I don’t know you, but I can guess that you have a Facebook profile. Over 1 billion people do, so statistically, you’re probably one of them.

But does your business have one? Does it have a Twitter, or a Linkedin? If not, you’re missing out on a lot of marketing opportunities.

I’m going to break down social media marketing for you so that you won’t have an excuse to miss out on any more brand recognition and lead generation than you already have.

The One…The Only…Facebook

The Social Media Search Engine

If you’re interested in e-marketing or digital marketing in anyway, you’re probably familiar with SEO. But when you think SEO, your mind most likely jumps to search engines like Google or Bing.

SEO used to be restrained to those kinds of engines (remember Ask Jeeves?!) but there’s a new, cooler dude on the scene—Facebook.

Facebook is its own search engine now. People search for businesses and services on Facebook all the time (you’ve probably done it yourself!) so if your business doesn’t have a page, you’re missing out on this major ranking.

Control Your SERP

Here’s a perk you probably didn’t expect: having a Facebook profile gives you more control over your SERP (or, search engine results page ranking).

When people search for your business or industry, you can control some of the results—your website, and any social media profiles you have. The more relevant social networking profiles you have, the more pages your control on your SERP, which means the more you can shape your customer’s image of your company.

The Obvious Perk: Building Your Base

Not to state the obvious or anything, but this is Social Media Marketing for Dummies, so …when you share engaging content and interact with your customers, leads, and community, more people will find you on Facebook. This is kind of the point of social media marketing!

If people find you, then they may follow you. When they follow you, they get your content and CTAs directly on their newsfeed. So you not only grow your leads, but you can also drive more traffic to your website with well-placed Calls to Actions.

But make sure you’re not just jamming your CTAs and services down your followers’ throats. No one’s going to follow a page like that.

Instead, give them value. Post silly selfies of your team, share funny cat videos that are vaguely related to your product, and give people Behind the Scenes looks at your group! The more connected people feel to your page, the closer they feel to you and your product.

Keep It Short and Sweet: Twitter

Get Tweeting, Get Buzz

Twitter is Facebook’s younger, cooler cousin.

It’s great for joining the conversation that is already happening with industry thought leaders, customers, and leads. Hashtags (AKA the pound sign, if you’re not a pesky whipper-snapper) and @replies are how you can contribute to a wider conversation that’s already happening out in the Twitter-sphere.

Grow your base by following local leaders and groups, as well as thought-leaders in your industry. Check out the trending topics section to see what hashtags you should be using to get your posts noticed on a bigger scale!

Customer Service in 140 Characters or Less

Customer service these days is more about social media sites and less about customer service phone calls.

On Twitter especially, people will tweet about your service or product, with both good and bad reviews. You can—and should—quickly and easily answer any questions, address concerns, and thank loyal customers!

And don’t be afraid to get creative with it. Check out some brands that have used Twitter the right way:

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Oreo gets a little flirty…and I bet they’ve got a customer for life now

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JetBlue gets rejected…but got honest feedback and some Twitter cred at the same time.

LinkedIn Puts the “Networking” in “Social Networking”

The social site for professionals … and your business

LinkedIn is the social media site for networking. You can post your resume and skills, and get advice and content directly from industry thought leaders and colleagues.

But you already knew that. With LinkedIn, you can also network with your business page!

  • Post content and share industry news to become a thought leader.
  • Ask and answer questions on LinkedIn Answers to show your value and credibility in the industry.
  • Find contacts through companies you work with or know about to generate leads.

Social Media Dummy No More!

Social Media can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.

Ideally, you would have a well-curated and maintained profile on each site, but start off with the one that makes the most sense for your small business. Make sure each post is optimized and you put out killer content. Then build from there.