Social Media Examiner (SME) hosted an online webinar yesterday and described how 9 small businesses are attracting thousands of visitors and, in some cases, millions of dollars in revenue. Most of them have only been at it for two or three years. I have to say I was more than impressed.
Social Marketing Makes Dollars and Sense
In the opening slide, we learned why social media is essential for any business.
My key takeaways from the presentation were:
- Give away free content. I’m not talking about the content of your blogs. But useful stuff like Ana White, Carpenter, does — diagrams and detailed instructions, for example, about how to build a cabinet.
- Use very personalized images. In most cases, the business owners had several informal shots of themselves sprinkled throughout the site — with their spouses, holding their dogs, etc.. Photos give you an emotional connection with your visitors.
- Create and empower your community. For example, run a contest to engage your readers. If you have a photography business, you could invite your audience to submit their best photos, select winners and post them on your site.
- Enable readers to share your content. Be sure to prominently display social media buttons for social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ so that your followers can share your content with their followers, potentially drawing many more visitors to your site.
- Leverage social proof. If you have impressive followings on Twitter and Facebook put those numbers up on your site. Include testimonials.
- Choose the channels that work best for you. If you’re a small business, it takes time to be active on every social network. Experiment and see where you should place your focus. You don’t have to be everywhere.
I liked that he showcased offbeat companies such as Easy Lunch Boxes and Orabush tongue cleaner (don’t laugh, he’s raking in the money). I concluded from the presentation you never know when an simple idea will turn into a profitable business.
At the conclusion of the seminar, Michael Steltzner, founder and CEO of SME, summed up the key lessons in this slide: