This week, Alexandria SBDC staff had the opportunity to attend a conference organized by the Louisiana SBDC and America’s SBDC. The topic of focus was how SBDCs can better engage with younger entrepreneurs. One of the sessions was presented by Blair Broussard of ARPR and discussed how to incorporate social media into marketing and communications strategies. These strategies can be divided into six main categories:
- Executive Visibility
- Media Relations
- Content Marketing
- Staff & Membership Morale
In this two-part blog, we have outlined a few ways in which you can incorporate social media into executive visibility, media relations, and content marketing. We’ll be posting next week on using social media for events, recruitment, and staff & membership morale.
Many small business owners may not think of themselves as a marketing asset. However, potential clients often want to “know” the small business they’re working with, and the owner is the face of that business. Social media is a great way for business owners to be visible to their audiences. Make sure to have a good headshot, and use a picture of yourself on all of your social media channels. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with people and gives you the opportunity to highlight your accomplishments. Keep your profile updated, and engage with potential clients by sharing information. If you have been invited to speak at an event, make sure you have a social media plan in place to share your thoughts and connect with your audience. Any opportunity to promote yourself is also an opportunity to promote your business.
When it comes to sending press releases and trying to gain attention for your small business, social media can be a great tool to amplify your efforts. Reporters get a lot of email, sometimes thousands of messages a day. Because of this overwhelming amount of information, some turn to social media for story ideas. Follow the reporters you would like to target and begin interacting with them on Facebook and Twitter. Once you have built a relationship, tag them on interesting stories that are relevant to their media outlet. This relationship on social media may make them more likely to respond to more detailed stories or to cover your press releases.
In our increasingly competitive world, content marketing is a critical aspect of reaching you potential clients. Think of content marketing as the “free samples” of the business world. It establishes you as an authority in your field and makes your audience more likely to trust you when you pitch them to buy your products or services. Social media is a great way to increase the reach of your content marketing. Once you have created your content, whether that is a blog, a white paper, or a case study, you can use social media to distribute that content. Share a link to your blog on Facebook. Post your white paper on LinkedIn and ask your network to provide comments. Tweet a link to your case study and tag other businesses, consultants, or employees that were involved. All of these actions reach more people and get the word out about your business.
Check back next week for the second part of our social media marketing series!