Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Social Media Newbies Unite!

I have to tell you, I've been following (OK, pun intended for Twitter users) the marketing aspects of social media for the past few years now - which makes me more than a "newbie", but doesn't put me at the head of the class by any means. Monetization of these mediums (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and others) is sketchy, at best. And for some, a down right waste of time.

If you, too, are scratching your head on how your small business (or using your own personal brand) can benefit, read on.

I can't cover it all, but this hopefully will help get you on the right path. So let's put our first foot forward:

1 > Do set up a LinkedIn account. This may be the most valuable thing you can do. Why? Not only is it a "resume" site - in which a potential client, employer or old acquaintance may look you up - but it is the ONLY social media site that gathers e-mails from which you can carefully utilize in soliciting feedback or better yet, actual sales.

2 > Do set up a Facebook page. You have to do this for yourself, then you can create a page for your business, group or interest. Aside from having the ability to be "friends" with your children (a great non-invasive way to spy on them - you didn't hear it here), Facebook is the mother of all social media platforms and can provide a forum to let your own personality shine through to potential suitors of your business. Be careful, though, it's easy to offer TMI and expose your brand to ridicule or scorn. A quick tip for setting up a business page: once you get 25 FANS, you can get a customized URL to make it easier for others to find you on FB.

3 > Do set up a Twitter account. The base idea is to be able to engage with your particular audience. Not sure where to start? Use a site called to find people in your area of interest. Follow them and their followers. In no time, you'll be in a community of people who have at least a modicum of interest in you.

4 > Do set up a YouTube channel. Buy a Flip Mino and make 1-minute movies about what you or your business is an expert in. Post these videos to your channel, making sure your website is clearly attached in the bio section. Why? Because Google is now posting videos on WEB search results. You may be able to not only make page 1, but create a "roadblock" as well. Instant, easy and FREE SEO.

Does all of this take time? Yup. Can you get someone else to help? Yup. (20-something interns got this stuff covered...) But you better stay involved and in-the-know, your customers might just come a-knocking! Why? Because everything that you do here, will help direct traffic back to your own website... finally making it the productive tool everyone said it could be - you just never knew how to put it in play. And now you do.

Want to know more...

Jump into Mike's website
Link up with Mike on LinkedIn
Join Mike's Big Ideas Group on LinkedIn
Becomes a FAN of the Big Ideas Group on Facebook
Become a FAN of JacksonSpencer on Facebook
Follow Mike on Twitter

Do all of that, and you'll drop your Newbie title. You'll now be a Social Media Maven!