20 Social Media Questions: Social Media IQ Quiz for Small Business Owners

Do you have a social media marketing plan for 2012?

Are you wondering if — and how — you should be using social media marketing to grow your business?

These 20 questions will help you get started with your social media marketing plan for 2012:

1. Do you have – or do you plan to develop – a comprehensive social media plan for your businesss?

2. How much time do you plan to allocate to social media marketing each week?

3. What is your monthly budget for social media?

4. Do you have a Facebook business page?

  • If so, have you created a custom welcome page?
  • Have you created an opt-in form on your Facebook page to collect names and email addresses of Facebook fans?
  • How frequently do you (or will you) post to your Facebook page?
  • How will you engage your Facebook fans through your Facebook page? What are the best kinds of information to share — and the best ways to share that information — through Facebook?

5. Have you claimed your Google Places page? Do you understand why you need to claim your Google Places page and how to complete your Google business profile to help you reach your target market?

6. Have you set up a Google Plus account? Do you have a Google Plus business page?

7. Have you set up a Google Plus business page? Do you know how Google Plus business pages differ from Facebook business pages?

  • See questions as 4a – 4d above as they relate to Google Plus.

8. Have you set up a LinkedIn account?

  • Have you joined any LinkedIn groups for purposes of growing your business?
  • Do you understand LinkedIn etiquette and how to use LinkedIn for networking?

9. Have you set up a Twitter account?

  • Will you link and automate your Twitter posts — or will your Twitter content differ from your Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and blog content?
  • Do you understand Twitter etiquette?

10. Have you created business profiles in at least 10 other local business directories? Have you set up your profiles to link back to your website?

11. Do you have a website with a built-in blog?

  • Do you blog regularly? How frequently?
  • What kind of content will you develop through your blog?
  • How will you structure your blog to cultivate relationships and convert prospects to customers?

12. Do you know what tools you can use to help you efficiently implement and manage your social media marketing campaigns?

13. Do you own a smartphone? Do you understand whether and how your target market is using smartphones and mobile phones to find and research competing businesses?

14. Do you know what a location-based check-in service is? Are you using services like Foursquare to encourage customers to check-in and raise awareness of your business within their circles of influence?

15. Do you use online services for special deals and coupons? (Groupon, Living Social, etc.)

16. Do you know what a QR code is?

  • Do you have a QR code? Do know how to use QR codes to promote your business?

17. Is your business listed on Yelp?

18. Do you have a plan and process for encouraging online reviews from your best customers?

  • Do you have a plan and process for letting prospects know how to find and read your online reviews?
  • Do you prefer to discourage online reviews because you are afraid they can damage your reputation?

19. Are you using video to promote your business?

  • How do customers and your target market find your videos?
  • Do you know how to optimize your videos to maximize your visibility online?

20. Are you interested in learning more about:

  • How to promote your business using social media?
  • How to set up your Facebook Business Page and use it effectively to grow your business?
  • How to make and post a video?
  • How to create and manage a blog?
  • How to set up and benefit from free business profiles on different social media sites?

What are your most pressing social media questions for 2012? Let me know – submit your questions and comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them in future posts.

Can Send Out Cards Build Your Business?

Are you using thank you notes, birthday cards, and greeting cards to build your business and cultivate a loyal following for your personal brand? The simple low tech thank you note and birthday card remains one of the most powerful, effective, and affordable business-building tools available to small business owners.

Make An Impact, Be Remembered, With a Simple Thank You Note

The powerful impact a simple thank you note can have is illustrated in this story that Jordan Adler shared in his weekly email message to members of his Send Out Cards team.

I frequently use a stock card in the Send Out Cards system to thank people for good service or a job-well-done. It is a green card with A+ on the front.

Nancy and I use toothpaste from Oxyfresh and I had received a forwarded postcard from Oxyfresh reminding me that it was time to reorder. Since we had moved and I needed to update my shipping information with them, I decided to call instead of ordering online.

A customer service rep answered the phone and was very polite and helpful. In addition, she gave me some product information that I needed and she offered to put a product catalog in with my order. I asked for her name and a mailing address at the company. After getting off the phone with her, I wrote a card to Richard Brooke, owner of the company, and told him what a pleasant experience it was dealing with the lady on the phone and told him what great customer service skills she had. I sent him a box of brownies and asked him to share them with her for her excellent service.

Today, I received a phone call from a tearful lady who thanked me profusely for my card. She told me that she had received a 30-day notice that she would be let go because she had made errors on orders in the past. Instead of being fired, today, she had received my card and brownies from Richard Brooke’s administrative assistant and had been told that she would not be let go. (Emphasis added.)

This day began with sadness, because I had just had our yellow lab put down due to failing health. My tears of sadness were replaced with tears of joy for this lady who would now have a happy Thanksgiving and Holiday Season.

Never doubt the power of a simple greeting card!

Can a $0.98 Investment Win You A Customer For Life?

In a world where communication increasingly happens through Facebook and email, a sincere, well-timed, heartfelt message delivered by U.S. mail in a greeting card can have a profound and memorable impact — and just might win you a customer for life, not to mention more referral business as well.

The Send Out Cards System makes it easy for you to create high quality, memorable, personalized greeting cards that will be delivered by mail, from the convenience of your home or office computer. Best of all, you will pay just $0.98 (plus postage) per greeting card using the Send Out Cards system — far less than what you will pay per greeting card from a retail store.

Make Someone’s Day: Click Here to Send a Free Greeting Card

Click the link above to try Send Out Cards yourself — and brighten someone’s day at the same time. Think of a customer you want to thank, or someone in your life who needs a word of appreciation or encouragement. Watch the video to see how the system works. Then click the link below the video to Send a Free Card using my account. (See illustration below.)

