Monday, December 27, 2010

Establishing a Social Media Business Plan

By Frank DeVito

When it comes to marketing your business you need to make sure that you have a solid business plan in place prior to starting. Having a well thought out business plan not only will save you time and money but it will help you qualify what your goals are.

When developing your plan you need to consider the mindset of your prospects, what your competition is doing and what your personal and business strengths and weaknesses are along with any opportunities that you may be able to take advantage up.

As part of your plan, consider the attributes of your prospects, your competition, and your business' strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Using social media can be much more effective and much less expensive for small businesses than traditional marketing methods, so consider the full-range of social media marketing channels for your business.

Now a days not only do you want an attractive business website you'll also want to consider adding a blog to enhance the availability of information and help engage your customers and attract new prospects. You want to add quality content, and post information as needed. Doing this will help you to be perceived as a leader that your potential clients will want to turn to when they need information about the products or services that you offer. There were numerous social media marketing sites out there which include platforms such as YouTube Twitter and Facebook. Using these social media sites will not only help you grow your business but would also help you save money since most of them are free.

Not only does Facebook have over 500 million users it has numerous widgets that' will allow you to target paid advertising to just prospects most likely be interested in your business. It's easy to control your advertising spend with their built-in budget monitor. It is also recommended that you set up a free business page that you can use to attract potential customers to your page and update these people with photos, videos discussions and even webinars.

With Twitter, you can follow and "listen" to customers and prospects and learn what their concerns are, giving you valuable marketing information. You can also tweet on behalf of your business, and develop your own list of followers who may be interested in your promotions. With its start as a business networking platform, LinkedIn might be the ideal social media marketing platform for you. You can connect with business associates, update them with your relevant statuses, and you can also join groups that share your business interests and which can be a source of leads. Many people prefer watching to reading, and YouTube lets you promote your business through videos at no charge. Imagine the power of presenting your products or services to prospects you've never even met, any time of the night or day?

Another technique is joining forums. By becoming a valued member that adds quality information about the products and services that relate to the forum you're able to become an authority in a short amount of time. Today there are so many other avenues to market your business other than the old traditional methods. These new methods not only can help your business grow but decrease your marketing costs since most of social media services are free.

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