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Sales & Marketing

42 Posts authored by: SBC Team

by Mari Smith

 

With the recent security attack on millions of Facebook accounts, it’s vital that you tighten up your own account security if you haven’t already. Facebook offers a variety of settings to help protect your account from potential risks.

 

In this video guide, I walk you through the specific recommended settings you should review on a regular basis to ensure the maximize security of your Facebook account to protect your personal information and your business information.

 

If access to your Facebook account was compromised, you can imagine the ramifications could be detrimental. That is, both from a personal reputation standpoint and possibly from a business standpoint. It behooves you to very carefully protect your Facebook login and account security so you maintain control.

 

Navigate to Settings, then Security and Login. Then go through the various settings, specifically:

 

  • Change your password
  • Set up two-factor authentication. If you prefer not to submit your mobile phone number, you can use an Authentication app. Follow the on screen instructions. You can even add a backup option such as a Security Key and/or Recovery Codes.
  • Choose three to five friends to add as your trusted contacts
  • Review your authorized logins
  • Set up alerts

 

Also, review the Apps and Websites section and Business Integrations sections to ensure you’re happy with any and all authorizations there. Many apps you use for your business page will need to remain connected to your Facebook account. For example, I use the live streaming apps BeLive.tv and BlueJeans on a regular basis so they stay connected.

 

All these settings mentioned above can be accessed via desktop or mobile.

 

Always keep in mind that you should never share any highly sensitive information through Facebook such as your social security number, bank information, mother’s maiden name, or even your full birthdate or home address.

 

As a best practice, regularly review your Facebook security and login settings along with your privacy settings and authorized apps. This should help give you peace of mind as you go about using Facebook for both personal and business purposes.

 

 

Transcript

Mari Smith:         Hello there. It's Mari Smith here, Premiere Facebook Marketing Expert. Coming to you in the Bank of America Small Business Community. I want to make sure that you know exactly where to find the settings to secure your Facebook account. You do have control over numerous settings, and we want to make sure that nobody ever has access to your account if you can possibly help it. There's been some challenges lately with some Facebook security breaches, and in this video I'm going to walk you through where to find those settings on desktop and on mobile. Very, very important that you take control of those settings.

Mari Smith:         How to Secure Your Facebook Account, An Important Guide for Users and Businesses. Because, we're all users here, and we're all businesses as well. I'm going to walk you through it in a moment, I'll just show you on this slide. Security and login. Set up your two factor authentication. Consider changing your password if you haven't changed it in a while. Review authorized logins, and set up alerts about unrecognized logins. I really like that one. It's going to text you a message if you've ever got unauthorized login.

Mari Smith:         In those separate settings we're going to look at reviewing apps and websites that are currently logged in with Facebook. Then the final one, reviewing any business integrations.

Mari Smith:         All right, so hop over first to desktop, and on your profile or anywhere as long as you've got the blue bar, it doesn't matter where you're looking. It could be on your homepage, but what we're mainly going to look for is this little blue triangle at the top. Click that, and look at settings. You probably know that already, but here's how you get to your settings, and up in the top left we want to tap on security and login.

Thumb.jpgMari Smith:         Basically just working our way from top to bottom, if you want to, you can set up three to five friends to help you if you get locked out of your account. "Recommend to everyone," says Facebook. Then you can look at where you're logged in right now. If you see, you can see expand that. If you see any strange devices or locations that you should not be logged in as, you want to go ahead and you can either log out of all sessions, or you can tap the little three dots and say logout. Or, if it's not you, you want to let Facebook know that. For the most part you should be fine there with your devices, but definitely want to check that.

Mari Smith:         Here's where you change your password. If you have not changed your password in, I would say six months, or certainly a year. If it's been a year since you changed your password, well, well time for you to change it. Now, ideally super cryptic. I always say to people if you can remember your password, it is not cryptic enough. Clicking on edit in here, it will ask you to put your ... A little jumpy on me there. Current password, and then a new one. If you ... It's funny, if you forgot your password, you wouldn't be logged in.

Mari Smith:         You can also set this one up, which is login with your profile picture. You can do that on some devices. But, this is the main one right here that I want to make sure that you have, is logging in with two factor authentication. You set that up with a code from your phone. I think that's really one of the most secure ways to make sure you set your Facebook account. Then, I also want you to look at who right now is authorized logins. Again, same idea. You want to check all these. Oh my goodness, we've got a lot there. A lot there that I need to actually review myself. Those are all my iPad, or my Mac Book, or old phones. You probably want to actually un-log, log those out, okay? I can see I've got homework here to do too.

Mari Smith:         You could use app passwords if you want to. That's something that only works on some apps. You can use specific passwords instead of using your Facebook password to login. That's something you can check in on that. Here's one I mentioned that's really important, I recommend you have that on. You're getting alerts if there's any unrecognized login ever. Facebook will actually let you know by text message if someone's trying to login from a browser, or a device that you don't use. That's another layer of security. There they are reiterating the three to five friends down here, okay? That's it for now, you don't need anything else on that page.

Mari Smith:         Then over here I recommended two more settings. You've got apps and websites. Click on that. This is just going to let you know, way back earlier in 2018 here, Facebook really cleaned all this up, made it much easier for us to navigate. You should find that any, any apps in here are ones that you actually use, and you're happy for them to have access, and be logged in. If you haven't used them in about 30 days, Facebook will go ahead and expire them for you. It even keeps a list of the removed ones for you. You want to just keep an eye on that regular basis. Maybe once a quarter or so, come in here and go ahead and let's say, "Okay I no longer want Airbnb." I just check that, and I can hit remove, okay?

Mari Smith:         Then the third area to check is business integrations. This is similar to the apps and websites, but integrations with Facebook so that it can post on your behalf, things like that. Here's BeLive, I go live regularly on my page, and I use BeLive, different apps like that. Lots of different apps in here. Mobile Monkeys, my Chat Bot app that I use, Agora Pulse is the app that I use for community management. Lots of different apps in here that you just, you have to have them if you want to be able to operate on Facebook as a business for sure.

Mari Smith:         But, I want to make you aware of where to find those settings so that you can just keep a better eye on things, and make sure that you have full control. Then, let me bring up my phone because I want to show you, maybe you're doing everything by mobile and you're the type of person that just prefers mobile, and that's fine. You can go and pull up your Facebook. Similarly, it's the three little bars at the very bottom right. Tap on that. Scroll down until you get to settings right here. Tap that. Then you'll see, very similar to desktop, here is security and login. Tap that. Similarly, there's your login, there's your two factor authentication, extra security and so on. There are different settings in there. Then these ones right here, apps and websites. Then business integration, so you can do everything from your mobile device very, very easily.

Mari Smith:         Okay, hopefully that is helpful for you because sometimes it's just not obvious where to find these different settings, and what buttons mean when you press on them. But, hopefully you've gotten some value there. Make sure you go and review your security settings on your Facebook account. If you have any questions at all, reach out. I'd be to happy to help. Bye for now.

The Small Business Owners Guide to Social Media 65% of American adults use a social networking site, according to the Pew Research Center

 

This collection of articles seeks to help entrepreneurs understand social media and capture the attention of their target audiences. Whether you're curious about which platform is best for you, how social advertising works, or how to better engage and grow your audience, our small business experts provide specific insights that are applicable to nearly every industry.

 

Whether you’re new to social media or you’re an expert, download this guide (PDF) to help you grow your business.

Up to 30 percent of a company’s sales come from the holidays, according to the National Retail Federation. With so much on the line, it pays for small businesses to be prepared for this busiest season of the year. Take a look at the following infographic to see how much money is being spent, on what kinds of goods and services, and what you can do to be ready when customers are most likely to shop.

 

Holiday_Selling_Infographic.gif

 

Click here to download a PDF of this infographic.

 

 

Keywords: holiday selling, holiday sales, sales and marketing, sales tips

Tax-Tips-Thumb.png Our new guide will help explain how data can enhance your customer experience and inform your marketing efforts. Also included: a brief overview on current software programs that are available to help you crunch the numbers.

 

Click here to read the "Turning Data Into Profits" whitepaper (PDF).

Marketing-Thumb.pngIncrease engagement with customers – old and new – by making your business mobile friendly. Check out our new infographic, Make Your Business Mobile, to see how you can better position your company for the future.


Click here to view the infographic.  


You can also download a PDF version for
printing by clicking here.


Loyalty_thumb.pngBuilding relationships with your customers is essential for any small business owner. Read our new guide to learn how you can better engage your customers and increase brand awareness through loyalty programs.

 

Click here to download the Small Business Guide to Customer Loyalty Programs (PDF).

 


Shoestring_Marketing_Thumb.gifMaximize Your Marketing Dollars

 

Small businesses rarely have big budgets for marketing, but there are several low-cost (and even no-cost) things you can do to get your company noticed.  A small investment of your time can reap big rewards.

 

Click here to view the content marketing infographic.


Click here for a downloadable, printable version (PDF).



Content-Thumb.gifKnowing what content marketing is, how it works, which types work best, and how to extend and amplify your message across multiple platforms can have a big impact on your business. Here's how.

 

Click here to view the content marketing infographic.

 

Click here for a downloadable, printable version (PDF).

Marketing-Guide.pngAs a small business owner, you need to market your company to its full potential. But in today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving landscape, that can be challenging. Find out how you can get the most out of your advertising dollar with our new guide, Successfully Marketing Your Growing Business.

 

Click here to download the guide "Successfully Marketing Your Growing Business"

Marketing-Effectiveness-Thumb.gif As a growing business, you are in the perfect position to reach the right audience at the right time and in the right situation. Find out how to make the most of every advertising dollar you spend in “Marketing Effectiveness,” the fourth guide in our “Leveling the Playing Field Against Larger Corporations” series.

 

Click here to download the PDF guide "Leveling the Playing Field: Marketing Effectiveness"

 

 

Click here to read all four of the Leveling the Playing Field Against Larger Corporations guides.

Competition-Thumbnail.jpgWant to compete with larger businesses? In our upcoming series of guides, we’ll help you make the most of your opportunities in these four areas:

  • Attracting and Retaining Top Talent
  • Business Operations
  • Supply Chain Operations
  • Marketing Effectiveness

 

Click here to view the Leveling the Playing Field Against Larger Corporations infographic.

This article was originally posted by Iron Summit Media Strategies.

 

social-media-mosaic.jpg

Greetings Bank of America Small Business Community. My name is David Miller and I am the owner of a small digital marketing agency based out of Orlando, Florida. We get asked about effective social media marketing a lot, and decided that we would share some of our tips with the community. This was originally posted to our blog, but we repackaged it specifically for the BoA community forums. We hope you get some value out of this article, and if you have any questions you can feel free to contact us through our website.

 

It has been shown that using social media as a way to promote your business can be very beneficial. A strong social presence can do many good things for a business such as: building and maintaining brand awareness, improving search engine rankings,  increasing brand loyalty, bringing in referral traffic, and much more.

 

Since social media is such a hot topic in today’s marketplace, we wanted to share with you some helpful tips that will help you enhance your business with social media. The following tips are things that we share with our very own clients, and if followed, are the beginnings to a top-notch social media marketing strategy.

 

Tip #1: Have Consistent, Properly Sized Profile Pictures and Cover Photos

 

When it comes to your company profiles, make sure all of the images are sized property. Having stretched out or squished profile pictures and background photos portray a negative image.

 

If you’re having trouble making the images look good, the best thing you can do is resize images properly before you upload them.

 

We use this handy cheat sheet for sizing up photos social networks, and we recommend that you use it too!

 

If you don’t have the know-how or correct program to re-size images on your own, find someone who does. Maybe someone on staff, a friend, Or a hired professional can help!

 

good-social-example.jpg

- An example of a well-built Facebook profile

 

 

Tip #2: Never Stop Building Connections

 

With social media, the ‘if you build it, they will come’ mentality is a flawed way of thinking. Just because your handful of company profiles look great doesn’t mean potential customers will come flocking to your pages.

 

In order to succeed in social media, you need to have connections. Building connections can be difficult at first, but you need to get creative with it, and you need to keep doing it. It helps if you’re already active on a social network personally, that way you can leverage your current connections as potential connections for your new business profiles.

 

After you’ve tapped out any source of connections, keep looking for new ones. Have links and sharable content on your company website, promote your social profiles in your store, on your products, and on printed materials, and provide incentives for people to connect with you. Here is your chance to get creative: offer deals, hold contests, and most importantly – create awesome content that is worth viewing/sharing.

 

Once you’ve built up a good number of connections on any network, don’t stop!

 

Okay, so I’ve built my social media profiles, and I have some connections, now what?

 

Tip #3: Utilize Social Media by Posting Useful, Interesting, and Engaging Content

 

851581_371114989659302_1663619632_n.pngWe touched on this in the previous tip, but this the most important aspect of making social media work for a business. When it comes to posting content, make it useful. Here are some examples of useful content:

 

  • Sharing information about an upcoming deal/sale
  • Responding to a customer who posted on your profile or mentioned your company
  • Helping a client with a problem (feedback)
  • Something interesting that promotes your product/service (funny, exciting, thought-provoking)
  • Sharing important updates about your product/service (i.e. introducing a new product line)
  • Communicating a change in your company to customers (i.e. special holiday hours)

 

Whatever you do, don’t beg your fans or followers to share your content, and don’t guilt them into doing anything. This is a great way to lose customers.

 

If you are using your social pages to promote your business, communicate with customers, attract new business, and promote repeat business, then you will begin to unlock the value in social media marketing. A common pitfall for many companies is that they go into the social media world with the plan to setup their profiles and then build connections, but they don’t have any plans after that.

 

If you don’t plan to utilize your social networks as a marketing channel, setting them up in the first place won’t be worth the time investment.

 

Tip #4: Be Careful with Controversy

 

social_hero.pngThere are a few examples where companies have benefitted from taking sides on a controversial issue, but we generally recommend (especially for small, local businesses) that you stay away from controversial topics. In your personal life you may feel strongly about something, but using your business social profiles to take sides on an issue can do more harm than good. If you’re ever in a position where you want to leverage your business connections to promote a controversial viewpoint, ask yourself if you’re willing to lose or alienate an entire consumer demographic. Be careful.

 

Tip #5: Track Results

 

There are a number of tools that you can use to track the results of your social media initiatives. Some tools are built-in, like Facebook’s build-in analytics tools. Google Analytics can show you how many website hits you are getting from social media referrals. There are also some free tools like SharedCount that can give you some sharing statistics. Use data to your advantage! Track the effectiveness of your posts, and test out new ideas!

 

Closing Remarks

 

Social media can be a powerful tool for promoting your business, but only if you go in with a plan in mind. Sure you can build a great looking profile, and get a bunch of followers, but if you don’t use it as a tool to communicate with customers then all of the work you put in will be for nothing.

 

If you aren’t utilizing social media at all, it is worth putting in some time to learn the ropes, at least to understand what is going on. After that, if you plan to tackle the social media beast yourself then there are a tons of good resources out there for you to take advantage of. Otherwise, there are plenty of professional companies, like our digital marketing agency, that can manage social media marketing for you.

 

David Miller is the co-founder of Iron Summit Media Strategies – an Orlando based digital marketing agency.

Recently, Steve Strauss (the community’s resident Small Business Expert) conducted a live Twitter event titled “The Power of Networking”.  We thought the rest of the Small Business Community would find this information useful and informative as well, so below is the complete transcripts from this live Twitter event.  Enjoy!

 

 

Steve-Strauss-in-article.jpgTWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

The Power of Networking #smallbiz chat is starting now w/ #BofA and @stevestrauss. Use #sbcommunity to participate

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Welcome to the Power of Networking Twitter chat brought to you by Bank of America’s Small Business Community #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

I’m Steve Strauss, a contributor to #BofA’s Small Business Community and small business subject matter expert #Spon #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

My co-host today is Mary Bintz who will be tweeting from the @BofA_News handle #sbcommunity #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

Hello @SteveStrauss! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Great to see you Joel @franchiseking! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

Excited to be joining the #sbcommunity chat with @stevestrauss & @bofA_news starting NOW.

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

I am now on the #sbcommunity chat with @stevestrauss & @bofA_news starting NOW. Use hashtag #sbcommunity to join!

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Hi @Rieva - Great to see you #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Over the next hour we’ll discuss how networking amongst small business owners can help your small business succeed #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

Hello @barrymoltz #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

Hi everyone. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

In addition we will talk a bit about the new Small Business Community bought to you by @BofA_News #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

Hello @Rieva ! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

Welcome @rieva @franchiseking @barrymoltz - thanks for joining the chat #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

Im tweeting from my office at Whitaker's Landscaping http://t.co/15jGmzyM

#sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

@FranchiseKing hey Joel. Steve #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@BofA_News great to be here, thanks for having me #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

We’ll also share networking best practices and tips for what might help your business #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

And hello also to my pal @BarryMoltz - thanks for joining us today

#sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@SteveStrauss thanks for having me Steve #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

You got it. I'm now an active member on your community site. Answering #franchise questions @BofA_News #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

To interact with us during this chat – and to answer questions that we are asking – please use the hashtag #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

Hey @ramonray #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

@BofA_News Thanks. glad to be here today #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Additionally Mary, tweeting from, @BofA_News and I will be happy to answer any small business-related questions #sbcommunity #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@FranchiseKing good to see we have the best for #franchise questions #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

  1. Great......always looking for great ideas to help our business #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

And hello also to @RamonRay #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Let’s get started with our first topic – understanding your current networking practices!

#sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

@barrymoltz can you call me after the chat? See we're networking #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

Let’s get started! Take it away @stevestrauss with our first topic – understanding your current networking practices! #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: SOCIALSITEMEDIA

Hello Everyone! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Question #1 – Do you currently network with other small business owners to share share/offer industry best practices? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

I really think that networking is a skill you and your business can’t afford to be without. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

A peer group can act as an informal board of directors and an opportunity for real-world experience sharing. #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@SteveStrauss A1. yes, I think social media makes it easy to share best practice info links and ideas #1 #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@BofA_News A lot of people have formal or informal mastermind groups #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

Since so many things are online now, there's "virtually" no excuse to not network, @SteveStrauss #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Social media has changed so many things, including best practices #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@FranchiseKing I agree Joel #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Barry - you have a mastermind group as I recal, is that right? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

Q#1 I think networking is so important. both on a local, national & global basis #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

@barrymoltz Yes. 87% of SMBs say SoMe is somewhat or very helpful to their org. @Vocus @ducttape study #sbcommunity

 

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@Hoovers yes so easy to network with SHARE buttons everywhere #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

Welcome @ramonray - thanks for joining #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

The thing is - no longer is networking just handing 1 business card to 1 person - its handing 1tweet to 1000 people #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

.@SteveStrauss Social media does make it easier, but some use that as an excuse to not GO somewhere #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: LENNTV

#sbcommunity virtual networking is great, but in my experience it's just as important to meet your clients face to face whenever possible.

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

SBOs can use #BofA’s Small Business Community to learn how to improve their biz from other SBOs http://t.co/mdFvhPhj #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: BRANDONSONOFOLE

@Rieva Completely agree. I fall into that same habit or mindset. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@SteveStrauss so does it mean that our networking has to be more deliberate cuz its amplified by SoMe? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

That is an interesting statistic @Hoovers. Where did you get that? 87% is high, and great #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RAMONRAY

a firm hand shake or more is the best way for genuine - know, like, trust #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

Social Media has made it possible to have folks like @Rieva @BarryMoltz @RamonRay IN my network. Important- we've met in person #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

Nope nothing replaces this! RT @Lenntv: #sbcommunity virtual networking is great, but it's as important to meet your clients face to face

 

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

@Rieva Interestingly enough, SMBs aiming to build a large but unengaged audience think SoMe is most helpful. @Vocus @ducttape #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

I think the power of networking online is that you can meet people you would not normally meet. @Rieva taught me that! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

Easy mistake RT @Hoovers: @Rieva SMBs aiming to build a large but unengaged audience think SoMe is helpful. @Vocus @ducttape #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

We all do. It's hard to drag yourself to an event, but it's really important. Face 2 face counts @BrandonSonofOle #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

but networking and social media is a great way to get your name out to so many more people #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

Nothing replaces face to face RT @tomfrancoeur: RT @ramonray: a firm hand shake is the best way for genuine - know, like, trust #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

And the thing is, another important thing is to turn that online biz connection to a business relationship - as @RamonRay says #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

then when you get to have a face to face with the customer #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Topic/Question #2 – Do you find more success when networking with SBOs locally or on a national/international scale? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

Yes, THAT was fun @SteveStrauss #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

#BofA’s SBC can connect you with SBOs nationwide – it’s a great way to expand your daily face-to-face networking #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@SteveStrauss A2 I think the best success is using SoMe or email to start or extend the relationship #2 #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

@SteveStrauss: Link to @Vocus @ducttape #SMB social media study: http://t.co/rexjahYt #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

Networking used to be 85% local. Now, it's only 10%. My clients are all over the US and Canada #2 #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

Why are most small business owners reluctant to network, market and promote? How do we change this? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@FranchiseKing yes, with @SmallTownRules geography is meaningless ! #2 #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Yes @adelewhit, in the end, you have to meet face to face, although I didnt meet my editor at usatoday for 5 years #sbcommunity

 

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Linking up with other SBOs willing to offer advice, no matter where they are, is important when sourcing new opportunities #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@SteveStrauss after a relationship is started, it really can be strengthened IRL #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@SteveStrauss SBOs and all of us are afraid of rejection! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

And, meeting the @USAToday editor in person still worked out? LOL @SteveStrauss #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: LPT

@barrymoltz @rieva @ramonray @shashib - ditto on the #sbcommunity chat comments about F2F. Met all of you online 1st, but mtg offline was +1

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

I think for many SB owners, they do what they do and it takes time to network or learn something new, what do you think? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

for me natl works best but it depends on what you do, where your customers are @SteveStrauss #2 #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

Welcome to this powerful chat, @shashib #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BRANDONSONOFOLE

Gr8 question! RT @Ogoing: Why are most small business owners reluctant to network, market and promote? How do we change this? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

Welcome to the chat. Thanks for your support, @TheWindowGenie #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

Don’t forget to think about networking locally before you network nationally & globally – take care of your base! #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@LPT I rmember the great food in Austin with you! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

I saw a statistic from the B of A Small Business Owner Report that said that 75% of SBOs find networking as their best tool #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: SOCIALSITEMEDIA

A2: In today's economy, people prefer local IF they are gonig to get the best product/service. Can't forget where you started. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

and word of mouth too. Word of mouth is so different these days - a retweet is word of mouth today #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

@SteveStrauss @Ogoing SMB owners wear a lot of hats--it's hard to find time to network. The reason for increased SoMe interest? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

I think part of it is making the time. @SteveStrauss @barrymoltz #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: SHASHIB

@FranchiseKing Yes as soon as I saw my bulb glowing without switching on I knew #sbcommunity is a powerful chat

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Yes @Hoovers, online networking can save a lot of time - OR waste a lot of time! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

Very True!@ RT @SocialSiteMedia: A2: people prefer local IF they are going to get the best product. Can't forget where u start. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: SHASHIB

@LPT Greetings! Hope you are doing well #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

@SteveStrauss Yup. Busy running their business. But few realize that they have to grow. May be they are content with profits? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

Good one! #green @shashib #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RAMONRAY

I find many small biz are focused on the NEXT SALE they don't think of long term relationships - #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@Ogoing they get trapped in doing the work, but not having a systematic marketing strategy #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

@barrymoltz How do we change their thinking? Many consider marketing as an unnecessary expense, and are not willing to spend. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Its like the e-myth wisdom - you need to work ON your business not just IN your business #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

Truthat @ramonray #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

Some people are shy too #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

They need to get unstuck #barrymoltz #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RAMONRAY

"systematic marketing strategy" - that is the key @ducttape and @Infusionsoft preach this all the time #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@SteveStrauss yes, I call it Breaking the Double Helix Trap #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

True that! RT @SteveStrauss: Its like the e-myth wisdom - you need to work ON your business not just IN your business #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@SteveStrauss yes, we all get stuck now and then! #barrymoltz #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Joel -is this true for franchisees too? @franchiseking #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

Franchisees need to focus on local. Period. @SteveStrauss #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@FranchiseKing interesting how some people are more shy online than IRL #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Topic/Question #3 – Having a business mentor is a great way to get ahead. Who do you turn to for mentorship? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: LPT

