What the Long Tail, Netflix, Blogging & SEO Have in Common

Netflix, you might have heard of it. It’s a billion dollar company that provides movies to your devices. The company has evolved and leveraged technology better than most in its industry. When I first heard of Netflix years ago, you could rent a DVD from their catalog of movies. They would mail you a copy of the DVD (or more depending on your subscription), you would watch it and they would mail another one to you from your list. Even then it was kind of innovative. Now, with technology, a subscriber can now stream from Smart TVs, Smartphones, Tablets, Computers and even Game Systems.

This is all well and good but what can a digital marketer learn from this company?

Well, a lot.

I recently had a meeting with a potential client. One of the first questions he asked was, how would I describe SEO and the Long Tail. To this I answered, have you heard of Netflix? 

The reason that I brought up Netflix was because it’s a perfect example of the Long Tail coined by Chris Anderson in a book back in 1999 (you will even see a review from Reed Hastings from Netflix on the book–go figure). Taken from Anderson’s website, he defined the Long Tail as:

The theory of the Long Tail is that our culture and economy is increasingly shifting away from a focus on a relatively small number of “hits” (mainstream products and markets) at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail. As the costs of production and distribution fall, especially online, there is now less need to lump products and consumers into one-size-fits-all containers. In an era without the constraints of physical shelf space and other bottlenecks of distribution, narrowly-targeted goods and services can be as economically attractive as mainstream fare.

Do you see the connection yet? If not, let me drill down…

The best comparison is Netflix versus Blockbuster. Traditionally speaking Blockbuster was a storefront that you went to more than likely Friday night to pick whatever movie (or game) that you wanted to watch over the weekend. I remember doing it as a kid. I would get in my parents car and we would go to Blockbuster typically after dinner and I would get to rent a movie.

Of course the movies (or games) that I wanted were never there because someone (or a lot of “someones”) would often get there before me and I would have to wait for them to bring the movie back. Now, from a business standpoint, Blockbuster was always limited by the size of their store. They could only keep so many movies and so many titles on hand.Growing up in Northern Virginia, we even had 2 Blockbuster stores and I would try to go to either to get the movie that I wanted if I could talk my parents into it. Still, I often couldn’t get the movie or game I wanted.

So, how did Netflix disrupt that industry? Well, in short it allowed an entire catalog that Blockbuster never could shelve because the demand was too small. In other words, if someone was looking to watch 30 vampire movies over the next month, Blockbuster would only have 5 or so of the most popular ones. There wasn’t enough demand for the others so they couldn’t justify the shelf space.

That’s where Netflix changed things. They increased the catalog of movies that people could rent. There were way more movies that they could send to you because instead of having a storefront they shipped from a huge warehouse where they were able to stock more movies and as technology increased they were able to offer more and more movies that could be streamed on demand. Not only that, I’ve noticed that TV series that people were sad to hear were canceled, were now being picked up on Netflix. This was incredibly disruptive because as people started to realize their choices weren’t limited, they were able to “search” for exactly what they wanted to find. If someone wanted to search for Zombie movies with werewolfs, they would find that. So, Netflix was basically not competing with Blockbuster on the “Blockbuster movies” but instead were focusing on developing a different way for people to rent movies (subscription) and a larger catalog they could access. This would eventually (along with Redbox)sink Blockbuster.

This is where your blog and SEO are so important. 

There are so many niche products and services that are making a “killing” largely because they are catering to these target markets. With the changing customer (the same one that is watching movies on Netflix or Amazon or tuning into YouTube series) that is now able to click a button and search specifically for what they are looking for, the long tail is an enormous opportunity.

Here’s one takeaway that you should remember–it’s not that the small long tail searches are more than what is mainstream but collectively if you add them all up it’s more. 

In other words 10 (searches) is greater than 1 (search) but it’s not greater than 1+1+1+1+1+2+4+3+5+8+1…(you get the picture).

That’s were Netflix blazed a trail that business owners and entrepreneurs can now follow. It’s where you can become top of mind not just for that one keyword that you are trying to show up for but the 1,000 other searches that are more attainable and honestly probably add up to more.

