Social Promotion for Small Business and Entrepreneurs covers everything a small businessman needs to know about promotion online, including building an effective website, creating a successful newsletter and blog, and marketing through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and bookmarking sites Digg, Reddit and Delicious.
Social Media Promotion for Small Business and Entrepreneurs describes much more than than just social media marketing, with chapters on website design strategy and branding tactics also included.
Discover how to build a site that will get you more customers and press
Discover what to say, how to say it, and exactly when to send it
How to discover and develop your business's brand
The ins and outs of blogging and how that can help your business
Everything you need to not only a YouTube channel, but product videos that sell
Using Facebook to increase your social presence and reach through Facebook ads
Get the word out about the latest product, service or business news
Discover the power of the killer app in Hangouts
How LinkedIn can spread the word where you need it most
Using bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Reddit and Digg as promotional tools
Check Out The Table Of Contents And Excerpts From The Various Chapters
1. It’s Called Promotion
The Meaning Of Self-Promotion
Why Fan Data Matters
Lessons From The Music Business! 18 A Personal Story
How Social Media Promotion Fits With Today’s Business
The Current Business Structure
The New Audience
Online Word Of Mouth
The Theory of 22
8 Advantages Of Social Media Over Traditional Media
2. Your Social Media Strategy
It’s A Big Social Media World
The Problems And The Solutions!
The Big Picture
Developing Your Online Strategy
Don’t Depend On An External Site
Relying On Too Many Sites
The Center Of Your Online Universe
The Steps To A Successful Online Strategy
3. Developing Your Brand
What Is A Brand?
The Three Pillars Of A Successful Brand
8 Steps To Discovering Your Brand
Developing Your Brand
Why A Trademark Can Be Important
Social Media Promotion for Entrepreneurs and Small Business
Acquiring A Mark
Brands And Social Media
4. Creating Your Killer Website
The Elements Of A Successful Site
Web Optimized Images
Website Killers To Avoid
Setting Up A Quick Website
Website SEO Techniques
The Importance Of Anchor Text
Website Measurement Techniques
Four Free Website Audience Measurement Tools
Website Performance Metrics
Summing It Up
5. Creating Your Mailing List
Mailing List Overview
Email Is Not Dead
Four Reasons Why Your Email List Is So Important
Using A Mailing List Service
An Overview Of Mailing List Service Providers
The Email Subscribe Form
Crafting A Successful Email Newsletter
The Best Times To Email
Frequency Of Emails
Building Your Mailing List
6. Using Facebook For Marketing
Facebook By The Numbers
The Difference Between A Personal And Business Page
What Should I Say?
Crafting A Promotional Post That Works
Post Creation Rules
The Facebook Like
Facebook Guidelines To Observe
Seven Ways To Increase Your Facebook Fan Engagement
Using Facebook Ads
7. Marketing With Twitter
What Should I Say?
Crafting A Promotional Tweet That Works
The Hashtag: The Secret Behind Successful Tweets
Sharing Photos, Songs and Video On Twitter
Twitter Photo Sharing
Useful Twitter Tools
Using Contests To Increase Your Followers
Twitter Tips And Tricks
8. Setting Up A Blog
Social Media Promotion for Entrepreneurs and Small Business
Your RSS Feed
What To Write About
The Secrets To A Successful Blog
Why Blogs Fail
Promoting Your Blog
Popular Blog List Sites
Tying Your Blog To Your Website
Using A Blogging Platform As A Website
Making Money With Your Blog
9. Marketing With YouTube
YouTube By The Numbers
The Power Of YouTube
Creating A YouTube Channel
Branding And Design
Feature Other Channels
Optimizing Your Videos
Video SEO Basics
The Key To Viral Videos
Making Money From Your Videos
Creating Online Video Contests
The YouTube Trends Dashboard
The Online Video World Is Bigger Than You Think
10.Using Google+ For Marketing
Other Google+ Features
Setting Up A Product, Company Or Local Page
Setting Up Your Circles
Wading Into The Stream
Posting On Google+
Hangouts On Air
Things You Can Do With Hangouts
Starting A Hangout
Practical Ways To Use Hangouts
11.Using Pinterest For Marketing
Creating A Personal Account
What Pinterest Can’t Do
Pinterest Marketing Strategies
Optimizing Your Website Or Blog For Pinterest Sharing
Pinning A Video
12.Using Bookmarking Sites
Submitting To Digg
Submitting To Delicious
Submitting To Technorati
General Submission Tips
13.Using LinkedIn For Marketing
Setting Up A Profile Page
Your Company Page
Using LinkedIn Groups
Starting Your Own Group
Using LinkedIn For Marketing
14.Posting Frequency Strategy
Posting On Social Media
Posting On Blogs
Updating Your Website
Although you’ll find plenty of detailed information in this book about most aspects of your online strategy, here are the six basic steps you’ll need to take in order to prepare for online promotion.