@Hoovers @SteveStrauss @Ogoing - just used that "lots of hats" analogy in my post earlier today! http://t.co/nCS6yevn #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Mentors have made a huge difference in my business. Some of the folks here have mentored me in fact #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: GETHOOPLA

So true! RT @ramonray: I find many small biz are focused on the NEXT SALE they don't think of long term relationships - #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@SteveStrauss If you talk to folks about your biz, mentors I believe come forward to help! #3 #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

In my experience, mentoring through #BofA’s SBC has proven effective and rewarding. http://t.co/SkU8dpkG #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

I have had different mentors at different times. but it alsways seemed organic. I never planned it. You? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

times have changed and if we don't adapt we will disappear. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

Source: twitter.com, Posted on: Sep 20, 2012 06:25 PM by barrymoltz

A3 I am lucky to have @Rieva as one of my mentors! @SteveStrauss #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RAMONRAY

MENTORS: @normbrodsky @yacovw - they have helped me grow - one by reading him the other by frequent meetings #sbcommunity

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

A3: A great mentor teaches us to ask all the right questions. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

But I also know that finding a mentor can also come by having the chutzpah to ask someone whom you admire to mentor you #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RAMONRAY

There is a difference between MENTORS and PEERS - both are important yet different - #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@Hoovers a mentor helps us also question our answers #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: SOCIALSITEMEDIA

A3: Mentor(s) are everywhere...you need just one. Reading industry blogs are a great way to find knowledgeable info. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@ramonray can a mentor be a peer? I think so #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

How did you get those mentors @RamonRay? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

Aw shucks. RT @FranchiseKing: RT @barrymoltz: A3 I am lucky to have @Rieva as one of my mentors! @SteveStrauss #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

@SteveStrauss I agree a good mentor opens your eyes to many possibilities

#sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: SOCIALSITEMEDIA

A3: **don't need just one. Oops! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

I know someone who uses LinkedIn to find both mentors and business. All you have to do is ask sometimes #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

Here's a small business owner, an experienced Los Angeles Tax Attorney, who is networking and growing. http://t.co/Shqf0oXX #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

"A mentor is someone who sees more talent & ability within you, than you see in yourself, & helps bring it out." ~ Bob Proctor #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

+10 RT @barrymoltz: @Hoovers a mentor helps us also question our answers #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

@Rieva @FranchiseKing @barrymoltz @SteveStrauss Cool! Rieva rocks #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BRANDONSONOFOLE

Would you say that's cuz they're truly interested in our success? MT @barrymoltz: A mentor helps us also question our answers #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

Source: twitter.com, Posted on: Sep 20, 2012 06:29 PM by adelewhit

does anyone use the sight http://t.co/Ph2CZbew? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

How have mentors helped you? For me it was both how to look at things AND introductions/advice #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@BrandonSonofOle mentors question us because it is hard for us to do it honestly ourselves #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

  1. Thanks. I so appreciate that @Ogoing #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

welcome @LN_Bikes to our chat! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: SHASHIB

He knows me well RT @FranchiseKing: RT @Rieva: Some people are shy too - Like @shashib #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@SteveStrauss mentors help me look at things I am uncomfortable looking at #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

Mentors have helped me by offering suggestions that are way, way, out of box. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

@SteveStrauss @BrandonSonofOle @barrymoltz @Hoovers How do you find that really good one mentor? It's hard to find that person. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

@shashib you are the LEAST shy person #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

That sounds like my wife! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: SOCIALSITEMEDIA

A3: Mentors are so important to SB owners. It's scary out there and mine has always done a good job of keeping me focused. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@ramonray I am a fan of @Normbrodsky #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: TOMFRANCOEUR

@stevestrauss Strategy. That's where I've gotten the most help from mentors. #sbcommunity.

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

I also find that mentors open doors #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

or nag RT @barrymoltz: @BrandonSonofOle mentors question us because it is hard for us to do it honestly ourselves #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

Mentors helped me realize that I have good ideas and helped keep me focused

#sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

@Ogoing Determine what you're looking for in a mentor (expertise, geo, experience, influence), research candidates on LinkedIn. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Question #4 – Do you use social media sites to network and learn from other small businesses? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

Don't be shy about asking someone you respect to be your mentor. You can also consider using SM to connect, ie LinkedIn #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@SteveStrauss A4 yes all the time, SoMe opens up access that would not otherwise be there #4 #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Among other things social networks can help you find the proper talent for your small business #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: SHASHIB

#sbcommunity Having a Small Business Advisory Board is also a good idea for a small business #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@BofA_News yes, but you have to get the free vs fee thing straight with a mentor early on #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

yes and it has opened my customer base #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

The recent Small Biz Owner Report showed only 28% of SBOs used social media to connect w/ other small biz #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

Check out @Aileron_org RT @shashib: #sbcommunity Having a Small Business Advisory Board is also a good idea #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

Yes, Twitter is my personal favorite @SteveStrauss #4 #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

@BofA that is crazy #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: SOCIALSITEMEDIA

A4: @SteveStrauss Everyday! That's the beauty of social media; it's one big, open community just waiting for you to interact. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

The recent Small Biz Owner Report showed only 28%of SBOs used social media to connect w/ other small biz #sbcommunity ^MB #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: LPT

@SteveStrauss - even advice I disagreed with from a mentor was helpful once. helped me solidify my own career philosophy. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

@SteveStrauss Our business is social media. We use it for networking, marketing, learning and growing! It works! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

A4: Currently, there are 6,874,850 small-business professionals networking on LinkedIn. (LinkedIn data) #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

28%? Wow that's shocking--and stupid. C'mon biz owners--social media is key to so much @BofA_News #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

I'll listen to anyone that wants to be a mentor-if they're ethical people. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

Right on! RT @Rieva: 28%? Wow thats shocking--and stupid. Cmon biz owners--social media is key to so much @BofA_News #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

@adelewhit May be surprising, but true. We expect that number will rise in the future. #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

I know of a woman who started a biz, joined LinkedIn, participated a lot, and got 50 people to volunteer for her Bd of Advisors #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

I would hope it increases, what a waste of resources.

 

TWEET FROM: THEWINDOWGENIE

#sbcommunity A great mentor does not have all the answers, they challenge you to find them or create your own and apply that

 

TWEET FROM: RAMONRAY

Also EVERY business owner should himself/herself be a mentor to others - #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

@Hoovers Ogoing is trying to grow the social media network. It's very hard! We are up to 5K members now. 10K barrier is huge #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

It’s important when pressed for time to remember that social media helps keep your networking alive #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: RAMONRAY

I overheard a young man tell someone else I was HIS mentor and I did not even know it - #sbcommunity (and I almost started crying)

 

TWEET FROM: SHASHIB

Of course! If you have @FranchiseKing as a mentor you run the danger of expanding your business #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

@FranchiseKing Agreed! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

Interesting b/c 75% of business owners have been

‘put off’ by a company due to their poor use of social #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

true RT @ramonray: Also EVERY business owner should himself/herself be a mentor to others - #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: SHASHIB

@SteveStrauss Thanks Steve. Great insights in your tweets and articles #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@ramonray yes pay it forward! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Given that networking and word of mouth are key for SB marketing, one would think that the online option would be higher #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

Thank you so much @shashib You are truly a Royal Subject #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

@Ogoing I hear you...When you do social media, leave your longing for instant gratification at the door. Keep on keepin' on. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: SOCIALSITEMEDIA

  1. Shocking. RT @BofA_News: The recent SB Owner Report showed only 28%

of SBOs used social media to connect w/ other small biz #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@shashib yes, @SteveStrauss literally wrote the bible on #smallbiz #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RAMONRAY

Sometimes mentors don't even give you ADVICE per say but they open their network to you aka @shashib a true GIVER #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: THEWINDOWGENIE

@ramonray Everyone has something to offer to another person. If teamwork is strong the end result will be #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: CLICKBRAND

@Hoovers @Ogoing social media is definitely a marathon, not a sprint.. it takes time #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

And, 28,455 of them follow you on #in @SteveStrauss #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RAMONRAY

SOCIAL JERKS only share their own (or their own company's) content - SOCIAL GIVERS share all relevant content #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

@Ogoing Also remember you don't have to be active on all platforms. Go where your audience is--where they want to engage w/you. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@Clickbrand yes unfortunately most #smallbiz owners have a short term view #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: SHASHIB

@barrymoltz I actually won the Small Business Bible by @SteveStrauss as a prize at an event and still cherish it #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Topic/Question #5 – Tell us your story – when has networking helped elevate the visibility of your company’s brand? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

I looks like @BrianMoran has entered the room #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

@Hoovers Ogoing has created a dedicated social network for small business. http://t.co/XXPb0yWW This is taking long to grow! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BRANDONSONOFOLE

Plus, despite wealth of resources to turn to for support, majority of SBOs say they feel alone: http://t.co/yrgbKSqd #emp #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

Business networking is one of the most effective marketing and prospecting tools you can use to grow your business #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

I know that for me, networking has taken my brand to a whole new level #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@SteveStrauss A5 My relationships with many corporations started on Twitter #5 #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Hi @BrianMoran - great to see you #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BRIANMORAN

@barrymoltz @franchiseking Just a quick drive by to retweet some very smart #smallbiz people. #sbcommunity. Off to a meeting now.

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

#5 I have met people from all over the world that I never would have met by networking-on @Twitter #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: SOCIALSITEMEDIA

A5: Online networking earned me my very first client in 2009. Taught me a great deal about how important an online presence is. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

networking helped me tell people who we are, what we do and let people get comftorable with who they are dealing with #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Networking and branding go hand in hand because you never know what connection leads to what opportunity #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

Welcome @brianmoran thanks for joining #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

for us an important this is all our employees are DOJ background checked, it help us sell ourselves before we even meet. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

The SBC is an opportunity to make connections that can potentially elevate a brand. http://t.co/mdFvhPhj #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

@SteveStrauss I never knew how true that was before. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

I bet you have made some great connections for your biz and brand via networking @franchiseking - true for many people here #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@SteveStrauss A5 I am meeting @BofA_News for the first time today even though I have followed their #smallbiz work for awhile #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

Ogoing members primarily join through networking and engagement on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook & Google+ Social Media rocks! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Networking, esp. online, extends your name to a vast, whole new group of people #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

I got my column at USATODAY via networking, and that changed everything #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

@SteveStrauss agreed #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

Source: twitter.com, Posted on: Sep 20, 2012 06:52 PM by barrymoltz

@SteveStrauss A6 I owe my entire business as a result of networking #6 #sbcommunity

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Topic/Question #6 – Finally, and perhaps most importantly, when has networking benefited your business’s bottom line? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: SHASHIB

Have you heard @RamonRay speak? You don't have to eat for a year after - you will get that much energy #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: TDSBIZ

@SteveStrauss that's great! It's nice to hear the #SBcommunity can help out!

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

It is so easy to spend time online and not see an effect on the bottom line - keeping your ROI in mind is critical #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

Networking benefits our bottom line every day. Clients, connections & firends @SteveStrauss #6 #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

How do you develop and establish trust when you network online? There is a bit of unease for most small business owners. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RAMONRAY

@Ogoing I think TRUST can only be established over time - #sbcommunity - people have a mask online

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

Take baby steps at first. @Ogoing #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@ramonray Don't rush trust! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

"How do you develop and establish trust when you network online?" - send folks to your site where you post testimonials #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

it's like marketing it's exposure. people will get more comfortable w. you the more you interact @Ogoing #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

A6 every day I am benefited by networking. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: PEOPLEFUNDATX

Peoplefund owes a lot of its grants to relationships built from networking. @SteveStrauss #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

@SteveStrauss testimonials have been a big part of new customers. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

@ramonray True! Most online networkers are quick to jump the gun though #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

the 80-20 rule applies here too - post 80% of your content about THEM. 20% about you #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

@Ogoing To establish online trust, be consistently honest & sincere. Build your reputation by helping others build theirs. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

@SteveStrauss Agreed. Objective testimonials always help. On the website or on reviews sites. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

when a potential customer can read a testimonial from another client it establishes a sense of comfort #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

Share your tips and best practices with the members of the Small Business Community http://t.co/mdFvhPhj #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

agreed 80-20 if you share so will others #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BRANDONSONOFOLE

@SteveStrauss That's what I tell my franchisees #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

