What's the Best Social Media Site for a Small Business?

Courtesy of www.lostintechnology.com
by Hector Cisneros

A common question I get is: "What's the best social media site for me to be on?"  Alternatively, they will ask: "What social media site will bring me the most internet business?"  My answer to these questions may surprise you, but here it is:  There is no such thing as "what is the best" social media site for a small business. A small business should create a presence on as many platforms as they have time for.

You Need to be Everywhere if Possible

I tell people they need a presence on all the top platforms. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Google+, etc. More if they have time to set them up. These connections will all provide backlinks and traffic to their website, which most businesses already have.

Goals, USP's, ICD's and more
Unique's???Unique's??? (Photo credit: sporkwrapper)

However, using a social media site as a marketing platform is a different matter. This requires some planning, some analysts, a predetermined budget (either money or time) and the understanding of what their USP is (a unique selling proposition) and who their ICD is (Ideal Customer Demographic). On top of this, they should set goals. Goals should be SMART in nature and of one of three types; goals for network development, goals for positive interaction and goals for closed business.

In the Beginning You Need This!

In the beginning, it is easier to setup and achieve network development goals (i.e. grow your following). Having a decent size following will help you with achieving positive interactions (buzz, viral messages spread ...) And be able to close more business. It's much easier to get a response from a marketing message when you send a message to 1000 or 5000 people than it is if you send your message to 124 followers, regardless of whether it's  an email, tweet or Facebook post. 

The rule of ten follows here. Ten in a hundred suspects will have an interest, and one of the ten interested prospects may purchase.  Therefore, it's better to start with 1,000 prospects who will yield 100 interest prospects which, in turn, will yield 10 possible customers, than to start with 100 potential suspects and possibly only get one customer.

Instant Gratification

If a business wants instance gratification, it should invest in PPC, (pay per click) on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and other sites. This type of marketing will produce more click to your landing page right away. Of course this assumes you have a compelling message, a decent offer and a strong call to action. If not, the clicks on your site may bounce faster than a tennis ball at Wimbledon. Even with Pay Per Cllick, planning, testing, measuring and adjusting are part of a winning formula.

Ready, Aim, Shoot!

Archery World CupArchery World Cup (Photo credit: IntelGuy)  People who are successful today start by creating a marketing plan first. They make sure it is measurable, testable and executable, all within their budget. Most small businesses can afford to pay for consulting help if they don't know where to start. A marketing consultation can usually create a plan for about $500. This is a terrific deal if the consultant is not selling you, the service, and they have provided you a plan that can be bid out.

People on a Shoestring Can do it, Too

For a person with no budget but have time on their hands, need to plan even more! I suggest they create a schedule and stick to it. They should also invest in some tools that will let them create a message post conveniently (tablets, smart phones, etc.).  I also recommend they use aggregation software (like HootSuite or Tweet Deck) which will allow them to post to multiple platforms simultaneously plus schedule their post on future dates. If they do these three things, they will be able to create a social media campaign on a shoestring budget.

So there you have it, my answer to what is the best social media site for business. Businesses that Social Media Marketing by first creating a plan do much better than businesses that use the, "shoot, ready aim approach." They set realistic smart goals, purchase the tools needed to make sure they can be efficient and effective, and they carry out their plan. They make sure to test, measure and adjust their plan as needed, and they work within their budget.  The best way to be successful in any kind of marketing program is to plan, test, refine and execute, doing so always insure your money is
approach
well spent.

That’s my opinion, I want to know yours. 

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Hector Cisneros is the director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web To Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, a writer, an entrepreneur for more than 30 years, a veteran of BNI for 19 years and was a BNI director for over five years. He is still an active BNI member and follows its philosophy of "Givers Gain." He is the owner of several businesses in Jacksonville, Florida. He actively coaches business owners in the fine art of online advertising, business networking and word-of-mouth marketing. He is president of Website Know How, Inc., a holding company for his business ventures that include: online advertising, word-of-mouth marketing, real estate holdings, non-profit training/support, book publishing, health and wellness product sales and adventure sports. Hector's new book, "60 Seconds to Success," teaches business owners how to get the most from word of mouth marketing by using great 60-second introductions. To learn more about Hector Cisneros, social media, online marketing or word-of-mouth marketing, visit the Networker's Apprentice workshop  or his book's website: http://www.60SecondsToSuccess.com.

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