1. Make your website your main online focal point. Make sure that all your important information is curated there and is easy for a site visitor to find. Chapter 4 will describe what a modern business website needs to look like and how it should function.
2. Create accounts on the “Big 4” social networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+). You can’t be everywhere at once. Even if you could it would take so much time that you’d never enough time to run your business, which is what we’re trying to avoid. That said, in order to get the most out of social media promotion, you need the following:
– A Facebook page. Regardless of how you feel about Facebook, you still need a presence on it if for no other reason than its easy proximity to lots of potential new customers. We’ll cover the ins and outs of Facebook in Chapter 6.
- A Twitter account. The people that dismiss Twitter are the ones that aren’t aware of how to use it for promotion. It’s extremely powerful for attracting new fans and keeping your current ones instantly informed. We’ll look at Twitter in Chapter 7.
- A YouTube channel. Videos are such a major part of any company’s online presence that you really need your own branded channel to exploit them successfully. Chapter 9 will describe how.
- A Google+ account. Google+ is not yet an absolutely necessary network to participate in, but it’s still growing and has a number of unique features that work particularly well for anyone in business. We’ll delve into Google+ more in Chapter 10.
- A look at other networks. As I’ve pointed out previously, there are a ton of other social networks and a many of them might deserve your attention at some point. There comes a point in time where the amount of time invested versus the potential outcome just doesn’t balance out, which is why you should probably stay with the previous four networks, or even just a few of them, until you’re really comfortable before you decide take on another one. The only exception to that would be if a big portion of your audience is on a particular network other than the “Big 4” (like Pinterest for example, which we’ll look at in Chapter 11), then you might want to substitute that network for Google+.
3. Use a social media broadcast app for all your updates. An app like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite is one of the keys to streamlining the process that saves time and makes what you do online more efficient. We’ll discuss these and other similar apps throughout the book.
4. Develop your social media sites so they all feed viewers into your main site. The key is to make sure that any viewer on any site is aware that you have a website and know that it’s the main repository of information about you.
5. Be sure that email list subscribers from all sites go to the same master list. Different mailing lists don’t do you much good if you have to create a separate newsletter blast for each one. We’ll look at mailing lists and newsletters in Chapter 5.
6. Get third party help when you get to the point where you’re overwhelmed. At some point social-media management gets too complex for the business owner or entrepreneur to maintain, and third-party help is needed. This is usually a good thing, since that means you’ve progressed to a point that things have gotten big enough that you can’t keep up. Furthermore, a company that specializes in social-media management can keep you current with new tools and techniques that you might not be aware of. Even when outside help arrives, remember that you’re still the one that drives the bus. Be sure to take part in all strategy discussions, but leave the actual facilitation to the company you’ve hired.
Having a sound social strategy is the key to successful promotion. The upcoming chapters of this book will examine each of the above points in much more detail as you learn the ins and outs of how this is accomplished.
When I wanted to send one of my first email newsletters to a list of only about 1200 (which seemed large at the time but is really tiny in the grand scheme of email lists), I was astounded to find that my Internet Service Provider (ISP) wouldn’t allow me to send to more than 100 addresses simultaneously from my business account. That meant that I had to split my list up into 12 batches, which made the job take a lot longer than it should have. After a number of calls to my Internet service provider at the time, I discovered that just about every ISP limits the number of email addresses that can be attached to an email in an attempt to keep spam in check, yet I knew that there were companies that sent emails to millions of addresses at a time every day. How did they do it?
That’s when I found out about email service providers or ESPs. ESPs have an agreement with the various Internet service providers to make sure that their customers aren’t what we would consider spammers. While the odd few may push up against those boundaries, ESPs go to great lengths to make sure that you don’t fall into that category by constant checking spam reports and large email address imports, then making you personally verify that your lists are opt-in and not purchased or just skimmed from a forum.
That said, the only limit to how many addresses you can send to hinges on how much money you want to spend, since almost all ESPs work on the same principle – the greater the number of email addresses, the more it costs.
ESPs are way more useful than just providing basic email delivery however, and are definitely worth the money. Among some of the other things they do are:
- clean your list for you, which means they automatically delete any old non-existent or invalid addresses (you have to do it manually if you use your personal email app, which is a big drag time-wise).