@barrymoltz @ramonray Couldn't agree more! This is the essence of social media and networking. To know when to close #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Testimonials are key to establishing credibility online. People know zip about you when they go 2 your site the 1st time #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

@SteveStrauss Interesting that sharing news about org/products is the most popular way SMBs use SoMe. Inside-out promo. @Vocus #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Agreed, testimonials create a comfort and trust level #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: SOCIALSITEMEDIA

Great advice! @Hoovers: @Ogoing To establish trust, be honest & sincere. Build your reputation by helping others build theirs. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@SteveStrauss yes no one wants to be the first! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

exactly and testimonials make you more credible to potential customers #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

@tdsbiz @SteveStrauss We'd love to have you check out the Small Business Community http://t.co/mdFvhPhj #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Well, that's about it #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Thank you everyone for participating in our conversation today and thank you to chat co-hosts @BofA_News #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

We hope that you picked up a few tips on how networking can be beneficial for your #smallbiz #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@SteveStrauss @BofA_News thanks for having me! Great #tweetchat #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Please tweet me directly, using the hashtag #sbcommunity, to let me know about the connections you made today! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: ADELEWHIT

thank you all #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BARRYMOLTZ

@SteveStrauss great to be in the same room with @ramonray @Rieva @FranchiseKing #smallbiz #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

Thank you everyone for participating in our conversation today and thank you to our co-host @stevestrauss #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

@SocialSiteMedia @Hoovers What a great advice indeed! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

@SteveStrauss Will #sbcommunity be a regular chat? Do you have another one on the calendar? #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: RIEVA

Thanks @SteveStrauss #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

And please join the #BofA Small Business Community to continue to network with other SBOs! the URL Is #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: SOCIALSITEMEDIA

Thanks @SteveStrauss and @bofa_news! Great chat. #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

http://t.co/DUBRhzJK #sbcommunity #smallbiz #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: HOOVERS

Glad to connect with all of you! Thanks for sharing your wisdom, questions, and honesty with me! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

The Small Business Communityu URL is http://t.co/DUBRhzJK #sbcommunity #smallbiz #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: FRANCHISEKING

Lots of tips. Thanks for having me @SteveStrauss @BOFA_News #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: STEVESTRAUSS

Thanks so much to everyone who participated today. Great info and tips! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BOFA_NEWS

Thanks everyone, enjoyed the chat! #sbcommunity ^MB

 

TWEET FROM: OGOING

@SteveStrauss @ramonray @Rieva @FranchiseKing @Hoovers @barrymoltz @tomfrancoeur @SocialSiteMedia @Ogoing @BofA_News

@adelewhit #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: BRANDONSONOFOLE

@SteveStrauss Thanks for hosting a great chat. Lots of great advice! #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: LN_BIKES

@SteveStrauss Thanks! such great info #sbcommunity

 

TWEET FROM: LPT

Thanks for RTs @FranchiseKing @Rieva @barrymoltz - good conversation today on #sbcommunity @BofA_News!



About Steve Strauss

 

Steven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest,The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success, visit his new website TheSelfEmployed, and follow him on Twitter. © Steven D. Strauss You can read more articles from Steve Strauss by clicking here.


Staying-on-message.pngby Sherron Lumley.

 

Who, exactly, are you? Amidst a veritable sea of sales pitches that consumers must navigate daily, that’s the essential question they are trying to answer when it comes to your small business. But if your company’s message is muddied or constantly shifting, connecting with potential customers in a way that reinforces trust and credibility becomes difficult, if not impossible.

 

“The world has changed,” says Sander Flaum, former chairman of Euro RSCG, one of the world’s largest advertising firms. “The whole concept has to be a unified one, because you look like an idiot otherwise. The marketing message has to be consistent. You can’t have one message for one channel and a different message for another channel.”

 

Pull-Quote.pngStaying on message means articulating a single passion or vision across all of the different platforms that your small business uses to advertise or promote itself—everything from Facebook to the phone book, from the graphics on your homepage to the signage on your front door. Keeping the content and appearance of your message consistent builds awareness, reinforces credibility, and fosters customer loyalty, while enabling you to reach multiple target audiences through the medium and style that they each prefer.

 

Many digital channels, one human voice.

 

Photographer and small business owner David Lutz, of Portland, Oregon, recently started promoting his events on Facebook. As one of the top commercial photographers in the Northwest, he understands the value of local marketing, but he also wants to position his business at the cutting edge and push it into larger markets. “Large companies have the resources,” he says, “but how does a smaller business do it?”

 

According to a recent social media survey from Social Strategy1 and Office Arrow, nearly nine out of 10 small business owners recognize social media does or will impact their ventures, yet half still say there’s too much social media to manage. Additionally, 44 percent of small business owners are concerned that social media can feed an “information overload,” and negatively impact a business’s image. While these fears aren’t completely unfounded, social media remains a powerful way to bundle and multiply the effectiveness of a small business’s integrated marketing strategy.

 

To marshal his marketing forces and keep his message consistent, Lutz’s company website, blog, and Facebook pages are all linked. He also has the ability to simultaneously post to Twitter and LinkedIn, making communicating that single message via all of these channels as simple as posting to one.

And as social media giants like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook have struck deals and formed partnerships, communication between the different applications and platforms has gotten even easier for users.  (For a quick and easy how-to, check out Mashable’s articles on syncing social media, such as this one: “Twitter to Facebook, Five Ways to Post to Both.”)

 

Whereas Lutz’s previous methods of reaching customers mostly included art shows, galleries, and direct mailing, he says his new marketing focus is mostly digital, with an emphasis on his website, online store, and PDF versions of his catalog. “My goal with all of the social media is to drive people to my website home page, from where I get business,” he says. And while his Facebook page lets him showcase frequent photo updates, his business’s website is more content-rich, with consistent images.

 

Match your message to your market

 

“Your marketing and PR is meant to be the beginning of a relationship with buyers, and to drive action such as generating sales leads,” says market strategist David Scott. Here’s the rule: “When you write, start with your buyers, not with your product.”

 

Ernie Valdez, of Ernie’s Paint and Body Shop, in San Marcos, Texas, says with a wide range of customers from ages 16 to 80, his company’s slogan, “Just take it to Ernie’s,” works well because it solves a problem. Rather than selling any particular product or service, Valdez likes the idea of giving the customer a simple, reassuring answer to an age-old question: “How will I get my car fixed?”

