ers are generating content already. Why don’tyou join them?
NBM: What are the social networking sites that new business owners should beusing?Jim:
New business owners should de-nitely have a Facebook presence, witter, andi it was a proessional person, such as an ac-countant, lawyer, or somebody in that typeo service industry, they might want to think about being in LinkedIn.
I think the social networking sitesthat new business owners should use wouldbe the ones where their customers and pros-pects are, whatever those may be.So, i you’re in a B2B type business,LinkedIn is a natural or you. I you’rein a B2C, Facebook might be a littlemore o your target. But i you’re tar-geting high schoolers and younger inB2C, you might be on MySpace. Andthere’s dozens o others that you couldgo. Every new business owner shouldbe on witter because it’s a great way to assemble a mass ollowing very easily and inexpensively to get yourmessage out.
I agree, they should be where theirprospects, their clients, their riends, their– even their competitors are. For instance,witter is a great way to do competitive re-search. Who doesn’t want to know what theother agency has cooking that they’re talkingabout on witter? Some o them are natural,Facebook, witter, LinkedIn. Obviously ev-eryone loves those. But how you implementthem, I eel, is more important than necessar-ily where you are. I eel that implementationis key and the voice that you take is key.
Depending upon the business goals,there may be more eective uses o social net-working or a business than just the big three:Facebook, witter, and LinkedIn. For somepurposes, a Youube, Meetup, MySpace, etc.strategy may make more sense than one with just the big three. It depends on how an audi-ence should or needs to be engaged or eachparticular business model.
NBM: What tools and resources will Ineed to engage in social media and market-ing?Mike:
You don’t really need a lot o websavvy i you get some help rom a consultant.A lot o companies that I talk to are treatingthis as i it’s something completely dierentthan what they know. When you’re usingemail – that’s on the Internet. I you’re usingweb browsing – that’s on the Internet. Tis is just another way o using the Web. What youneed, though, above all, is a marketing strat-egy that can get beyond just “push my mes-sage out there, and don’t worry about who’sreading it.” Instead, you need to ask “whereare the people that I want to touch and howcan I get in touch with them, and how can Ienlist them to be my evangelists?” Tat’s thegoal right now. It’s a dierent goal than try-ing to get somebody who’s going to receivea direct mail piece to call you. Instead, youwant people to start re-tweeting you, to startposting on Facebook and saying, boy, I’m aan o your business, and so on. It’s a dierentconversion type o experience.
Te number one thing you need isa plan to be able to have organic conversa-tions with people. Te biggest thing that any company needs to do when entering socialmedia is to be organic, to be themselves. Allthe tools in the world won’t helpyou do this. And many o themcan actually detract rom that.My recommendation is to ocuson what you’re your message isgoing to be, what your plan is.Ten move on to implementa-tion.
Te number one re-source a business owner needsis somebody to help guide themthrough the options and createa battle plan to achieve their business objec-tives. Tere are many right now claiming tobe good at social networking and it’s toughto know who has the right experience thatyou’ll need. Find resources with legitimatereputation in the industry and who were pas-sionate about the topic beore the recent me-dia hype.
Tere’s a lot o tools on the mar-ket that will help monitor what’s being saidabout you or an organization in social me-dia. But I think also you need to look at the
Jim Robinson, a Senior Consultant with the ITR Group in Minneapolis, has been implementing and educating people and compa-nies on the use o social based media, mobile technology and customer engagement or the past 10 years. He has provided Technol-ogy and Marketing solutions or many Fortune 500 companies such as Visa, Capital One, GMAC, and Wells Fargo. He can be reachedat Jimr@itrgroupinc.com or (651) 757-4500.Mike Ellsworth is the Owner and Managing Principal o StratVantage Consulting, whose latest subsidiary is Linked InSolutions,which does social networking consult-ing and training. A 24-year IT veteran, Mike helps business owners learn how to use socialsites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to connect with customers, nd and engage prospects, and transorm their customerservice. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.twitter.com/MikeEllsworth or (952) 525-1584.Tyler Olson, owner and President o Social Media Consulting and HelpMeTy.com, has consulted on many technology-related top-ics and has been a speaker at numerous events on strategies to help people achieve more through web technolo-gies. He regularly writes or the business technology section in PCWorld magazine on social networking. He can be reached at email@example.com,smcpros.com or twitter.com/TyOlson.Mitchell Hislop, the Online Marketing Rockstar or <codename> LINGO, an in-teractive agency, has always been an early adoptero social technology. <codename> LINGO ofers turnkey solutions or companies to maximize their online presence, as well as ser- vices to get new businesses started of on the right oot. He can be reached at Mitchell.Hislop@coolintl.com, twitter.com/mitchellhis-lop or (612) 418-4992.
Reprinted with Permission Courtesy of New Business Minnesota ©2009 – www.newbizminn.com
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