On a practical level when people are searching on Google, it’s where your blog can show up. You will quickly be out of business if you target an entire website for 1 search but you can target a blog post for a specific keyword. It’s how you build your own Netflix model.

It’s something that has not been leveraged in most industries.

So, how do you get started?

I would say after you start your blog and you get everything up and operational, do a really strong and dedicated discovery exercise and determine what people are searching for–think of everything–product names, DIY searches, product alternatives, frustrations, everything you can think of. Don’t forget to ask employees, clients, everyone.

Then, just develop a calendar and start blogging. There’s more to it of course from an SEO standpoint but this is the approach you want to take to answering your client or potential clients questions.

Another future note, don’t neglect the importance of social media as well. Some people are searching natively on these networks especially with hashtags so make sure you pay attention those changes as well.

That’s how you become the digital Netflix of your industry!

Be sure to check out and reserve your copy of our eBook–The Blue 16 Corner. It’s FREE!

Originally posted: What Does Netflix Have in Common with Blogging & SEO?

Advertising on Social Media Platforms

Social advertising, or advertisements published through Social Media platforms and networks, hit $23.6 billion in 2015. According to eMarketer, that spending is estimated to hit $35 billion in 2017. Just as the Social Media revolution took Small Business by surprise, so too is the Social Advertising evolution from purely content marketing to now a hybrid… Read more »

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Social advertising, or advertisements published through Social Media platforms and networks, hit $23.6 billion in 2015. According to eMarketer, that spending is estimated to hit $35 billion in 2017. Just as the Social Media revolution took Small Business by surprise, so too is the Social Advertising evolution from purely content marketing to now a hybrid of content + advertising to impact your local business’ bottom line.

The Alexandria SBDC recently held a seminar that covered the major advertising platforms and strategies to address each for maximum exposure and return on investment (ROI) for your business. The seminar covered advertising with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube (Google), and several other small players that may be very effective for niche businesses.

The instructor for this program was Ray Sidney-Smith, Digital Business Strategist, author of SoLoMo Success: Social Media, Local and Mobile Web Marketing Small Business Strategy Explained, and President of W3 Consulting, which operates W3C Web Services and Small Business Blog Network. This video is an overview of the presentation and the slide deck is available HERE.

 

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Voted One of Americas Finest Optical Retailers

Storefront Store Fixture DesignWE ARE VERY PROUD to announce that eye2eye Optometry Corner, a project that we completed in late 2015, and located in Hilltop Village Center here in Alexandria, has won Honorable Mention in the 2016 America’s Finest Optical Retailers competition put on by Invision Magazine, an important optical industry publication. We wish to extend our thanks to Dora Adamopoulos, OD for bringing such a great project. Likewise thanks to the following team members and all who participated in this project.

BC Engineers Inc.
Mesen Associates Structural Engineers
Independence Construction
Ambiance Lighting
Hermin Ohanian “Artoholic”
Ennco Display Systems
Miller Creative Solutions

Bridget Gaddis, is a Licensed Architect and LEED-accredited Professional practicing nationally, and locally in the Washington DC area. She holds professional degrees in both Architecture and Interior Design, and with a comprehensive background in commercial retail design, planning and construction has completed projects for such for such well known brands as Chloe, Zegna, and Bvlgari. Her career began in tenant coordination and site planning for two well-known Cleveland developers, followed by six years in store planning for a national retailer. After a move to New York City in 1997, she spent the next years working for architecture firms specializing in retail projects. In 2011 she started her own practice in Alexandria, VA. Ms. Gaddis is the author of two blogs dealing with architectural subjects.

Designing for Various Retail Environments

Recently Carrie Rossenfeld wrote and article for Globest.com dealing with current changes in the retail environment that are affecting how architects and designers approach a project. The title, The Changing Art of Designing Urban Retail Projects, is especially appropriate, not a little because retail store design is acknowledged as an art, but mostly because it offers a thought provoking comment on the current retail context near and dear to all of us working in the DC area; namely the shift from auto dominant to pedestrian dominant shopping. Anyone who visits this site knows that this is not the first time I have engaged this topic, it is though, the first time I am inspired to organize the various environments in which I work into a single picture as follows:

Past Trends

Urban Retail – This requires little description. It is Main street USA, whether in a big city or small. It is pedestrian dependent and spans American History from Colonial Willamsburg to Old Town Alexandria. It is an all inclusive spectrum of retail types and has become a model for current development.

