Social Media Trends That Apply to Small Business – July 2011


Small Business Social Media Trends Charlotte NC Liz HorganThanks to the amazing speakers at the Social Media Success Summit 2011 for all of their insights.  Here are some ideas that came out of the conference and which I think reflect a number of trends occurring in social media today.  See what you think:

  1. Don’t just engage, steer.
  2. Be strategic on the times you post on social media
  3. Beware the tsunami
  4. Content is still king
  5. Give lots away for free

Now that you see where this is heading, I’ve expanded on each of the ideas in more detail.

  • Don’t just engage, steer.  Work to guide a possible experience in social media so that you have some control over what happens.  While you can’t force a conversation or make people do things, you can help people take the-next-step and act.  Have easy buttons to click on to go to your website, subscribe to your newsletter, buy your product, you name it!  This comes courtesy of Brian Solis.
  • Be strategic about how and when you post on social media.  Think about your target audience, consider when and where they’ll be online and target your messaging and responses to hit then.  According to Mari Smith, the best times to post on Facebook are Thurdays and Fridays from 10-4.  She feels the max you should post on Facebook is 2-3 times a day.  Guidelines differ depending on the platform and your audience, and a lot of it is trial and error.  Track your results for the best answer for your business.
  • Caution – there’s a tsunami brewing.  It’s coming in the form of the “unlike” and “unfriend” button.  Beware.  Protect yourself by examining your social media strategy.  Remember, no one likes to feel that they’re being spammed.
  • Content is still king.  But it’s not enough to put good things out for people using social media.  You need a strategy, and you need what you say to interest the right people.  Guy Kawasaki talked about using social media to enchant.  Tell a great story, use emotion to illustrate your point.  Talk about what people care about, what they want and need.  Reach out to all of your influencers, not just to the big fish, with information, insights and assistance.
  • Give lots away for free.  Yup – you heard that right!  Michael Stelzner suggests that by giving people what they want (access to great information, access to great people, and recognition) you get noticed.  Think about how you can do this.   For example, what information can you share, what tips, what advice would be valuable to your clients or prospects?  The point here is if you help people, if you give them information and help them solve smaller problems for free, people will look to you for the big stuff.  Relationships are built over time – which gives you a new way to look at success in the social sphere.

Which idea seems most interesting to you?  Have you tried it?  What happened?

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Filed under Social Media & Small Business, Trends in Social Media, Uncategorized

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