 

For years Ernie’s advertising has included occasional TV commercials, billboards at the nearby college stadium, and local little league sponsorships. Now, with an increasingly saturated market, Ernie’s is expanding its marketing channels by adding an online component, highlighting its 25-year history and expertise on the company website, while also positioning the company as a trusted cornerstone of the community.

 

This tactic of sharing with the world your business’s expertise and developing messages that your buyers want to hear is a wise move, says Scott. Small businesses gain credibility and loyalty with buyers through content, he adds, so smart marketers will deliver messages targeted directly at their audience.  When the message and image are consistent, such as with Ernie’s, the reward is a loyal customer base.

 

In marketing, it pays to sweat the small stuff

 

Consistent marketing also involves choosing psychographic symbols that trigger a repetitive recognition in the customer. These brand standards can encompass something as small as an email signature or as broad as a musical melody (think Intel’s distinctive “bum-bum, bum-BUM”). The four most important elements are: logo placement and sizing, consistent graphic symbols and shapes, specific font styles, and, finally, color, which is perhaps most important because of its link to memory retrieval and emotions (think red for Coca-Cola and brown for UPS.) A good starting point for finding a cohesive color palette is Color Scheme Designer, a free online tool used by graphic design professionals.

 

Once the brand standards and marketing message are set, some companies stand by them forever, but they don’t have to be etched in stone. “When a company begins to lose market share, this is when it’s time to change the message,” says Flaum. As a cautionary tale of strategy and marketing gone awry, Flaum cites one of the world’s top brands: Ford. After losing market share and dropping from the 30th to 41st most valuable brand in 2007, he notes that Ford acted quickly to refocus its operations and simplify its image—killing off its underperforming mid-range brand Mercury and selling off its expensive, luxury marques Range Rover and Jaguar.

 

Nowadays, a small business may reach its customers through a retail store, a website, social media, direct mail, email, or even text message and online chat, making it possible to tap multiple market segments and socio-economic groups of consumers. However, to build the trust and loyalty essential to strong customer relationships and long-term success, all of those various marketing channels must speak with a unified voice, so the customer can answer that key question “Who are you?”

White-in-article-portrait.jpgby Iris Dorbian.

 

It’s the first lesson of Business 101: If you want your company or product to be a success, you must know your target audience, and more specifically, your customer demographics. Too often a business can struggle and even fail because its corresponding marketing efforts didn’t understand the who, what, when, where, why, and how of their customers make their buying decisions.

 

Ask Important Questions

Four years ago, when Derek Christian bought My Maid Service, a small independent cleaning service based in Cincinnati, his immediate goal was to grow the existing customer base. Christian, who previously worked as an account executive for Proctor & Gamble’s commercial products group, decided a good way of defining his target audience was to ask the company’s existing customers several questions. Some of these were fairly intuitive, like “Why were they hiring a cleaning service?” but others might seem pretty far afield, such as “What were they looking for in life?” and “Where do they shop?”

 

Pull-Quote.pngThe answers Christian received not only gave him keen insight into his clients’ psychographic profile, they helped him recognize three specific demographics within his customer base: new parents, pet owners, and young urban apartment dwellers. Once these three groups were clearly defined, My Maid Service, which currently has 50 employees, began a campaign push to market to them.

 

“For example, new parents care deeply about not only having spotless floors, but also what chemicals we are using to clean those floors because their baby is crawling on it and putting their hands and feet in his or her mouth,” explains Christian. “We make sure our people know child safety laws and we make sure we don’t arrive at nap times. It’s not just about cleaning.” As a result of targeting these three specific groups, Christian was able to grow the company’s annual revenue from $250,000 to $2,000,000—quite a coup for a small business during a recession.

 

Zeroing In

Now that you know identifying and understanding your customer demo can play a big role in improving your business, how do you go about it?

 

Try asking yourself the following questions:

 

  • Who is your best current customer?
  • What is their age range?
  • How about their income level? Or education level?
  • Where do they live?
  • How do they spend their money? Are they frugal, extravagant, or in-between spenders?

This type of additional detail is essential if you want to flesh out the customer profile of your company or product’s target. “The objective is to close in that person,” says Lou Rubin, a seasoned marketing and advertising professional whose career includes an 11-year stint as an executive director at ad agency Doremus. “Once you know everything about how they interact with you, you can seek similar customers.”

 

Mine for more data

Other tips:

 

  • Utilize your local Chamber of Commerce and state Commerce Department to find additional statistics, like census data, on a subgroup you’d like to target within your community. Be insatiable in your appetite to learn all you need to know about the customers you want to attract.
  • Leverage resources such as Experian, a credit-reporting agency that provides information on consumer online purchases, to your benefit. Doing so will give you a clear-cut idea on your demo’s purchasing behavior as well as the history of any interactions they may have with your brand.
  • Get first-hand information directly from customers. One good way is through detailed, one-on-one interviews. Your marketing or research department, if you have one, can do this using a customer database. Or if you have the budget, hire an outside firm that specializes in gathering this data for companies. If your marketing is more the shoestring variety, you can do exactly what Derek Christian did after taking over the reins of My Maid Service: Simply ask your target customers a few questions. Offering a discount on a future purchase is usually enough of an incentive to get people to participate in a short marketing survey. (To get started, check out the questions at this free customer survey library.)
  • Another best practice—examine the competition. How are they engaging with your audience? Are they using old-fashioned direct mail, e-mail, or SEO marketing? Or are they engaging with your shared customer base via word-of-mouth? What innovative solutions are they offering your customers that you are not doing? What are their aggregate strengths and weaknesses? Are they leveraging social media to their advantage or not?
  • And speaking of social media, how is your business using it further its brand and heighten audience engagement? Have you set up Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts? In this dizzying 24/7 digital age, it behooves you to do so. The give-and-take of customer interaction on these sites will not only help you promote your message, but act as a catalyst in gaining insight into what makes your target audience tick.
  • Also, go to events or conferences that cater to your target audience(s). For instance, because Christian’s My Maid Service targets new parents, the company frequently participates at trade expos aimed at new parents. If they’re not going to come to you, then you go to them.

 

Remember information is power and knowing your demo is critical to maximizing your chances of realizing your goals and achieving success. 

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