Suburban Shopping Centers – Historically these followed suburban expansion after WWII supplying life’s necessities to newly mobile shoppers. A typical shopping center consisted of a grocery store, a drug store, some specialty retail, and a couple of out-lots. In time a big box was added, eventually becoming the force behind development until today we have acres of big box shopping centers. The type has come to include a range of retail offerings from outlet malls to ethnic centers merging into a sprawl-scape along major roads and axes, all depending on the car for shoppers.

 

Suburban Malls – These days almost relics, most of us have seen their rise and fall. The ones that are doing well are, some say, surviving because the others have failed. They are often in high income suburbs, connected with public transportation, draw international shoppers, boast multiple department stores, have expanded the types of anchor tenants they attract, and perhaps most important to this discussion, although dependent on the car for shoppers, the stores are designed according to a specialized pedestrian model. Local examples: Tysons Corner, Pentagon City.

 Present Trends

Mixed Use, also known as Emerging Urban, New Suburbanism, and the Mall Reborn (Don’t you love all the names?) – Of course, this is where the action is. From my standpoint – designing for individual retailers – it is where pedestrian vs. non pedestrian visibility collapses into complexity. David Kitchens, in the aforementioned article, drew attention to the challenges involved in designing for, and integrating multiple uses into a development project, telling us that “…residential, office or hospitality…needs to be intertwined with or added to existing retail..” The “repositioning” of Ballston Common and Landmark Mall were sited as local examples and in particular caught my attention because I have had inquiries from retail tenants being affected by the changes going on in these places. Architects and designers working in the mixed use environment must have confidence that they, together with stakeholders in the greater design environment, will produce a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. They must be willing to release some control, to admit a bit of “chaos.” Kitchens put it well when he said it is about creating neighborhoods. As an independent design firm working on retail projects in many different environments, I get this better than most.

Future Trends?

Industrial/Commercial/Business Parks – Defined by the National Institute of Building Science, Light Industrial “… can include but is not limited to spaces for printing, commercial laundry, photographic film processing, vehicle repair garages, building maintenance shops, metal work, millwork,..cabinetry work…” Think specialized showrooms, i.e., kitchen, lumber, restaurant supplies, catering, swimming pools, motor cycle accessories (Really, I had one inquire). Think those moving from online sales toward brick n mortor. Think those responding to “showrooming.” Recent experience has lead me to believe that this is an overlooked retail environment and as such an opportunity. From a store design standpoint, diametrically opposite to the complexity of mixed use, their retail presence is straight forward, direct and dependent on the car for shoppers. It is a sector starting to see the value of investing in professionally designed retail showrooms.

Describing these retail environments has been a fun exercise but I didn’t do it just for fun? I did it to make a point about designing a retail store to increase sales. Few would argue that designing a retail store is involved with issues of shopper behavior, in particular how it can be influence by a store design. I have accumulated an ever multiplying list of “Strategies for Designing Your Space.” and do a presentation on the subject. The article that started this survey, on the other hand, is about the other side of the issue, specifically how shopper behavior is influenced by the environment in which a store finds itself. Of course, real estate people would sum this up as “location, location, location,” a subject that shows up in business plans and marketing activities all the time. If, though, we understand the ideas set out in the article, the issue is more complex, suggesting that the current trend is for there to be little or nothing spontaneous or random about the macro environments in which retailers find themselves. Also, I have often found that in the process of macro planning developers have let go of micro constraints typically found in places like leases and tenant handbooks. This can be deceiving, leading a retailer to overestimate their control of a project. In local terms this means that a space in a planned urban environment like the Mosaic Retail District is a lot different than a space in Georgetown or Old Town Alexandria or in a strip center or industrial complex as well. I would urge any retailer thinking about their store design to consider responding to both the macro and micro point of view. It is what has motivated me to summarize the several retail contexts listed in this post.

