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Small Business Guide to Social Media Mastery

It’s time to face the facts: Social media marketing isn’t a fad. More and more small businesses are leveraging the power of social.

– 26% of small business marketers spend an hour or more on social media marketing per day.
– 58% of small business marketers spend at least 10 minutes on social media marketing per day.
– 80% of small business marketers plan to increase their use of social media this year.

it’s clear that most marketers are now embracing social media. But why?
– 84% use social media to reach customers across multiple touch points.
– 62% use social media to reach customers where they spend time.
– 56% say that customers expect them to be on social media.
– 53% use social media as an engagement tool for 2-way conversation.

We know what you’re thinking: “Great. Social media is a popular marketing tool, but can it actually produce measurable results?”

– Businesses gain a 185% lift in web traffic after achieving 1,000 Facebook likes.
– Businesses with 51 to 100 Twitter followers generate 106% more traffic than those with 25 or fewer followers.

Purchase Intent
– 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision.
– 50% of shoppers have made a purchase based on a recommendation made through social media.
– 71% of social media users are more likely to purchase from a business they are connected with.

Customer Acquisition
– 57% of businesses have generated customers through LinkedIn.
– 48% have generated customers through Twitter.
– 42% have generated customers through Facebook.
So how do you make the most of your social media marketing efforts?

Add Value
Share content that your audience will find helpful, informative or entertaining.
– How to Articles
– Interviews
– Webinars and Podcasts
– Reviews and Ratings
– Video Tutorials
– Market Reports

Share at the right times
Different social networks have different peak times for posting. Take advantage!
Facebook: 1pm to 4pm
Twitter: 1pm to 3pm
LinkedIn: 7am to 9am and 5pm to 5pm
Google+: 9am to 11am
Pinterest: 2pm to 4pm and 8pm to 1am

Ask Questions
Want to spark conversations and get your audience buzzing? Ask, don’t tell
– Do ask open ended questions.
– Don ask questions about your industry or niche.
– Don’t ask “yes or no” questions.
– Don’t make every question about your business or brand.
Asking questions on facebook can increase interaction by 10%-20%.

Use social for customer support
Customer support via social is one area where there’s plenty of room for improvement.
– Nearly 1/2 of online customers expect businesses to provide customer support on Facebook, but only 23% actually do.
– Only 42% of businesses use social media to solicit customer feedback.
– 56% of customer tweets to businesses are ignored.
– More than 10% of businesses do not take any action to respond to negative social media posts.

Be Adventurous
There are TONS of social media sites out there, all of which offer different experiences for their communities. If you can identify a place where your customers are (and your competitors aren’t) you can gain an advantage.

Just don’t spread yourself too thin
It’s better to manage a few social media accounts really well than to manage a dozen poorly. Not sure where to focus your effort? A recent Wall Street Journal study offers some insight:

Which Social Networks do small businesses use regularly?
30% LinkedIn
22% Facebook
14% Twitter
13% YouTube
7% Google+
3% Pinterest
11% Other/None

Which Social Networks have the most potential to help small businesses?
41% LinkIn
14% Facebook
3% Twitter
16% YouTube
4% Google+
2% Pinterest
20% Other/None

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