really excited to see our recent #StartCamp attendees utilizing their Facebook Fan Pages. Of course, one of the biggest initial challenges is to recruit those critical fans.

The first goal you should have for fan recruitment is to reach the “25 fan” mark. This will allow you to select a custom Facebook URL for your Fan Page, which is a great marketing tool when promoting it to potential followers face-2-face (via word-of-mouth, business card, etc.). Getting to 25 is not an easy chance. It even took YPN a couple of weeks, and a concerted effort, to make this happen (ours is http://facebook.com/ypnrmt).

While you can build your fan based without the help of your personal Facebook profile, the easiest and quickest path to success is to ask your personal page/account “Friends” to become business page “Fans.”  This means seeking out those you know via your personal page by using Facebook’s “search” feature, then sharing your business page once you have a reliable “critical mass” you can count on to likely take you up on the offer (you can ask them once or twice, but you can’t keep asking them if they don’t want to be your Business Page Fan).

As you work to build “Fans” out of “Friends”, you also need to grow exposure and establish a reason for your business page by creating regular, meaningful, and engaging content. Links to articles relevant to your business, along with videos and/or photos of your business and workers in action, are great examples of the content your page should include. Discount offers, press releases, and event announcements should also find their place.

#StartCamp attendee Bob Land with Landmark Financial Services, LLC. is already using his new Fan Page to promote an event he helped organize, an upcoming legal presentation. Such a post encourages followers and visitors to interact, either by deciding whether or not they want to attend, or by passing the event announcement along to their friends and networks.

Let us know what you need help with by commenting below, or sending an email to ypnrmt@gmail.com.

What’s next for #StartCamp?

This past Saturday, eight businesses and charity efforts in the Rocky Mount Area took another step in their development by establishing presences on Facebook and Twitter through the first #StartCamp for Social Media. This would not have been possible without the support and generosity of the following:

  • Fred Brooks & Nash Community College Small Business Center
  • Clint Williams
  • Rocky Mount Parks & Recreation, especially staff members Julie Watson, Andre Jenkins, Jean Andrews and Cameron Fenderson, who volunteered their time
  • Brad Proctor
  • WHIG-TV & Rocky Mount Telegram for helping market this event

100% of the registration fees will be going to Rocky Mount Parks & Recreation’s Summer Camp Scholarship Program. We are very happy to have the opportunity help this worthy cause out while providing a valuable service to local businesses and nonprofits.

Overall, the event was a big success. We learned a great deal about how to improve this event in the future, and we look forward to offering it again this fall.  In the meantime, we want to foster ongoing support for local business use of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media Internet applications and sites.  This blog, along with #StartCamp on Facebook & Twitter, will help facilitate this, as we share articles, tips, and observations on best utilizing these new resources.

If you have questions or comments, please share them. We look forward to hearing from you. We’d also like for you to become a Fan of #StartCamp on Facebook, as well as YPN Rocky Mount.