Bridget Gaddis, is a Licensed Architect and LEED-accredited Professional practicing nationally, and locally in the Washington DC area. She holds professional degrees in both Architecture and Interior Design, and with a comprehensive background in commercial retail design, planning and construction has completed projects for such for such well known brands as Chloe, Zegna, and Bvlgari. Her career began in tenant coordination and site planning for two well-known Cleveland developers, followed by six years in store planning for a national retailer. After a move to New York City in 1997, she spent the next years working for architecture firms specializing in retail projects. In 2011 she started her own practice in Alexandria, VA. Ms. Gaddis is the author of two blogs dealing with architectural subjects.

Retail store design is a language everyone can read.

2015-11-08 12.24.21Semiotics

Anyone who has ever seriously tried to design a logo for their business can tell you that it is not so easy, even for graphic designers who specialize in all things related to visual imaging. Certainly, any serious investigation will lead one to the subject of Semiotics, which might be defined as how meaning is created and communicated, or more simply the study of linguistic and non- linguistic signs. Without getting too technical, for this is a specialized academic discipline, it is worth noting that signs fall into three categories:

  1. Icons which are images of a thing itself, as in a picture of a dog and a real dog, or a map of a river and the actual river.
  2. Indexes which are relational where objects affect the sign, like fire (object) creates smoke (sign).
  3. Symbols which have neither similarities in appearance nor causal links, but are rather linked by conventional or cultural knowledge. In short the meaning can be quite arbitrary and is simply known, as in the group of letters that mean bus and an actual bus.

When considered in light of concerns about marketing and branding, ever present in the minds of most retailers, it is instructive to draw some parallels. First though, it is worth examining the terms which have been nicely summarized by Jacob Cass, graphic designer and author. He tells us a brand is “the perceived emotional corporate image as a whole;” an identity “is the visual aspects that form part of the overall brand;” and a logo “identifies a business in its simplest form via the use of a mark or icon. Knowing this, it is not difficult to understand the brand as the idea of a business. It is the semiotic meaning, or sign, expressed by the use of the icons, indexes, and symbols, all of which are visual or have a visual component, leading us to examine the visual image, AKA store design.

Visual Image

I am bringing this up because I think that architecture is semiotic, and more specifically, retail store design, which might be thought of and applied like a language. One that everyone can read. The Sherwin Williams Paint Store in the photo provides a clearly defined demonstration of these principles, and I must say that I spotted it at 50 MPH while rushing to an unrelated event in a Pennsylvania college town. The impact was direct, and completely comprehensible. I was late to my appointment because I turned the car around to get the photo. The symbol, of course, is the Sherwin William sign on the building. No doubt about who they are and what they are selling.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/telstar/151930908/in/photolist-4sjUaD-4ZMqA9-4ZHbKM-5uWtwt-cvvPYC-61K54M-8Vf3Zm-82hFSR-afWumj-eqFLq-9pkbo2-B6JH2-66dQ7oThe logo, not very big, relatively speaking, is both icon and index. When considered in the light of what we now know about semiotics it is complicated and communicates a lot of meaning using symbols in the form of company name and tag line; iconic images of the product, container, location; and an index demonstrating the application. It becomes a statement that says Sherwin Williams paints the world.

The “pièce de résistance” of the entire composition though, and a big part of the reason I stopped, is the larger than life paint sample cards installed as graphics in all of the storefront windows. According to our labels these probably qualify as icons but are also undeniably symbolic of everything we know about decorating and painting.

There is absolutely no question about the marketing message delivered by this storefront design, but there is another tactic operating here which has less to do with semiotics than it does with tried and true principals of good storefront design. It is what pushes this design into the stratosphere of marketing message delivery, and defines the point where graphics leave off and architecture begins. There is a basic rule that says, if you want a display element to be visible from a distance to both walk and drive by traffic, then it must be exaggerated. It must be bigger, brighter, more colorful than its surrounding. In this case the larger than life paint sample cards are the agent of a cohesive marketing message. The effect is magical.

