Social Strategy Checklist for the Little Guy

Originally published in the February 2012 edition of the Thoughtspot Newsletter.

Caps for Sale Title Graphic

Title graphic from Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler, Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business by Esphyr Slobodkina.

You are your business. You wear every hat from sales to marketing  to customer service. Adding yet another hat as Social Media Guru does not seem  feasible, yet you know social media is a must for businesses today. Before you  throw your hands up and walk away, take a look at our tips designed just for  you: The Little Guy.

Blogging:  The Gateway to Social

In  his eBook, “Let’s Talk: Social Media for Small Business,” John Jantsch suggests  that blogging is the foundation of the social media pyramid. He says, “Read  blogs, comment on blogs, and then blog. This is the doorway to all other social  marketing.”

Your  Blogging Checklist

  • Start by finding a handful of blogs in your  industry using a simple Google search.
  • Dedicate 10-20 minutes every morning to  reading the blogs. To facilitate this process, you may want to use Google  Reader or similar service to keep the blogs in one easy to access format.
  • Add your two cents in the form of a comment to  posts you resonate strongly with.
  • Search for content you can repurpose on your  blog. Articles you have written, informative pages from your website, press releases, etc.
  • Start writing your own posts. Keep them short  and sweet, around 250-450 words. You will want to post at least 1 time a week  with a goal of eventually reaching about 20+ posts per month.
  • When you have a bucket of about 20 posts,  start your business blog. Sites such as WordPress.com, Tumblr.com, and  Typepad.com provide free and easy to use formats to get your blog up and going.

Pick a  Network, Any Network

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Foursquare… social  networks seems to be popping up all the time. As a business, it is hard to  decide where you place your limited time. For a breakdown of the social  players, read our blog post, Go On, Get  Social: Where Should Your Business Have Presence?.

Your  Network Checklist:

  • Do a little homework to find out what  network(s) most of your customers/demographic are using. Consider sending a  survey link in an email or posting a poll on your website. Forrester has also  created an excellent online tool to narrow demographics.
  • Select one network to start with and open a  business page.
  • Set up email alerts so you are able to be  notified when someone posts to your page, adds a comment, responds to a tweet,  etc.
  • Once your page has the basics such as your  logo, contact information, etc. go ahead and launch it to your network by  making the site public. Consider announcing it with an email and including your  Social Media information on direct mail pieces.
  • Each time you post to your blog, post it to  your social network of choice as well.
  • Post your email newsletters and promotions to  your social network. Swiftpage  Social Sharing makes this step a snap.
  • Start following/liking other businesses and  sharing their content that is relevant with your followers.
  • When you are ready, pick another social network  and repeat the steps above.

Spread the  Word

Now that you are regularly generating content on your blog and you  have a social network or two up and running, it’s time to attract more  followers.

Your Word  Spreading Checklist

  • Start by adding your social media links to  your email signature, email templates, and website if you haven’t already.
  • Ask bloggers and industry experts if they  would a) be interested in allowing you the chance to guest post on their blog  or b) provide content as a guest blogger for your blog.
  • Increase the number of comments you leave on  blogs and link back to relevant content on your blog or website. (Don’t overdo  it, though, or you could be viewed as spam.)
  • Douglas Karr from the MarketingTech Blog  suggests, “Spend 10 minutes a day promoting  your content. At first, this may even be soliciting opportunities to guest  blog, speak or even buying advertisements to get the word out!”
  • Consider creating other content  such as videos or recorded demos to share on sites like YouTube, PowerPoint  presentations that can be shared by using something like SlideShare, or even a  podcast.

Social Media is not out of reach for small businesses. Even if you  never complete every item we have listed here, checking off a few will make a  tremendous difference in the way you reach your audience and your marketing  efforts. So put it on your daily calendar now and be sure to tell us how it goes!

About Audrey Howes

Audrey has been an active member of the Swiftpage team since September 2009. Audrey manages Social Media and special projects with her marketing know-how and design expertise. When she’s not working you are likely to find her enjoying time with her family in the mountains near Steamboat, going for a run, reading a good book, being goofy with her kids, or savoring a latte in a local coffee shop.

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