- provide a means to measure how well your email did in terms of open rate, click-throughs, pass-alongs, and a lot more.
- provide a means to easily subscribe and unsubscribe to the list (again, this is much more difficult to do manually).
- provide a host of good looking HTML templates that you can use to easily design a professional looking email blast.
- give you a way to easily segment your list so you can target an email blast better.
Most email service providers offer many more services than the main ones mentioned here. In fact, each one offers slightly different features, so it’s best to check out a few of them before you make a decision which one’s right for you.
Here’s a list of email service providers to investigate. Each has their pros and cons, so it’s best to check every one out thoroughly before you commit. Since most of them also have free 30 day trials, you can try before you buy to see if a particular service is what you’re looking for.
TIP: Some email list providers are free if you only have a few hundred addresses. Even with a volume that low, it’s so much easier to use an ESP than your own email client. Try it. You’ll wonder how you ever got along without one.
As stated above, all of them have a nice selection of professional-looking email templates, but how they’re customized is slightly different, so be sure to check that out. Of course, if you already have a web designer that can design a good looking HTML newsletter, the templates won’t matter as much to you as the other features.
- Constant Contact
- Get Response
- Vertical Response
These are only just a sampling of the popular ESPs available, and you can also find a number of email list review sites that will give you a ranking and allow you to easily compare services.
TIP: Even if you compare ESP features carefully, the best way to really find out which one will serve your needs is to use it for a bit first with the free trial they all offer.
There’s a lot of thought that goes into creating a newsletter. If your title doesn’t attract attention, the email may not get opened. If the content is weak, the next one might not get opened, or worse yet, the person could unsubscribe. You could have a great offer that no one acts on because it’s presented poorly or visually buried. Let’s take a look at the elements of a great newsletter.
Sending out a newsletter for the sake of sending one out isn’t a good strategy. There has to be a good reason for you to communicate with your subscribers. Don’t forget, they gave you permission to contact them in the first place. It’s up to you not to soil that agreement. Before you decide to send any newsletter, ask yourself these three questions:
- What is this email about? Are you informing your subscribers about the latest news? Are you trying to promote something? Is this an announcement of some kind? Decide what your email is about, then keep that as your central focus.
- Why do my subscribers care? Is this something they would be sorry about missing? Is it something they want to participate in? What’s in it for them?
- What do they do about it? Do you want them to pass something along? Buy something? Come to an event? Whatever it is, be sure to ask them to do it.
There are a variety of ways to optimize your videos so they’re easily found either by a Google search or YouTube search (which are basically the same thing since YouTube is owned by Google). While there’s an entire science built around this, here are some easy basics that will get you most of the way there.
The title, keywords and description are the basics for good video SEO, yet it’s surprising how often their importance is overlooked. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Name Your Video Something Descriptive. The title is the most important part of your video SEO. It has to be something that’s short, easy to remember, and descriptive all at the same time, which isn’t always easy to do. Let’s look at a couple of bad examples first:
Bad Example: RrkSvle334.mov
Many video editing apps provide default names to movies that might make sense to a machine, but won’t help anyone to find the video or know anything about it.
The example above is one of those incomprehensible titles that violates the easy to remember and descriptive traits that we’re looking for. Here’s another bad example:
Bad Example: “The Yancy Software Product Video”
We can see that at least we know this video has something to do with a company, but we really don’t have any idea about anything else. Here’s a better title:
Better Example: “The Rock Climbing App – Yancy Software”
This is much better because we now have the product name and the company all in the movie title. This works pretty well for a product video, but what if it was about a company event? A mediocre title would be:
Bad Example: “Yancy Software Event 5-5-14”
This is mediocre because it doesn’t give us enough information. What kind of an event? Where was it at? Here’s a better way to title it:
Better Example: “Yancy Software Event At The Ahlo Center”
That gives the potential viewer a lot better idea of what the video is about. Sometimes even adding a date to the end can be helpful, although that also places an age on the video, which can be undesirable.
TIP: Don’t make the title too generic since it won’t rank highly as a result. Do make it easy to spell, since it takes Google longer to learn it if it gets typed incorrectly during a search. .
2. Choose Your Keywords Based On Your Title. One of the best things about the last title is that there are a lot of keywords in it that we can use as meta tags to make it easier to find. “Yancy Software” and “Ahlo Center” are keywords that we can use as tags, but we can improve the title a bit more with a few more descriptive keywords like:
“Yancy Software 1st Anniversary Bash At The Ahlo Center”
This is gives us a few more keywords that can be used as meta tags for SEO. Now the title strong not only for the search engines, but for your fans to determine if this is something that they want to watch or not.