Bridget Gaddis, is a Licensed Architect and LEED-accredited Professional practicing nationally, and locally in the Washington DC area. She holds professional degrees in both Architecture and Interior Design, and with a comprehensive background in commercial retail design, planning and construction has completed projects for such for such well known brands as Chloe, Zegna, and Bvlgari. Her career began in tenant coordination and site planning for two well-known Cleveland developers, followed by six years in store planning for a national retailer. After a move to New York City in 1997, she spent the next years working for architecture firms specializing in retail projects. In 2011 she started her own practice in Alexandria, VA. Ms. Gaddis is the author of two blogs dealing with architectural subjects.

How to Get LinkedIn for Small Business

Ray Sidney-Smith presented a workshop about how to use LinkedIn for small business. Here are some takeaways and important points to consider when using LinkedIn as a small business owner. LinkedIn is the largest professional social networking platform today. They also happen to now be owned by Microsoft. As a Small Business Owner, you may think… Read more »

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Ray Sidney-Smith presented a workshop about how to use LinkedIn for small business. Here are some takeaways and important points to consider when using LinkedIn as a small business owner.

LinkedIn is the largest professional social networking platform today. They also happen to now be owned by Microsoft. As a Small Business Owner, you may think that LinkedIn is purely for keeping an updated “Web resume,” but you’d be heartily mistaken. LinkedIn is a dynamic, rich environment for developing your professional/industry reputation, building your company’s reputation, recruit talent within and outside your community or network, market your business, and increases your sales. Here’s an overview of the LinkedIn platform and what each has to offer your business.

LinkedIn Profiles

This is where it all begins. LinkedIn allows you as a business owner to create a user account and profile so that you can best represent yourself. You can create your profile using whatever email you’d like (and add additional email addresses–both personal and professional–that people you know might use to connect with you on LinkedIn) and then follow through the onboarding process. The onboarding process attempts to have you input your interests, work experience, and other data points that gives LinkedIn a good picture of you professionally. Remember, you don’t need to tell LinkedIn everything, but you want to put in as much as is necessary to get your profile mostly complete (above Beginner or Intermediate according to LinkedIn’s Profile Strength indicator).

Your professional engagement begins for your business with the connections you make and the content you share on LinkedIn as the owner of your business. It continues with additional engagement in LinkedIn Groups.

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups is a powerful community-building tool where groups are people with shared interests. Those interests are for those who need your professional expertise, products, or services. So, while you might join a few active LinkedIn Groups where you are among colleagues, your main groups to be active in are those where your target audience is and engages.

The power is in that while people sometimes engage by going to LinkedIn.com and visit the Groups forums, most people engage with the Groups discussions via email conversations and daily/weekly digests they receive from LinkedIn about the groups of which they are members. It’s similar to having a large email list without the need to maintain it. LinkedIn is doing the work for you.

The focus for you is to be helpful and provide only the most valuable content in these LinkedIn Groups so that people don’t ever feel like you are spamming them, and that they look forward to your assistance and content.

LinkedIn Company and Showcase Pages

Remember, the goal of all content is to inform, entertain, and persuade. And, while it may be good to have that content also shared from your blog, curated from others, to your profile’s connections, there are people on LinkedIn who don’t know you but do know your company. For that, you want to create Company and Showcase Pages as appropriate to engage them so that you and your brand stay “top of mind” when potential customers are ready to buy.

LinkedIn Company Pages are the actual entity that exists and represents your primary business. Underneath that, you can create what are known as Showcase Pages, or sub-pages that can act as company divisions, product channels, service lines, business areas (human resources, marketing, accounting/finance, etc.), or any other slice of your company that has an external audience with whom you want to share content through updates.

Now, you can create or curate that informative, entertaining, and/or persuasive content out to audiences not connected to your individually. But, sometimes you just don’t have time, and that takes us next to “paying to play.”

