Melinda Emerson is one of the USA’s leading small business experts, the New York Times’ social media columnist, Twitter’s @SmallBizLady, and host of the Social: Bigger, Better, Faster! webinar.
Thank you all for coming to my Vocus webinar on November 8. I was thrilled to bring you strategies about using social media to grow your business.
Dozens of people submitted questions after the webinar. I pulled the six most common submissions and answer them for you here.
Q: Melinda, we’ve been blogging for a little more than a year and a half already, so building community before launching our blog is sort of out of the question. We’re still struggling with reach and hits, so how would someone approach a social strategy with an ongoing blog?
A: You need to look at your Google analytics to get the answer. If you’ve been blogging for 18 months you have data to tell you what is working. Identify the content that your audience responds to the most and develop more of that.
Also make sure you have a niche focus. Blog readers have many options. You want to make sure that you are the best option and that that is obvious within seven seconds of arriving to your blog.
Q: How do you keep up with Twitter with your busy schedule?
A: I schedule my content in advance using Hootsuite.com and have a social media virtual assistant who helps me organize and copy edit my content. I use Twitter about an hour to 90 minutes a day, except on Wednesdays when I do #Smallbizchat from 8-9pm ET.
Q: How do you generate fans on Facebook fan pages.
A: Give your fans a reason to come back to your fan page. Create fans-only content to give them a payoff for liking your page. Also start social media conversations by asking questions and allowing people to leave comments. An easy way to increase your following is simply to ask people to like your page. The reminders can come on your email signature, a sign on your door, receipts, table tent cards, etc. Check my blog for even more tips.
Q: How do you manage creating editorial content for multiple web platforms as a small business?
A: You must repurpose content. If you do a podcast interview, transcribe it and turn it into a blog post. If you write a blog post, record a two-minute video about the same content. Remember people learn in different ways, give them something to read, watch, and hear.
Try to set aside at least one day a week to develop content. That will make it easier, too.
Q: What are three pieces of advice for someone starting a social media campaign?
A: Find out where your target customer spends time using social media, and be there too. Use the HELP Mantra. Help Others, Engage People, Listen First and Promote Yourself With Care. You should share other people’s content four times for every time you share your own.
Keep in mind you do not need to use every social media site that comes along. Focus on dominating just one, and the rest will become much easier over time. It takes time to build a powerful social media brand.
Q: What is your #1 LinkedIn Tip?
A: The gold in LinkedIn is in the groups. Join at least 10 groups. Look for groups where your target customers are and join your trade associations. Your alumni groups can be a fertile source of connections as well.
Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady, educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. She writes a weekly column on social media for The New York Times and is the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works.
Melinda Emerson is one of the USA’s leading small business experts, the New York Times’ social media columnist, Twitter’s @SmallBizLady, and host of this week’s Social: Bigger, Better, Faster! webinar.