In Part 2 of An Overview of Social Media Tools and Outlets, I want to talk about other avenues that are used for sending out messages and connecting with others in the Social Media Space, specifically Blogging, Podcasting, and Email Marketing (See Part 1 here).
One of my personal favorites in social media is Blogging. Blogs provide a way to establish yourself as a thought-leader in your field, and regular blogging on a consistent schedule can help you grow your small business because it allows you to build web traffic by providing useful information to your blog’s visitors. At SSS for Success we specialize in providing Branded Blogs which are highly customized blogs built around your brand and designed to amplify your company's message in the blogosphere and throughout the World Wide Web. One good thing about blogs, versus say a regular website, is that blogs are better for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes because a blog is updated more than a traditional website, thus prompting search engine spiders (or robots) to crawl your blog pages more frequently and increasing your chances of being found through search engine results for specific keywords.
The next social media outlet is Podcasting (or digital audio broadcasting) which is like broadcasting your own radio show, where people can choose to download it and listen to it at their leisure. Podcasting can help you drive traffic to your small business's website by providing a platform for you to talk about your area of expertise via your very own broadcast known as “podcast”. It is a great way to amplify your company's message and reach a new audience in a different online medium. Some interesting stats on podcasting: Approximately 45 million people in the U.S. have gym memberships. Why is this relevant? Because most will need something to listen to during the 30-60 minutes that they work out. Another stat: 97 million people who drive to work along on a daily basis, with an average commute time of 25 minutes. Again, a podcast for this lonely driver definitely fills a void. One of the things that I like about podcasting is its relatively low cost of entry into the field. All you really need is a microphone, some recording software, and web hosting space to store your files. This is something you can get started with for $50 or less. As with anything, once you get more sophisticated in your podcasting, it can get more expensive, but I like how you can tinker around with it first, and see if it’s really for you before making a huge financial commitment. If you visit this blog often, you might also be interested in checking out our podcast in iTunes here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/sss-for-success/id420375160
Last but not least, I want to talk about Email Marketing because even in the age of mobile internet and text messaging, there’s still some people out there that are using email marketing and using it well. It will certainly depend on your industry and audience, but a well-run email marketing campaign can be the difference between an empty inbox and your phone consistently ringing off the hook! Email Marketing through e-newsletters can be used to build bring traffic either to your website or blog, and ultimately enhance your small business's overall brand by nurturing the relationships you have with your customers. For instance, email marketing builds your reputation as an information resource to your core audience, and it lets your audience know that you know what you’re talking about. It also keeps you connected with your audience, and it gives you the opportunity to stay relevant and provide useful information that they’ll appreciate. If you sell things, or at one point will want to promote something, it’s a great way to have a “pre-sold” audience who trusts you and your opinions, and it helps you build traffic and enhance your brand, while engaging in activities that help your business’s bottom line.
Another hot topic in the Social Media Space for business professionals is Mobile Marketing. It definitely has people buzzing, especially as more and more people are using their mobile devices to get more things done. I’ll be talking about Mobile Marketing soon on this blog, so please stay tuned for updates.
So, that’s a general overview of social media tools and outlets, and there is certainly more to share. The main point that I want you to walk away with here is that you want to be sure to choose the right mix of social media outlets that fit with your company’s message and branding. As always, you can feel free to give me a call at 615-336-4325, if you have any questions about how you can better utilize social media in your small business, and I’ll end part 2 of this series by asking: Have you tried any of these outlets, and what’s been your experience with them?
Kindra Cotton, Small Business Survival Specialist