LinkedIn Advertising

In the world of Social Media, it was once heretical to talk about advertising, but that’s no longer the case. In fact, now it’s almost impossible to get seen without spending money on social networks such as Facebook (e.g., boosting posts, placing advertisements, or promoting your pages) or Twitter (e.g., promoted tweets). On LinkedIn, this comes in the form of sponsoring content updates, and placing text and image advertisements, that appear throughout the LinkedIn ecosystem.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Next in the world of LinkedIn pay-to-play, you have the ability to put your social selling on steroids. By engaging directly with leads without the limitations of LinkedIn’s profiles, LinkedIn Sales Navigator allows you to search and prime leads (individuals who can buy from or refer you) for conversion. You have the ability to InMail message them, watch their company and profile updates (and engage with them), and connect with them. The LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a completely separate platform from LinkedIn.com and designed with sales in mind, so it’s got an effectively-focused layout to do just that. It’s well worth at least designing a social sales strategy for your business and then trying out the 30-day free trial.

Altogether, LinkedIn gives you opportunities to build your professional reputation, broadcast your brand’s value to an external audience, and engage in talent acquisition (not discussed here but if you can learn more about their job tools for employers) via the world’s largest online pool of professionals. There are many tools on LinkedIn, and one-third of the American population is there (i.e., working professionals who need your products and services); your goal is to build your profile and page, engage them effectively, and provide compelling calls-to-action for them to buy from you when they have the need or want.

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Integrating Social Media and Marketing: Part 2

This is the second post in a two-part series. To read Part One, click here. Last week, we talked about how to incorporate social media into marketing and communications strategies. As a reminder, these strategies can be divided into six main categories: Executive Visibility Media Relations Content Marketing Events Recruitment Staff & Membership Morale Last… Read more »

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Integrating Social Media and Marketing - Part 2This is the second post in a two-part series. To read Part One, click here.

Last week, we talked about how to incorporate social media into marketing and communications strategies. As a reminder, these strategies can be divided into six main categories:

  1. Executive Visibility
  2. Media Relations
  3. Content Marketing
  4. Events
  5. Recruitment
  6. Staff & Membership Morale

Last week, we outlined a few ways in which you can incorporate social media into executive visibility, media relations, and content marketing. This week, we will be covering using social media for events, recruitment, and staff & membership morale.

Events

Whether you’re hosting an event or attending a conference, there are always opportunities to market your business. If you know who will be attending the event and would like to engage with those attendees, create Twitter lists to organize your targets. This makes it easier to follow what these people are saying and to start a dialogue with them over social media. If you know some of the content for the event ahead of time, schedule social media posts to alleviate the pressure of posting during the event. Make sure to create or use hashtags for the event so that your posts will show up when others search the event or hashtag.

Recruitment

Attracting and retaining the right talent can be a challenge for small business owners. We often think of social media as a way to recruit clients, but it can also be used as a tool for attracting employees. Many potential employees will check out a company’s social media channels, not just the company website. Post pictures of your office brownbag to show your commitment to professional development. Share posts about the community day of service in which your staff participated to demonstrate your commitment to social responsibility. Retweet an employee’s message about enjoying happy hour to show that your team has fun working together. All of these tactics can help potential employees see the benefits of working at your business.

Staff/Membership Morale

Many small businesses will tell you that, when their staff are happy, they are more productive and stay at the organization longer. The same can be said for member or partner relationships. Social media is a great way to acknowledge staff, members, and even customers. Use Facebook to highlight mini-bios of staff on their work anniversaries and talk about why you appreciate having them at your organization. Tag and thank members when they renew their membership. Give a shout-out on Twitter to a partner organization when they win an award or a new contract. Making people feel appreciated and valued will make them more loyal to your small business.

Social media is a critical tool for marketing and business growth. We shouldn’t think of it as a standalone tactic, though, but rather as an integrated tool for supporting all other marketing and communications efforts.

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Integrating Social Media and Marketing: Part 1

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… Read more »

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Integrating Social Media and Marketing- Part 1This 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:

  1. Executive Visibility
  2. Media Relations
  3. Content Marketing
  4. Events
  5. Recruitment
  6. 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.

Executive Visibility

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.

Media Relations

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.

Content Marketing

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!

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