You’ll be taken to a page with thousands of greeting card options to choose from. There’s no catch, and no strings attached.

You can also subscribe to the Send Out Cards system for as little as $9.80 per month. That subscription option will let you send out 20 postcards or 10 greeting cards every month.

Send Out Cards Subscription Pricing

Send Out Cards Subscription Pricing

Linked In Connections

Sometimes I’m a little slow. I’ve been spending so much time posting and marketing on Facebook that I haven’t paid too much attention to LinkedIn as a marketing tool.

Linked In ConnectionsBut after realizing how many 2nd and 3rd degree connections I can reach using LinkedIn, I’m going to make a point of using my LinkedIn account more effectively to promote my website development, email marketing, web video and social media marketing services.

According to my LinkedIn profile, my 97 direct connections can help me reach as many as 1,442,000 users. (See illustration to the right.) If I can turn just 100 of these connections into happy clients for my website and internet marketing services, I will be a very happy camper!

LinkedIn Statistics

In case you don’t already know:

  • LinkedIn currently has 94 million users. 44 million of these are located in the United States.
  • The number of monthly visits to LinkedIn has doubled over the past year.
  • LinkedIn users are affluent: 60% have household incomes above $60,000; and 38% have household incomes above $100,000.

If you would like to reach more affluent prospects for your products and services, you will do well to learn how to use and leverate LinkedIn as a marketing tool.

Did you find this information helpful? You might also like these related posts:

What Every Local Business Owner Needs to Know About Smartphone Consumer Behavior
How to Grow Your Email List Faster With QR Codes
QR Codes for Local Businesses: The Smart Way to Reach Your Customers on Smart Phones
The Best Website Solution for Small Business Owners

How Consumers Use Smartphones: What Every Local Business Owner Needs to Know and Understand

How Consumers Use SmartphonesIf you are a local business owner, you need to pay attention to the mobile phone / smartphone revolution. Here’s why.

Google — the most-used search engine in the United States — recently interviewed 5,013 U.S. adults ages 18-64 to find out:

  • How consumers use smartphones in their daily lives
  • The kinds of information consumers search for using their smartphones
  • How smartphones influence buying decisions
  • How consumers multi-task with their smartphones
  • How consumers respond to mobile ads

Key Findings

Of special interest for small business owners, the report reveals that:

  • 81% of smartphone owners use their phones to browse the internet; and 77% access search engines (like Google) using their smartphones;
  • 89% use their smartphones to connect with others vie email and social networking sites;
  • 77% have contacted a local business after finding that business using their smartphones, and 44% have purchased from a local business as a result of information they found on their smartphones;
  • 88% acted within a day on information they found using their smartphones
  • 75% use their smartphones to get directions;
  • 46% visited retail websites using their smartphones;
  • 18% visited coupon websites using their smartphones;

What Does This Mean For You?

First, look up your own business on a smartphone, using keyword phrases like the products you sell combined with your location (i.e., insurance agency warrenton va, hair salon warrenton va).

Do you show up fast in search results? Are you happy with your search engine placement? (i.e., your position – ranking – in search engine results?

Does a “click to call” phone number show up for your business when you search for your business on a mobile phone?

Now, more than ever, you need to make your business findable via smartphone — and have a mobile-ready website in addition to your regular website (i.e., a streamlined website that is easy to navigate via mobile phone.)

What To Do Now

  • Claim your Google Places business profile. Make sure your Google Places page is optimized and complete. It’s easy to mess up your Google Places profile when you don’t know what you are doing. Email me or call (540) 937-7234 for expert help to make sure you do it right.
  • qr codes on business cards

    Print your custom qr code on your business cards

  • Consider moving your website to the SmallBiz WordPress Theme — a specially-designed software package that includes a built-in mobile website builder. Email me or call (540) 937-7234 for more information about the Small Biz WordPress Theme and how it can help your business.
  • Consider getting a QR code and putting it on your business cards, brochures, print ads and other print marketing materials.

Read the Full Report

Click here to view or download Google’s full report about consumer smartphone behavior.

The Money is in Your Email List: Grow Your Email List Faster With QR Codes

Many small business owners are scrambling to figure out how to use Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and other social media to market their business.

The problem is, social media engagement can distract you from the more important and essential marketing tasks of:

  1. developing a website that works, and
  2. using your website as a marketing tool to grow your email list.

Email Signup FormA targeted email list is the least expensive and most effective way you can follow up with customers regularly. With a targeted email list, you can:

  1. Announce your latest products and services;
  2. Direct the people on your list to pages on your website where they can learn more about the features and benefits of what you do and what you sell;
  3. Send people on your list to an online shop where they can buy more now;
  4. Include links to downloadable coupons;
  5. Send readers to an engaging web video link, where they can learn more about the benefits and features of a product or service you are selling.

The Easiest Way to Grow Your Email List: QR Codes

qr codes on business cards

Print your custom qr code on your business cards

The problem is, getting people to sign up for your email list usually requires that they be in front of a computer.

QR codes solve that problem: Now you can print a QR code on a business card or brochure. When you hand it out to prospects and customer, simply ask them to scan the QR code with their smart phones, and they can be taken instantly to a web form where they can sign up for your email list on the spot.

If they don’t have a smart phone with a QR Code scanner already uploaded, you can let them use your own smart phone to access your email sign-up form.

The Best QR Code System: Click Here

To learn why email is such a powerful marketing tool for your business, watch this video.