TIP: Put your most important keyword first in the title if possible.
3. The longer the description the better. One of the most overlooked portions of a video is the description (see Figure 9.4). Not only can this be loaded with pertinent information for the viewer to read, but search engines love it. Each description should contain a full “who, what, when, where and how” that completely explains the video and includes links to the website and social media. Anything from about 75 to 200 words works, although more is better, so don’t be afraid to expand on the explanation and include the names of the people in the video, the date it was released, and what happens during the video. Also don’t be afraid to sprinkle in keywords where appropriate.
TIP: The correct ratio of keywords in your copy is around two to three percent, or two or three times every hundred words. A higher ratio may be considered “keyword stuffing” by the search engine and get you penalized with a lessor search ranking.
4. Make sure to include links in the video description. A video without links to your site is an opportunity wasted. You want the viewer to become a fan, so be sure it’s easy for him to find more information by including a link to your website and/or social media.
TIP: Make sure that your description contains the same phrase as your title. Using our example above, that would mean “Yancy Software 1st Anniversary Bash At The Ahlo Center.” Figure 9.4: The video description ￼
5. Add the proper tags. All of the keywords that you used in the title and description can be used as meta tags, although it’s best to try to limit these to between five and seven. More tags aren’t necessarily better, as these tags generally don’t have that much effect on search ranking anymore anyway. One thing to remember is to make sure that all the major characters in the video are properly identified with tags. That said, misleading tags can cause YouTube to consider the video SPAM, which is something you don’t want. You can add or edit tags by clicking on the Info and Settings icon (the first one) on the video viewer.
TIP: YouTube now also makes tag suggestions, which you can select by just clicking.
A Summary Of Each Chapter
It’s Called Promotion – Business and product promotion in today’s Business 3.0 and how social media fits with it.
Your Social Media Strategy – The steps to discovering your social media strategy, and determining the center of your online world.
Developing Your Brand - 8 steps to discovering your brand, the 3 pillars that every brand must have, and how brands and social media work together.
Creating Your Killer Website – The elements of a successful site (including two that are often overlooked), and site SEO and measurement techniques.
Creating Your Mailing List – Selecting an email service provider, creating a successful newsletter, and determining the correct timing and frequency.
Using Facebook For Marketing – The difference between a business and personal page and why you need both, creating promotional posts, and the 7 ways to increase Facebook engagement.
Marketing With Twitter – Twitter basics for business, marketing with Twitter, and measurement and engagement tips.
Setting Up A Blog - Blogger platform overview, what to write about, blog SEO, and the secrets to a successful blog.
Marketing With YouTube – Creating and optimizing a YouTube channel, optimizing your videos, in-video branding, making money from videos, and video analytics.
Using Google+ For Marketing – An overview of Google+ and how to use its killer app – Google Hangouts.
Using Pinterest For Marketing – Pinterest basics, shortcuts, marketing strategies and SEO.
Using Bookmarking Sites – An overview of StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, Delicious, and Technorati and how they can be used for marketing.
Using LinkedIn For Marketing – Creating and using a company page, and the reasons why creating a group can be good for business.
Posting Frequency Strategies – Determining when you’re posting too much or not enough across all social platforms.
The information contained in this book is extraordinary. In fact it has become an invaluable instructional tool here at SAE Institute.
If anyone could make sense out of this crazy, ever-changing subject, it's Bobby O. And he does make sense of it on every page. It's one thing to get smarter about something. It's another thing to use that wisdom to double your fan-base (and audience) without spending a dime. Okay, we spent the price of the book, so I should say "another dime". Money very well spent.
Bobby Owsinski has a way of "cutting right to the chase". He knows the business first hand. Thankfully for us, he shares his knowledge and experience with us. No nonsense--just the good stuff!
So far, I've used about a dozen tips and suggestions from his book and already I've seen results on my page counts and feedback. I was prepared to spend ten times the cost of this book for one tenth the results. I'm giving this book five stars for that reason alone.
Cutting-edge, life-changing material. I see a whole series of these by Mr. Owsinski. This is a "must-have" in today's highly fluid social world! Extremely valuable, especially for those who find social media and self-promotion daunting. Very heady concepts are de-mystified to optimize return on time spent in the social media universe!
A must read for everyone- not just musicians! Social media is today's most important marketing platform and Bobby Owsinski has a brilliant understanding of how this media works. By reading you will gain the tools and understand the methods needed to achieve winning success. I highly highly recommend this top-notch well written manual!