Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Using Social Media Optimization (SMO) to Increase Your Business Prescence

The term social media is relatively new considering Facebook the mammoth of social media just took off around five years ago. Yet this evolving technology has morphed, dominated and made us so dependent on information that we cannot live without it. Aside from social media plaguing our daily lives, it has also leveraged many smalll businesses to compete with the "big boys"! One advantage a small business owner has is the ability to be personable. We do not have directors, managers, sales people, for the most part when we start out we are all this and then some! With this being said a customer will know when we're conveying a message it will be from the heart and not from an employee meeting a goal. So, how do you use Social Media to promote your brand, gain loyalty and let your customers know the real you?!?! Some of our QC Hustlers have provided suggestions on various Social Media avenues that can possibly help you in getting your word out!

1) Create, Release and Don't Stop - If you haven't done so already create a page for your business on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In for starters. When doing so use the same bio and profile for each, this lends to consistency and stability for your brand. The main exercise with social media is keeping up on it. Post every day, don't be ashamed if you post more than once. Chances are your customers are on more than once. The more you post the higher of a feed your status will become. Note: Facebook has a link which allows you to post your exact Facebook post to Twitter, a great time saving feature!

2) Social Media Bookmarking - While Facebook and Twitter are great, there are some of us who want all our information in a consolidated place. Delicious, Digg.com or Stumble Upon? provide the capability of creating traveling bookmarks with up to date information. This way your customer doesn't have to go to Facebook to see what you're talking about, with anyone of these bookmarking sites they can "bookmark" you and see all your post regardless of the social media being used.

3) Start a Conversation - The word "social" means the interaction of the individual and the group, so why not get social?!?! Ask a question on your post, solicit opinions or survey your customers. Chances are if a potential customer likes what you have to say or hate it, they will still remember you, which in all cases is a good thing! SideNote, check out Quora a website designed to help you build online questions or SurveyMonkey for building online surveys.

4) Show Your S&P (Smarts and Passion) - You may not be on the Fortune 500 list today (mind you I'm saying today, you WILL be there one day!), but this doesn't mean you don't know your stuff. Show your smarts and passion for your industry, post trade articles, videos, upcoming news. Remember social networking is about keeping in touch and keeping your customers in the loop! Just imagine the combination you're offering of being affordable, personable and brilliant within your field!

5) RSS Feeds - I'm sure many of us have heard the term RSS Feeds and like me it sometimes seems to complicated and not friendly at all. Well contrair mon frie (sp) trying to be French for a minute :) RSS Feeds are a good thing, it allows your readers to get information directly from their Outlook or other email services. Check out your website parameters on creating an RSS Feed link.

6)Freebies and Rewards - Just like when you're hanging out with a friend and treat him/her to a cup of coffee, why not treat your customers. Depending on your business you can offer discounts or referrals on your Social Media page. You can also create triva games by using a virtual prize reward system like Badgeville, which allows your customers to answer questions and then reward them with badges. You can determine the hierachy of a badge and let them work their way up in points which ultimately can reward them a gift for their winnings.

Lastly Social Media Optimization (SMO) is a term you should get use to, almost like the web buzz word of Search Engine Optmization (SEO), honestly without the two you don't stand a chance in the world wide web.

For those of you who are still unsure about Social Media and possibly afraid of the privacy backlash take a look at some big companies who have used this mechanism and the awareness they have gained from it.

Au revoir my fellow QC Hustlers, look forward to socializing and seeing your business on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Note: QC Hustle does not endorse any of the products listed. Our articles are for informational purposes only.

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