I was listening to a great webinar last night with Social Media Examiner’s Michael Stelzner (one of my favorite blogs), and the amazing Mari Smith, Queen of Facebook and social media marketing. They talked about 9 different companies who were doing social media right. 73% of businesses plan to increase their use of Facebook, YouTube and blogging according to the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.
This is particularly true with small businesses. One reason : Social media cuts down on traditional advertising costs.
Below are a few tips that small business owners should consider implementing on their blogs.
1. Make sure your social media buttons are visible above the fold of the blog.
Above the fold means what you see before you have to scroll down. With many people using small net books or mobile phones, it is best to place your icons near the top of the blog either in the right sidebar or on the header. This includes your RSS feed, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, YouTube (if you have videos), and Flickr (if you feature many photos. Some people add Digg, Stumbleupon and Delicious, although Mari mentioned she does not bother much with social bookmarking.
One business had its phone number as a page name on the navigation bar that clicks to a contact page. Very clever!
2. Always include your Facebook Page by using the Facebook Like Box Social Plugin that you get directly from Facebook, with your entire stream, preferably.
To install it on WordPress, enter your Facebook Page URL and copy the XFBML code to one of your text widgets. Place it on your sidebar.
3. Add photos and videos to personalize your business and keep people on your blog longer.
All you need is a Flip Cam. Interact with customers, do demonstrations, educate, have fun.
4. Include your Twitter feed.
You can customize a widget box to match the colors in your blog by using the official Twitter widget.
5. Engage your readers by being creative.
Even the most traditional business can incorporate social media to stand out from the rest of their competitors. Don’t just be any old plumber. Be a networking superstar plumber.
How are you using social media on your blog to engage potential clients and retain your customers? Please share what you are doing that is working by leaving a comment.