Downtown Frederick Partnership: Social Media for Small Businesses

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  1. Carie Lewis Carlson Deputy Director, Online Communications @cariegrls Social Media for Small Businesses (what you can learn from big ones) 2. [ My name is Carie, and…
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  • 1. Carie Lewis Carlson Deputy Director, Online Communications @cariegrls Social Media for Small Businesses (what you can learn from big ones)
  • 2. [ My name is Carie, and I’m a social media addict. ]
  • 3. “I just got a keychain and address labels in the mail from you guys. Now that I see you posting on Facebook and know you're legit, I'll be sending a donation. Thanks for the work you do.” – Posted to our Facebook Page wall, January 2010 [ Just a Fad? ]
  • 4. [ By The Numbers ] • 1.9 million Facebook fans • 250,000 Twitter followers • 103% growth rate on Facebook from ’12-’13 • $1 million raised on Facebook (lifetime) • Over 300,000 actions taken on Facebook each year • All positions in social media have been paid for by Facebook fundraising. Integration and engagement are the keys to our growth and success in social media.
  • 5. [ All Networks are Not Created Equal. ] Where our constituents are For customer service and relationship building but is our action oriented community People talk about us here A customer service and relationship building tool Tweets are split between being a news source and engaging with audience
  • 6. [ Now, Let’s Start From the Beginning: ] Why is your business on Facebook
  • 7. [ Tip #1: Identify your purpose and goals ] Our goals in using social media are: advocacy, fundraising, providing customer service, and increasing brand sentiment online by promoting the good work of the organization. Customer service & engagement Interest & trust Positive connection to the brand Better chance of becoming a member More likely to share our content Everything we do online is tied to advocacy and fundraising – social media is no exception.
  • 8. • # of actions taken • # of donors • Amount of donations* • # of new names to file • Customer service turnarounds • Sentiment % • Growth rate • Most popular content • # mentions • Notable mentions [ Tip #2: Decide how you will measure success ]
  • 9. • Don’t think you have to be everywhere! • Find out where your customers are; most likely right now that is Facebook. [ Tip #3: Get good at one network before you start another. ] Some networks take more “work” than others – example: Instagram, which has less engagement and can be less time consuming
  • 10. • Too many small businesses are talking to no one. • Too many pages on Facebook just SELL SELL SELL. [ Tip #4: Take time to build your fan base before you ever ask for anything. ] Ways to build your fan base: • Do geo- and interest-targeted Facebook ads (even $100) • Put your page URL on printed materials • Create shareable content • Participate elsewhere as your page • Do posts that ask for interaction (polls, questions, opinions, stories, experiences, fill in the blank) • Make sure all your content (emails, webpages) are shareable
  • 11. • If people wanted to come and just listen to all the things you’re saying, they’d go to your website. • People come to social media for interaction. • Sometimes, people just want to know that someone is listening, possibly about an obscure topic. • It is a lot of work, but will pay off by creating more loyal and [ Tip #5: Do not disable commenting and posting features on your page. ]
  • 12. • Put a commenting policy on your info tab. • Monitor your page daily for people who violate the policy. • Don’t delete comments or ban people just because they disagree or have a bad experience – turn it into an opportunity! • Remember that transparency is key in social media. • Make it a safe, engaging, and enjoyable place for your fans. [ Tip #6: Have a commenting policy and enforce it.]
  • 13. • Read your post comments and posts by others at least once a day. • Respond to questions or concerns within 24 hours. [ Tip #7: Answer EVERYONE. ]
  • 14. • Never post more than once a day. You’re just not (no one is) that important - sorry! • The #1 reason people hide brands in their newsfeed is because they post too much. • Next = bad customer experience (so make sure you answer everyone!) [ Tip #8: Don’t post too often. ] See the full infographic at: http://www.verticalresponse. com/blog/what-motivates- people-to-like-or-unlike- brands-on-facebook/
  • 15. • Every post we do must provide some kind of value or benefit to our fans. • Put your user hat on – would you share this? • Resist the urge to self promote and brag all the time. Yawn. • People love coupons and exclusivity – get people who are online in your store! • Don’t post too much fluff – but don’t be too serious all the time either. Switch it up! [ Tip #9: Be selective about what you post. ]
  • 16. Tip #10: Create Facebook events for all your in-person events. • This will get your online fans into your store where they could become customers. • If you do email marketing, put a “RSVP on Facebook” button linking to your Facebook event on your emails. • Even if you’re not on Twitter, consider creating a hashtag for your event so people will talk about it online. • The average person has 190 friends: people love to talk about all the cool things they are doing. Take advantage of the virality of social media!
  • 17. • Set up Google alerts for your name and your store name • Even if you aren’t able to be on Twitter, set up alerts for mentions of your name using a tool like Tweetbeep or Tweetdeck • Follow relevant hashtags to your industry and location, such as #downtownfrederick • Follow other related pages and watch the conversations on Facebook and Twitter (such as the Downtown Frederick Partnership.) [ Tip #11: Make sure you know what people are saying about you. ]
  • 18. • Mashable, Ragan PR, and Inside Facebook are three good ones. • Scan the headlines for stuff that’s important and interesting. • This way, when a big change is coming you’ll be prepared (like a feature being disabled or a new layout) [ Tip #12: Take 10 minutes a day to read social media publications. ]
  • 19. [ One more thing on success… ] Engagement means nothing if it is not working towards your goals. Resist the urge to measure your success by number of fans, comments, shares and likes. These things tell you how well your fans respond to your content, not how successful you are in using social media for your business.
  • 20. If you don’t have time for social media, make it. • NO ONE can afford to ignore social media these days. • Even 1 hour a day is sufficient. • Download an app to help you manage while you have downtime like standing in line somewhere • Consider hiring a college intern if you need help – they teach classes in social media now and they are what we call “digital natives.” [ And perhaps more important than anything for small businesses… ]
  • 21. [ Final Thought ] #SMWES // @cariegrls “Social media is free…. free like a puppy.”
  • 22. Carie Lewis Carlson Email: Twitter: @cariegrls LinkedIn: Thank you!
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